Is Google adwords the cheapest start for startups?


So I heard through this site that when you are a start up and have a really tight budget for marketing but need leads try a small campaign with google adwords. Is this correct? If so can someone educate me on how to effectively and tightly manage my campaign so my cost doesn't get out of control...

Marketing Adwords Inbound

asked Jul 8 '10 at 06:35
484 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • You can stretch your dollars by bidding on less popular search terms – Scott 13 years ago

4 Answers


There's no reason not to try an AdWords campaign if you can find an almost-free coupon. (Google expects you to buy about $10 worth of advertising to open an account to use the coupon).

I assume you know the basics of AdWords. (If not the Dummies guide isn't bad).

Here are some things I've learned:

  • Set a max budget per day and a termination date for the campaign to avoid a nasty surprise when the coupon runs out.
  • Set a max cost per click (CPC) which is quite low. Don't get into a bidding war on keywords. Remember that only a small percentage of those clicking through will end up buying anything.
  • Advertise on niche keywords which indicate that someone is really looking for your product or service. Don't advertise on general keywords - you will get traffic, but not from people interested in buying your product.
  • I would be very careful with the "content network" (ads on other than search sites) as clicks on this network are more likely to be fraudulent. You can disable this, or set a lower maximum cost per click.
  • Avoid Google options to spend your entire daily ad budget by adjusting your bids: I can't see why any sane person would want to do this.
  • Keep an eye on Cost-per-click -> Cost-per-Sale. You can add code to a website to enable you to track the value of sales/leads on Adwords. You should set this to the approximate profit margin on the sale, not the value of the sale. Then if the value of the clicks on Google reports exceeds their cost, the keyword/ad is profitable. If you just have a gross revenue figure it isn't as easy to see when a keyword brings traffic but isn't profitable.
  • Use Google Analytics to track traffic. (Part of AdWords).
  • Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools (checks your website is spidered correctly) and the Google Website optimizer. These are both free.

Advertising copy and choice of keywords is the hard part. Put yourself in the position of someone who might be looking for what you supply. What keywords would you type to find a company like yours? Ask other people what they would use if they were looking for your products and services. What would make you actually click on an ad?

And keep an eye on that distinction between a click and a sale/lead.

(Apologies in advance for over-emphasizing this but I've seen people ignore this distinction and waste ridiculous amounts of money as a result.)

Suppose a sale/lead is worth $25.

If 1% of people who click through actually buy, then break-even for a click is $25/100 = $0.25. If you pay more than that for a click, you are creating a loss.

Or to look at things another way, if clicks cost $0.05 and 1% of visitors buy, then the cost per sale is $0.05 * 100 = $5.00.

Good luck!

answered Jul 10 '10 at 11:54
946 points
  • Google Coupons - many web hosting companies offer them when you sign up. – Mike 14 years ago


I am no expert with Adwords, but I would venture that there are several better ways to advertise for bootstrap startups than Adwords.

The best way to test is to search for a free coupon from Adwords. They are usually around $100 and you should be able to find the code via a Twitter search.

You will probably go through the $$ rather quickly, but hopefully you will learn how to be more efficient with it!

Good luck!

answered Jul 8 '10 at 07:42
Jeff Epstein
1,532 points
  • Would you mind sharing a few ideas for better web advertising? I know my customer goes to the web to find providers. – Stacey 14 years ago


What type of business and/or product are you trying to advertise? There is lots of material already out on the web about utilizing Google Adwords. Be sure to watch your per click limit or daily/weekly/monthly budget. One of the big keys is identifying the right keywords via one of the many keyword tools available on the web (including Google's).

answered Jul 10 '10 at 01:02
172 points


Adwords can drain the budget if not monitored carefully. To be on the safe side, start with a low budget but high cost per click. You will get low number of visitors. In the meanwhile keep building content on your website. The more relevant you get more cheaper the bidding price becomes.

answered Feb 8 '11 at 07:24
420 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Marketing Adwords Inbound