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You’re spending too much money on Google and here’s why

April 21, 2021 -  By
(Photo: abluecup / iStock / Getty Images /Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: abluecup / iStock / Getty Images /Getty Images Plus)

Your landscaping peers will tell you Google Ads is too expensive and a waste of money. At the same time, digital marketing agencies will say you need to spend thousands of dollars each month if you want to see results. Neither is true.

Google does an excellent job of getting people to believe its propaganda. It does this because it’s easier than explaining how its advertising system works. Want better results? “Spend more money!” is what its commission-based sales reps preach, but there are two important parts of Google Ads they won’t take the time to share with you, and I think you deserve to know.

More clicks cost more money

Let’s imagine your business serves 20 zip codes. You want to advertise 100 yard signs in each zip code. The yard signs are a dollar each, so that’s $100 for each zip code. With 20 zip codes, well, you can do the math.

But wait — now imagine that, for every 100 yard signs you make, the cost of the next 100 yard signs goes up. Those next 100 are $3 apiece. The next hundred after that, those will be $10 each. If you want 2,000 yard signs, the last 100 yard signs might cost you $100 a pop.

This is how Google Ads works. If you want more clicks to your website, not only do you need to spend more money, but the clicks get more expensive too. You need to ask yourself, “Is the cost of these extra clicks worth it, or would my business be better off spending less?”

Will more clicks get you more jobs? Not necessarily, and you might end up paying more for the clicks than what the job is even worth.

Occasionally, our agency will get a business owner obsessed with showing up on Google all the time. We tell them it’s impossible to predict and never worth it, but they don’t care. After blowing thousands of dollars with no additional jobs to show for it, they accept it isn’t worth it, but by then, it’s already too late.

Good ads can stretch a budget

Google Ads run like an auction. When someone searches for something, advertisers compete against each other to show ads to that person.

If Google Ads worked like a traditional auction, you would expect the advertiser with the highest bid to show right at the top of Google, then the second-highest bidder right underneath them and so on. The problem with this idea is whoever has the biggest advertising budget would always win. The smaller landscaping businesses wouldn’t stand a chance.

Fortunately, Google Ads doesn’t work like this. If you or the advertising agency you partner with are good at running ads, you’ll pay less for them. The click your competitor paid $8 for might only cost you $2. That means their $1,000 advertising budget could only cost you $250. As a result, it’s actually in the advertising agency’s best interest to run mediocre ads for your business. If they do too good of a job, you’ll spend less money with them.

Most digital marketing agencies don’t do a bad job on purpose. They just don’t know any better. Like hardscapes, getting good takes time and experience. Your last outdoor kitchen was better than your first. You do your best with the information you have. For digital marketing, that means spending more money until they learn how to do more with less.

Don’t believe everything you hear

Google is a business. The recommendations it makes and the information its partners repeat prioritize their bottom lines first, then yours second. If they say spending more money will help your business and enough people repeat it, it starts to get accepted as fact.

The truth is, Google Ads doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you believe simply throwing more money at it will get you more leads, then it will be. If you ignore the propaganda and only pay attention to the numbers, you’ll find it’s possible to get the same number of leads while spending less.

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