Google Ads – Your Questions Answered

In this blog we are going to have a look at some of the most common questions around Google Ads that we often get from clients.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) online advertising platform developed by Google. Advertisers bid to display brief advertisements, service offerings, product listings, or videos to web users.

As much as some may think, Google is not a free service. Google essentially sells potential customers to businesses. They do this by bidding off positions on the search results page. How this works is when a user Googles something that includes a keyword that a business has bid for, it will show that businesses ad on the results page. This will appear as one of the first three results, and sometimes one of the last three results on the page. And if a user clicks on that ad, the business will pay for that click.

For example, let’s say you owned a hairdressing salon in Port Elizabeth, and you wanted to create an ad to attract people to your website. You would set up an ad that tells Google to show your ad every time someone searches “Hairdresser Port Elizabeth” and you are willing to pay R10 per click for that ad to send them to your website. Google will then show your ad and every time your ad is clicked that R10 will come straight off your credit card, and that’s Google’s pay-per-click revenue model in a nutshell.

What are the different types of Google Ads?

There are three basic types of Google Ads:

(1) Search Network Campaigns – These are the ads that show up on the actual Google search results page. They are usually text-form ads that show up when someone searches for a product or service that is similar to yours. This is the most commonly used ad campaign.

(2) Display Network Campaigns – Some businesses sell space on their websites/apps where your ads can appear. These are usually image-form ads that appear on the website/app depending on the interest those users have shown on that website/app.

For example, if you’re on Gumtree, you’ll see ads appearing at the top or along the sides of the page that are strangely relevant to you. That is not by accident. That’s a Display Network Campaign and those ads are shown based on what your search history on the website/app has been.

(3) Video Campaigns – YouTube is owned by Google; it is one of Google’s subsidiaries. So those ads that you see on YouTube are actually coming from a Google ad campaign. These are usually 6 or 15 second videos that show right before or during the YouTube content.

How much should you spend on Google Ads?

A common question we get is “how much should I spend on Google Ads?” The simple answer to this question is it depends on your budget. Google Ads can work with almost any budget. There is no minimum spend requirement, and no required contract length which means you can stop your ads at any time.

With your budget you need to consider two key elements. What is your ad budget (daily spend) and what is your ad management budget? Let’s have a look at what can affect these two.

(1) What is your ad budget?

When deciding on an ad budget we like to look at a daily budget with our clients. To get to this figure, they need to know how much they are willing to pay per click and how many of those clicks they are willing to do per day. This will give us their daily budget. For example, you are willing to spend up to R10 per click on a maximum of 10 clicks per day. This will give a daily budget of R100 per day.

How much is the average Cost Per Click? 

The average Cost Per Click (CPC) can range anywhere from R10 per click up to R200 per click. The CPC is dependent on the industry type and the bidding model. For example, if you have a keyword that is very in demand such as “household insurance” it would have a much higher CPC compared to a keyword in a more niche market.

Fortunately, with CPC you only pay for an ad if someone clicks on it. If the ad appears in the results and they click on it, the money is deducted from your credit card, however if they don’t click on it that is called an impression. That’s where some other advertising models come into play. These include Cost Per Impression, where you pay based on how many times your ad was shown (not clicked) and Cost Per Engagement, where you pay when a user completes a predefined engagement (like watching your video ad).

(2) What is your ad management budget?

There are two options for managing your Google Ads. You can do it yourself, or you can outsource it to an expert.

Managing your own Google Ads

Anyone can run their own Google Ads. If you’ve got enough time on your hands and you’re not spending huge budgets, go for it give it a try. There’s plenty of information available to upskill yourself. However, if you’re not naturally tech savvy or skilled enough, and you can’t fully invest time each day to monitor and manage your ads, then we wouldn’t recommend it. It would be better to invest in a Google specialist such as Innova to manage your ads for you.

Outsourcing the management of your Google Ads

If you decide that managing your Google Ads is not for you, and you would rather have a professional do it, then your first question is probably about the cost of outsourcing it.

What should you be paying for someone to manage your Google Ads for you?

The cost of outsourcing is dependent on the size of the business and your budget. To put it into perspective, we have some bigger clients that have an ad budget of close to R100 000. They require a lot more work from our side to continuously monitor the ads. We spend between half an hour to an hour each day monitoring the ads to ensure there are optimized and the budget is not getting wasted. And this is how the management fee starts to add up very quickly.

Our management starts at R3000 and can go up to R10,000 or more. Alternatively, we consult on an hourly basis. It all depends on your business in terms of what your objective with Google Ads is and what your budget can accommodate.

Ad goals & bidding strategies

Google Ads offers several bid strategies. The strategy you choose will depending on the type of campaign you use and what your goal is. Google Ads allows you to choose specific goals for your ads. Your goal will depend on whether you want to focus on getting clicks, impressions, conversions, or views.

For example, if you are using CPC bidding your goal would be getting clicks and you would focus on either driving phone calls or website visits. The most popular is website traffic. Google will send reports on these stats for you to monitor. So, you can see for example how many users clicked on the call button. However, this is not a very accurate measure as some users won’t click the call button but rather enter the number into their phone instead.

How many keywords should you bid on?

Again, it depends on what your budget is. How it works is you run ad sets or campaigns.

For an example, let’s say you owned a hairdressing salon in Port Elizabeth, one of your campaigns would be around people looking for hairdresser Port Elizabeth. You’ll then create a variation of keywords around that and set a budget for the specific campaign. Another campaign could be around bridal hair, and another on ghd’s because you also sell those. The more campaigns you create, the more expensive it will be. This is because each campaign stands on its own and needs its own budget as well. This is why you shouldn’t create too many campaigns trying to cover all your different offerings because it will spread your budget very thin.

Should you bid on your own company name?

We don’t recommend this. What we advise is that you add your company name as a negative keyword. A negative keyword is a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.

Essentially if someone is searching for your business name you wouldn’t want your ad to be shown. Most of the time if they are searching your business name, they want information such as your number or website link. This information will pop up in the organic search results or in the Google My Business section. If you don’t set your name as a negative keyword, a user who could even be an existing customer or client will click the ad to call and you will end up paying for the unnecessary click.

For example, we actually had a client who we recently took over and we found that unfortunately, they were spending up to R50,000 a month on clicks that were just their own customers searching for their company name and clicking the ad.


What professions should be using Google Ads?

As with anything, before deciding if Google Ads are worth it for your business, you need to do an audit on the business and industry. This is what we always do with our clients before starting them on Google Ads. Some examples of industries or professionals we have audited and whether they should use Google Ads include:

Hairdressers – Yes. Just like the examples we mentioned above, it works well for them.

Plumbers – Yes. Google Ads is a great way for plumbers to get leads.

Financial advisors – No. as a local business in this industry, you would be bidding against the big financial institutions that have got huge budgets. You would not be able to compete with them. Even if you do put quite a bit of money behind it, the budget wouldn’t get used because they would outbid you every time.

Coffee shops – No, not necessarily. Something like Facebook would be a better way to go for this industry.

Real estate agents – No. Again, you are bidding against big companies like Property 24 and other big national franchises.

Local Hardware stores – Yes and No. This would be and industry that is debatable. Which is why we always do an audit first.


Google Ads is a great product. We, as a business, have generated a lot of good leads out of it. If you’re interested in getting your business started with Google Ads, or you would like to find out if Google Ads is a good option for your business, then come chat to us.