I’ll get into that in a second, and at the end I’ll give you our recommendations for getting your ads on Google without wasting money.
Before we get into the details, let’s start by looking at the psychological game Google is trying to play with you if you don’t know what you’re doing.
You’re doing the right thing by signing up for a Google My Business account. You might even be following some best-practices in getting plenty of images uploaded, you’re posting regular updates, etc.
But then you notice an enticing offer in your admin area: Google offers you a $100 ad credit to get more traffic to your business.
It looks something like this:
That offer sounds really appealing to a local business at first – who doesn’t want to save a hundred bucks on their advertising?
Don’t fall for it, friend!
Google’s hoping that by now you’re trusting them enough to do whatever they tell you to. After all, they’ve created this fantastic free tool (Google My Business) to help you show up better in Google.
That part is awesome!
What’s not so awesome?
Well, when it comes to the ads they’re trying to get you to say yes to ($100 credit just to get started), they leave a LOT to be desired.
4 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Google My Business Ads
1. You don’t actually control anything.
Google has all of the control and gets to decide when they want to show your ads. They basically set you up with a really dumbed-down version of their otherwise powerful Google Ads platform, and make it nearly impossible for you to upgrade when you actually want control over your ads. Seems fishy, right?
2. I have never seen GMB Ads work.
Sure, it sounds nice to have ads running on Google, and I suggest you do if you’re in a competitive market. I’m even going to show you how to get your business on Google in a way that makes you money, but I’ll get to that at the end of the post. However, because of the shotgun approach to these ads, I have never actually seen them produce business for any of my clients over the years.
3. Google My Business Ads are designed to get you spending (wasting) money with Google.
It’s so nice of Google to make it as easy as possible to get you to give them money – and lots of it. They even give you an incentive with an ad credit (usually $100) to get started, literally banking on the fact that you will get hooked and keep spending.
4. You can get better results with more powerful Google products.
Nothing to add here – I’m going to get into this below!
How to Set Your Business Up For Success with Powerful Search Ads
1. Get Started with Google Search Ads.
If you’re going to spend money with Google, let’s make sure you’re actually using the right platform and are set up for success.
The main platform I’m talking about is Google Ads.
Now, this platform is definitely more complex, I’m not going to lie. In fact, I recommend having a professional set up your account for you (we’d actually love to help you set up Google Ads for the first time).
It is a very powerful tool that puts you fully in control of your marketing, instead of allowing Google to do as they please.
2. Connect Google Ads to Your Google My Business Account.
Once your Google Search Ads account is up and running, you can easily connect your Google My Business account.
Connecting your accounts lets you include location data directly within your ads.
That way, when someone does a search in – or about – your area, your ad expands to show the location data. Your ad can also show up in Google Maps.
Hooray for more control and added benefits!
3. Connect Google Ads to Google Analytics to get a complete picture of your advertising efforts.
Instead of running ads blindly, let’s make sure your Google Ads actually give you useful data. We do that by connecting all ads to Google Analytics.
This allows us to see what Ads traffic does when it hits the website so we can keep optimizing our website AND ads for the best return possible.
Avoid running Google My Business ads when you start an account. It’s a very limiting platform and you end up wasting money and causing yourself headaches quickly.
Instead, have someone set up a Google Ads account for you and tie it back to your GMB account. It’s a far more powerful and flexible way to run search ads when you need to show up in Google for specific keywords, and you can see what the traffic is doing once it gets back to your website.