The Dangers Of Google Ads For Small Businesses

The Dangers Of Google Ads For Small Businesses

Google Ad was first introduced in the year 2000 and has been one of the main factors in Google’s growth contributing $134 billion dollars to Google’s revenues in 2019 alone. Google ads are used by both big and small companies alike and have allowed many businesses to expand and reach customers they could never have reached through organic growth alone. 

For those  who don’t know Google ads is basically a Pay Per Click advertising platform using a bidding and ranking system to decide which ads are shown. So in other words the better your advert is and the more money you are willing to bid the higher in the search results you will appear, meaning you should acquire more customers, however this is not always the case.

In this article we will explain the 3 main dangers of Google Ads and what you can do to help reduce the dangers.

Danger Of Google Ads

  1. Clicks but no Sales or Calls

One of the main problems for small businesses when they first set up a Google ads campaign are clicks which fail to generate any sales or calls.

This can be due to a number of reasons such as;

  • Wrong choice of keywords – Keywords are the words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms that people are searching for. Selecting relevant and high quality keywords for your advertising campaign can help you reach the customers that you want, research into your chosen keywords is essential for a successful campaign.
  • Website is designed poorly – An aesthetically pleasing website is crucial in gaining the trust and confidence of customers and increasing your conversion rate.
  • Website loads too slow – Speed is another crucial aspect of your website for both SEO and PPC. Apparently 40% of customers will abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Having a fast loading website is crucial for a successful PPC campaign and will also help you in your SEO efforts. .
  1. Campaign not set up correctly

Google ads are very complicated giving you a lot of choice and customisation. The keywords alone have three different options and the types of campaigns now numbers 6. Google Ads can cost you a lot of money if you set up an incorrect campaign or the campaign is set up poorly.  If you are new to Google ads we recommend starting slowly with a small initial bid and small budget. Meaning if you set up the campaign incorrectly it will not cost you the earth.  We also recommend when you first decide to use Google Ads you conduct thorough research and maybe take some training or hire a professional company to set up and possibly  manage your ads.

  1. Malicious Attacks

This is something my business ITCC Locksmiths London have experienced first hand and one of the reasons for writing this article. Last year we came under server attack by some of our competitors we shall not name.

We received hundreds of cicks within hours costing us thousands of pounds. Google is supposed to be able to identify almost all malicious attacks and not charge you for the  malicious  clicks or at least refund you eventually, however this was not the case for us and many other companies we work with who were also attacked. Furthermore no matter how many times we called Google complaining and asking for action they outright refused and tried to blame us. After several weeks of complaining and building as much evidence as we could Google finally launched an investigation however to receive a refund took 3 months. Such malicious attacks can cripple small businesses. 

Over time we worked out a number of ways to help prevent and reduce the severity of these attacks. These are as follows

  1. Click Protection – There are a number of companies such as Clickcease and Click Guardian which help identify fraudulent activity on your site and block the IPs addresses thought to be fraudulent from clicking on your ads again. Another feature they have is to keep a record of all IP addresses entering your site. If you believe you are being attacked Google will ask you to provide these records. You can always get these records from your host but can sometimes be difficult to acquire. Click protection sites aid you in getting a refund from Google.  Click protection does work to an extent but it is not impenetrable.
  1. Restrict IPs in Google Ads – One thing we noticed was that the vast majority of our fraudulent clicks were coming from abroad. Yet we only targeted customers in and around London. So to overcome this we excluded every other country in the world. This didn’t actually work in reducing clicks but the reason we included it  in our list is because it helped us strengthen our argument to Google as we were still getting clicks from abroad even though the countries we were receiving clicks from were blocked. This was one of the reasons Google entertained our request for a thorough investigation.
  1. Implement A Spend Limit – One feature of Google Ads allows you to set a spend limit for the day. This will not prevent you from being a victim of fraudulent clicks but it will reduce the severity of such attacks by limiting the amount of money you can lose.   
  1. Make a Rule – One cool feature of Google Ads is called automated rules. Automated rules allows you to give commands to Google when a certain criteria has been met. For example you may want your Google Ads to reduce your bid per click when you have spent a certain amount of money, or you may want Google to send you an alert when your ads have been clicked on a certain amount of times. Automated rules can be very useful however they can be complicated and may require a professional PPC consultant to set up.
  1. Watch the Keywords – When we first come under attack and many times since we have noticed the attacks usually pick a small number of keywords to target. If you can see a disproportionate amount of clicks for a keyword it will probably be well worth just turning off that keyword to at least reduce the amount of clicks for the time being.

Google ads are complicated and do come with many risks but have enabled many small businesses to thrive reaching customers they could not have reached previously. If you are new to Google ads conducted through research there are many helpful guides and videos on youtube for example. You can also employ a professional PPC consultant to set up and manage your ads, they usually work on a percentage basis and will want between 5-15% of your monthly speed or budget but this can vary between companies. .

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