Essentially no substitute for Search Engine Marketing
April 14, 2021

Essentially no substitute for Search Engine Marketing

Scott Walker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Google Ads (formerly AdWords)

We use Google [Ads (formerly AdWords)] on behalf of our clients for a variety of different success metrics. Many of our campaigns are focused on conversions: purchases, calls, or bookings for services. Though measuring these conversions can be a bit tricky (as with any system), Google Ads is probably the easiest to measure the actual performance. Additionally, Google Ads uses machine learning to ensure that you are optimizing your ads and placement for maximum conversions for the ad spend. Other campaigns focus on win-back and remarketing, overall web traffic, and brand recognition (awareness) campaigns. Something new we've started doing for certain clients is using the Local Services Ads (Google Guarantee). These have been tremendously helpful and are one of my new favorite tools for certain industries.
  • Automatic Ad Creation
  • Machine Learning-based refinement
  • Keyword Research
  • Performance Planning
  • Display Advertising
  • Search Advertising
  • Search Term refinement
  • Reporting is powerful but clunky
  • Budget Management leaves a lot to be desired (no monthly maximum spend option)
  • Recommendations are almost always trying to increase budget
  • Quarterly Google Ads techs are often less experienced than average user
  • Appeal Process is very vague and doesn't allow for explanations
  • Massive Search Inventory
  • Powerful Keyword Tools
  • Powerful Audience and Bidding Tools
  • Helpful Access to many machine learning tools
  • Mostly positive: Higher web traffic, increased conversions, more brand visibility
  • Negative: Hard conversations with clients about how ads work, lost time spent due to unclear policies and disapprovals
Google Ads [(formerly AdWords)] is the king of search engine marketing. Though Bing (Microsoft Advertising) and Yahoo (Oath/Verizon) offer some competitive pricing and placements, there's no substitute for the sheer number of people you can reach with Google Ads. Because of the massive adoption of Google and the toolbox of powerful tools available through Google Ads, its very difficult to choose something over Google Ads. The only exception may be Amazon or Facebook ads, as they have a similar amount of reach and ad inventory available, but neither of them are necessarily in the Search Engine Marketing field.

Do you think Google Ads delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Google Ads's feature set?


Did Google Ads live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Google Ads go as expected?


Would you buy Google Ads again?


Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads), Verizon Media Ad Platform, formerly Oath (Brightroll, One by AOL, Yahoo Gemini), Yahoo Gemini! (Verizon Media Native), formerly Yahoo! Advertising, Facebook for Business
There's no mystery here: when it comes to Search Engine Marketing, Google reigns supreme. Though you can still get decent performance from Yahoo and Bing, if you want to reach most searchers, you need to use Google Ads [(formerly AdWords)]. And, with the power and polish in Google Ads, there's rarely any reason to use a third-party ad purchasing platform. Display Advertising may be better with an different platform, but Google still has some of the best display placements and prices available.

I used to think local services (think plumbers, repair shops, etc) weren't very well suited for Google Ads [(formerly AdWords)], but recently their local inventory options and their new Local Services Ads have really made Google a powerhouse for local businesses.

There are certain business types that might find Google Ads [(formerly AdWords)] difficult to use. Google has an extensive yet confusing list of products and services it won't allow you to advertise, such as weapons, fireworks, pharmaceuticals, gambling, etc. And these categories and policies will often prevent similar or related (though not disallowed) industries to get blocked as well. So, for industries even tangentially related to risky industries, you may find Google Ads to frustrating to deal with.