October 21, 2011

Google AdWords failing SMEs

by Jan Harris

Less than a fifth of SMEs manage to generate enough online sales through Google AdWords to cover the cost of the service, according to a recent survey of 500 small UK businesses by YouGov.

John Cheney, the CEO of Workbooks.com which published the results of the survey, said: “One company found that for every £1 they spent on Google AdWords they generated a mere 18 pence in sales”.

When setting up their account AdWords users select a number of key words related to their business.

When an Internet user carries out a Google search containing one of these key words, the business’s ad is displayed along with the search results.

The advantage of the service is that ads are only displayed to people with an interest in the business and the company is only charged when someone clicks on the ad.

Google claims that it is easy for businesses to track how well an ad is performing through reports available in their account.

However Mr Cheney said: “SMEs feel they need to be ‘seen’ on Google, but they just don’t have the tools to measure the effectiveness of their investment”.

In related news, Google today confirmed that it is upgrading its Gmail service with a new interface designed to be cleaner, simpler, and more intuitive than the old one.

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