Are Google Ads Effective? How Paid Search Can Boost Your Business in 2023
Google Ads is one of the most popular and effective online advertising platforms in the world. But with the constant changes in the digital marketing landscape, you might be wondering if Google Ads is still relevant and worth investing.
In 2023, Google Ads remains a relevant and effective way to advertise online, as it reaches about four out of five internet users every day through its Display Network, and helps 65% of small B2B businesses acquire new customers.
In this blog post, we will answer this question by looking at what Google Ads is, how it works, how much it costs, and what kinds of businesses can benefit the most from it.
Google Ads In A Nutshell
Google Ads is the world’s largest and most popular online advertising platform, created by Google. It allows you to create and display ads on Google’s search engine, as well as on millions of other websites and apps that are part of the Google Network.
Google Ads works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model, which means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can set your own budget and bids, and choose how much you want to spend per day, per month, or per campaign. You can also pause or stop your campaigns at any time.
Google Ads offers various types of ads, such as:
- Search ads: These are text-based ads that appear on the top or bottom of Google’s search results page, when someone searches for keywords related to your products or services. For example, if you sell shoes online, you can create search ads that show up when someone searches for “buy shoes online” or “best shoes for running”.
- Display ads: These are image-based or video-based ads that appear on websites and apps that are relevant to your products or services, or to your target audience. For example, if you sell travel packages, you can create display ads that show up on travel blogs, magazines, or forums.
- Shopping ads: These are product-based ads that appear on Google’s search results page, Google Shopping, or other websites and apps that are part of the Google Network. They show a product image, price, and other details, and link directly to your website or online store. For example, if you sell books online, you can create shopping ads that show up when someone searches for “best books of 2023” or “books by Stephen King”.
- Video ads: These are video-based ads that appear on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine, or other websites and apps that are part of the Google Network. They can be skippable or non-skippable, and can range from 6 seconds to 15 minutes in length. For example, if you sell fitness equipment, you can create video ads that show up when someone watches a video about “how to lose weight” or “best exercises for abs”.
- App ads: These are app-based ads that appear on Google’s search results page, Google Play Store, or other websites and apps that are part of the Google Network. They show an app icon, name, rating, and other details, and link directly to your app or app store. For example, if you have a game app, you can create app ads that show up when someone searches for “best games of 2023” or “games like Candy Crush”.
Do Google Ads Still Work?
Google Ads is the world’s largest and most popular online advertising platform, but does Google Ads still work in 2023? Is it worth investing your time and money in this platform? How can you make the most of it for your business?
The answer is yes, Google Ads still works, and it can offer many benefits for your business, such as:
- Reaching your target audience at the right time. Google Ads allows you to target your ads based on keywords, location, device, demographics, interests, and more. This means you can show your ads to people who are actively looking for your products or services, or who match your ideal customer profile. You can also choose when and where to display your ads, such as on specific days, hours, or geographic areas.
- Increasing your brand awareness and credibility. Google Ads can help you increase your visibility and recognition online, as well as establish your authority and trustworthiness. According to a study by Google and Ipsos, search ads can increase brand awareness by up to 80%. Moreover, appearing on the first page of Google’s search results can boost your credibility and reputation, as people tend to trust the top results more than the lower ones.
- Driving more traffic and conversions to your website or app. Google Ads can help you attract more visitors to your website or app, as well as encourage them to take action. According to a study by WordStream, the average click-through rate (CTR) for Google Ads is 3.17%, which is much higher than the average CTR for organic results (0.46%)4. Moreover, the average conversion rate (CVR) for Google Ads is 3.75%, which is also higher than the average CVR for organic results (0.77%)4. This means that people who click on your ads are more likely to become your customers than those who click on your organic listings.
- Measuring and optimizing your performance and ROI. Google Ads provides you with various tools and metrics to track and analyze your advertising campaigns. You can see how many impressions, clicks, conversions, and sales your ads generate, as well as how much they cost you. You can also use Google Analytics to measure other aspects of your website or app performance, such as bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, and more5. By using these data, you can identify what works and what doesn’t for your business, and make adjustments accordingly.
However, to make the most of Google Ads in 2023, you need to stay updated with the latest trends and developments, and use the best practices and strategies for your industry and goals. Some of the key factors that affect the effectiveness of Google Ads are:
- The level of competition and demand in your market. Depending on how popular and profitable your products or services are, you may face more or less competition from other advertisers in your niche. This can affect the cost and availability of keywords, ad placements, and ad formats that you can use. You also need to consider the demand and seasonality of your market, as they can influence the volume and quality of traffic that you can get from Google Ads.
- The quality and relevance of your ads and landing pages. Google Ads uses a system called Quality Score to measure how relevant and useful your ads and landing pages are for users. Quality Score affects how often and where your ads are shown, as well as how much you pay per click. To improve your Quality Score, you need to ensure that your ads match the intent and expectations of users who search for your keywords, and that your landing pages provide a clear and compelling value proposition, offer a good user experience, and have a strong call to action.
