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Google Ads for Tradies

Understanding Google Ads for tradies

A client of mine actually just emailed me asking me, “why I don’t like Google Ads?”

I wrote a decent replay in the email and thought I’d repurpose it as a blog to, first of all, let others see it, but secondly to set an example of how we come across content ideas daily, but neglect to capitalise on them.

Here’s a video summary I recorded that you can watch also.

Here’s the email

Don’t get me wrong [FNAME}, Google Ads for tradies have a place, but it’s tough because it’s expensive and competitive.

The cool thing about Google Ads is it can be reverse engineered to a degree. For example, if you need 10 jobs a week and your keywords are costing you (on average) $30/click, 10 x 30 = $300

If you’re converting say, 1 in 10 clicks, it means each job is costing you $300. If you need 10 of them a week, you need to be spending $3,000/week. If you need 10 a day…..then do the math.

Of course, the goal is to ‘increase conversion’, meaning you’re bringing 1 in 10, down to 1 in 5. I’m using round numbers to paint a picture.

So when people come to me and say, “I want to run Google Ads and I’m in Melbourne, Sydney, Brissy, etc”. The things I’d ask them are the following.

What is the average lifetime value of your customer?
How many jobs do you need?
What area do you want to target?
From that, I can more or less tell them what they need to be spending to achieve those goals. Is that an exact science? Of course not, but it’s an excellent exercise to do to help people understand budget parameters. Chances are, in 90% of the cases, they’re not spending enough on ‘ad-spend’ which means they click out before 9 am.

Lifetime value is critical because in some cases (such as the example above) paying Google $300 for a single job might lose you money. We call that a ‘loss-leader’. However, if the lifetime value of your customer is $2,200, it’s not such a bad investment. This essentially means you need to have a good process around getting back in front of them.

Variables that may result in spending less include:

Big cities are more competitive, therefore more expensive.

The Niche/vertical
Niches are typically less expensive because they’re usually ‘longer-tail’ keywords and they’re not as competitive, for example. ‘Mosman Bathroom Renovations’ is less competitive than ‘Mosman Builder’, which is less competitive than, ‘Sydney Builder’, which is less competitive than ‘Builder’. See the image below from an old presentation of mine.

Keyword chart - Understanding Google Ads for tradies


Is there enough budget available to make this campaign a success. If not, take your family out to dinner. You’ll get better value.

So where Google Ads certainly has its place, people must understand the dynamics, especially when it comes to ad-spend. If you don’t have enough budget, you’ll waste your money. Likewise, if you don’t have a converting landing page for your campaigns, you’ll be wasting money again.

Hopefully, that helps you readers gain a better insight into the thought process of how you should approach a Google Ads campaign.

I love Google Ads for the right campaign, however, it’s our experience that a well-structured SEO program, like the one we offer, will outperform a low budget Google Ads campaign every day. And SEO is there for good. It won’t disappear after your budget expires.

That said, they can and do work wonderfully together when done correctly, so best to have a chat with us to see what’s going to best suit you and your business.

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