Marketing is a major part of growing any business. You work hard to get referrals. You get your name out there as often as you can. But digital marketing is complex, ever-changing world. And when everyone has an opinion on what works, and what doesn't, it's easy to find yourself asking a question like "Is AdWords Worth it for Contractors?"
This question of being worth it is one that comes with a two-sided answer. First of all, it’s just like anything else. It could go either way, but whether good or bad dependent on your approach. Second of all, the amount of effort put into your campaigns determines the wealth of your results.
A few thoughts
66% of Americans own at least two digital devices -- smartphone, desktop or laptop computer, or tablet -- and 36% own all three.(Pew Research Center)
64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online.(WordStream)
When it comes to paid social media ads, the overwhelming majority use Facebook ads (84%), followed by Google ads (41%) and LinkedIn ads (18%).(Social Media Examiner)
As you can see, there's a lot of opportunity for you in the digital world – and your competitors are probably already thinking about this. While in general AdWords can be very worthwhile, the only way you’ll find out if AdWords is worth it for contractors like you is to give it a try. The future of this industry is bright, and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising could take your company to new heights.
Paid search listings for contractors
There are two top choices for paid search advertising.
Google AdWordsGoogle reaches just about everyone you can imagine. Especially after becoming the leading search engine, with a large presence of millennials that use it on a daily basis. The demographics targeting, algorithm, and reach are some of its strongest features. If you want paid search where most people are searching, then Google is where you’ll need to be.
Bing SearchBing is right behind Google in terms of reach. You’ll find that this is the search engine of choice among the mature crowd as well as baby boomers. If these are the types of people you need to reach, Bing brings the audience right to your doorstep. It’s also a decent Google AdWords alternative, as its technology doesn’t lack much to be honest.
The Cost of Doing Paid Search Yourself
Taking on PPC campaigns yourself might seem like it will save you money. The reality is, there's a lot to learn, and learning can cost you if you don't figure it all out quickly. Here's what it takes to learn paid search on your own.
Time to learn the ropes
Mastering PPC takes time and energy, partly because it's a complex advertising platform. It also runs in real-time and can cost you a lot of money rather quickly if you're not careful. This is why you need to take time to learn paid search (or AdWords if it's your main target). Check out the Academy article on learning local search marketing to grow your business.
Expect your education to cost you, but don't let it get out of hand
Keep your eye on your ad spend numerous times while your campaign is live to minimize losses. Especially when it comes to an ad method that charges based upon performance or actions taken by the end-user. Unless you pause your campaign, the chances of your ad expense racking up higher is just about guaranteed.
Headaches are normal when learning the system
Stress, roadblocks, and thoughts of being defeated are all things known to happen to contractors before making it through the learning curve of paid search. These are meant to test your strength, dedication, and abilities. Stick with it and the outcome that presents itself very well could be greater than you thought it would be.
Don't plan on "set it and forget it"
Everyone is looking for the easy button, but unless you're the office supply retailer, you won't find it with search marketing. All too often you see that a so-called new breakthrough will do all of the hard work for you. Or it will bring you boatloads of money. It's time to give up on this thought, as it's only a dream. You have to stay on top of your ad campaigns to find the winners and cut your losses when necessary.
You might not get the best costs
Larger accounts have the advantage of more data when it comes to AdWords. If you're only spending a few dollars a day, it's hard to say what's an anomaly and what's a meaningful change. When you have big budgets running through the platform, it's easier to test and measure your results. And without some of the tools that exist for bigger spenders, you won't have the kind of advanced targeting and optimization that the bigger agencies and brands do.
Hiring Someone to Run It for You
You could hire an ad agency, go the budget route, or manage a freelance PPC specialist. Here’s a look at what each option offers, so you can see the value of each option.
The Agency Route
Working with an agency comes with a price tag, usually an amount based upon a percentage of your ad spend. While the percentage sounds like a great deal, there are usually minimums. If you're only spending $1000 a month, your fees might equal or exceed your ad budget. You can find cheap options, but these don't usually deliver the highest level of results possible. Expect to spend a good amount to get good results.
The Budget Route
Going the budget route has some risks. Some of the leaders of paid search management do offer good onboarding specials. Just do your homework and go with your gut to prevent a mistake from happening. If you keep PPC in-house, just know that unless you have an experienced search marketer on your team, results can be hard to predict.
The Freelancer Route
This sounds like a great option, but it can take a lot to manage a freelancer. If you don't know what it takes to effectively manage freelancers in an efficient manner, you could be in for quite the surprise. Especially if you take on a newer freelancer that requires a lot of direction. However, if you can create a system of processes for the freelancer to rely on, this could be a great option.
In the end, is AdWords worth it for contractors?
From PPC to retargeting, and from QuickBooks to FieldPulse, automation has definitely made its mark on the world as we know it. AdWords, and the other PPC platforms like Bing Ads, can offer you a great opportunity to promote your business to local buyers. But it doesn't come without its risks. It's easy to spend money with little to show for it, so it's important to learn the skills you'll need before diving in.While there's a lot of negative news about automation and how it costs people their jobs, you can use it to your advantage. Show the world that your company is different and willing to take advantage of the latest technology. Regardless of your results with PPC, your fans will continue to remain loyal to the brand you worked hard to build. And if you learn the ins and outs, find great opportunities, and outperform your competition, this could be the right way to grow you business.Don’t miss out on our Adwords Guide for deeper knowledge!
Upgrade your trade with everything you need in one place.