- The use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Google Ads is increasingly using AI and ML to automate and optimize various aspects of its platform, such as bidding strategies, ad creation, targeting options, and performance insights. For example, you can use Smart Bidding to automatically adjust your bids based on real-time signals and historical data, or Responsive Search Ads to automatically test and display different combinations of headlines and descriptions for your ads. While these features can save you time and effort, they also require you to trust Google’s algorithms and relinquish some control over your campaigns.
Is Google Ads the Best Choice For Your Budget?
According to WordStream’s Google Ads benchmarks report, the average CPC in Google Ads across all industries is $2.96 on the search network and $0.58 on the Google Display Network. The average CPL is $40.74, and the average CTR is 4.12% on the search network and 0.46% on the Google Display Network. The average CR is 3.75% on both networks.
However, these numbers vary significantly depending on the industry of the advertiser. Some industries have higher or lower costs and performance than others, depending on factors such as the level of competition, the demand and seasonality of the market, the quality and relevance of the ads and landing pages, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to optimize the campaigns.
Besides Google Ads, there are many other online advertising platforms that you can use to promote your business online. The cost of other online advertising platforms depends on similar factors as Google Ads, such as industry, market trends, quality score, keywords, bid, budget, and targeting. However, each platform has its own pricing model and average rates that vary from Google Ads. According to WebFX2 and Single Grain, here are some of the average costs for other online advertising platforms in 2023:
- Facebook Ads: The average CPC for Facebook Ads is $0.97 for the News Feed and $0.25 for the Audience Network in 2023. The average CPA for Facebook Ads is $18.68 for the News Feed and $9.06 for the Audience Network in 2023. The average monthly spend for Facebook Ads is $500 to $3000 for small to medium-sized businesses in 2023.
- Bing Ads: The average CPC for Bing Ads is $1.54 for the Search Network and $0.10 for the Display Network in 2023. The average CPA for Bing Ads is $56.30 for the Search Network and $46.84 for the Display Network in 2023. The average monthly spend for Bing Ads is $500 to $2000 for small to medium-sized businesses in 2023.
- LinkedIn Ads: The average CPC for LinkedIn Ads is $5.26 for the Feed and $0.80 for the Network in 2023. The average CPA for LinkedIn Ads is $45.43 for the Feed and $23.05 for the Network in 2023. The average monthly spend for LinkedIn Ads is $1000 to $4000 for small to medium-sized businesses in 2023.
- Twitter Ads: The average CPC for Twitter Ads is $0.38 for the Timeline and $0.29 for the Search in 2023. The average CPA for Twitter Ads is $10.90 for the Timeline and $8.35 for the Search in 2023. The average monthly spend for Twitter Ads is $500 to $2000 for small to medium-sized businesses in 2023.
- Pinterest Ads: The average CPC for Pinterest Ads is $1.50 for the Home Feed and $1.77 for the Search in 2023. The average CPA for Pinterest Ads is $10.47 for the Home Feed and $12.54 for the Search in 2023. The average monthly spend for Pinterest Ads is $500 to $2000 for small to medium-sized businesses in 2023.
What Kinds of Businesses benefit the most from Google Ads?
Google Ads can benefit almost any kind of business that wants to increase its online visibility, traffic, leads, sales, or brand awareness. However, some businesses may have more advantages than others depending on their industry, products, services, goals, and audience.
Here are some examples of businesses that can benefit the most from Google Ads:
- Local businesses: Google Ads can help local businesses attract more customers in their area by using location targeting, call extensions, local service ads, and Google My Business integration.
- Ecommerce businesses: Google Ads can help ecommerce businesses showcase their products, drive more traffic to their online store, increase conversions, and measure their return on ad spend (ROAS) by using shopping ads, dynamic remarketing ads, smart shopping campaigns, and conversion tracking.
- Service businesses: Google Ads can help service businesses generate more leads, phone calls, bookings, or appointments by using lead form extensions, call-only ads, callout extensions, and conversion tracking.
- B2B businesses: Google Ads can help B2B businesses reach decision-makers, generate high-quality leads, nurture prospects, and increase sales by using keyword targeting, audience network, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), similar audiences, and conversion tracking.
- Content creators: Google Ads can help content creators grow their audience, increase their engagement, monetize their content, and build their brand by using video ads, discovery ads, audio ads, and YouTube channel integration.
The table below shows the average CPC, CPL, CTR, and CR for Google Ads by industry in 2023:
||Avg. CPC (Search)
||Avg. CPC (Display)
||Avg. CTR (Search)
||Avg. CTR (Display)
|Arts & Entertainment
|Dating & Personals
|Education & Training
Google Ads is still relevant and effective in 2023. It is a powerful online advertising platform that can help you reach a large and diverse audience that is actively looking for what you offer. It also offers various benefits such as instant results, ability to test and experiment, measure results, flexible budgets, high ROI potential, and more.
However, Google Ads is not a magic bullet that will guarantee success for every business. You still need to have a clear goal, a well-defined strategy, a realistic budget, and a continuous optimization process to make the most out of your campaigns.