AdWords Too Complicated For Many Businesses?

The comments in this blog post hit on a truth.

The problem with AdWords is that it’s not a simple enough solution for most small businesses. John, you’ve experienced AdWords as a user. It’s constantly changing and the interface is geared more for technical people. Are most small business owners going to understand what to do when their keywords are marked inactive for search?

I find when I talk to clients, that statement rings true. Adwords, and other PPC offerings, are far too complicated for the average website owner. The PPC systems change a lot, the rules seem arbitrary, and there is a learning curve which is getting steeper by the day.

That’s great for the search marketing industry, of course. When something is hard to do, or time consuming, people will pay us to do it for them. We see a lot of statistics on spend, but a lot fewer statistics on take-up rates for new accounts.

Perhaps that’s why Google introduced an Adwords starter edition back in March. And perhaps why they are looking for more integration into products such as Quickbooks. Are more people getting into PPC and staying, or is there a high attrition rate?

Anyone know of take-up rates on new PPC accounts?

  1. dburdondburdon09-15-2006


    I couldn’t agree more. I’d say that most “direct” accounts I’ve looked at are making huge errors.

    Their buying the wrong keywords. Using the wrong copy. And failing to understand the value of a high click through rate.

    My own estimates is that a typical direct account is wasting 50-75% of their Adwords budget.

  2. MrMeanMrMean09-15-2006

    I agree with the above, Adwords is gradually becoming more difficult to use. I do think this is why Google introduced there certification.

  3. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo09-18-2006

    Indeed. It is easy to set up an account then accept all the defaults. It is also easy to blow through a lot of cash that way.

    If this setup is deliberate, then I think it is an example of short-term thinking. If advertisers don’t get a return, and it is difficult to work the system, then they’ll simply abandon it.

    Or hire an SEM….

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