Google Ads Targeting: Potential Customers or Dead Leads?

Is Google Ads worth your effort and budget? Let’s jump into the pros and cons of its targeting, and whether you’re likely to find golden leads or waste your time. 
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Google Ads uses a variety of targeting options, such as keywords, demographics, interests, and behaviors, to ensure that your ads are seen by the right people. While this can be a powerful tool for reaching potential customers, it can also result in a lot of wasted ad spend on dead (invalid) leads. 

Pros of Google Ads Targeting

Firstly, let’s look at some of the benefits that attract millions of advertisers to the platform.

1. Reach a highly-targeted audience

By using a variety of targeting options, businesses can make sure their ads are only shown to people who are interested in their products or services. This means that businesses can spend their advertising budget more effectively, as they're only paying for clicks from people who are likely to convert into customers.

2. Increased visibility

Another benefit of Google Ads targeting is increased visibility. By displaying your ads to a targeted audience, you have a higher chance of reaching people who are actively searching for products or services like yours. This can result in a higher click-through rate and increased conversions compared to traditional advertising methods.

3. Cost-effective

Google Ads is also a cost-effective advertising solution. You only pay for clicks on your ads, so you're not spending money on impressions that don't result in a conversion. This allows you to get more bang for your buck, as you're only paying for results.

4. Real-time results

With Google Ads, you can see real-time results on the performance of your ads. This allows you to make adjustments to your campaigns in real-time to optimize your results and improve your ROI.

Cons of Google Ads Targeting

As with everything, there are drawbacks. Here’s what to be careful of when using Google Ads:

1. High competition

Another drawback of Google Ads is the high level of competition. With so many businesses vying for the same audience, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. This can result in higher advertising costs and lower conversions, which can be a major challenge for businesses with limited advertising budgets.

2. Limited targeting options

While Google Ads does offer a variety of targeting options, it can still be difficult to reach the right audience. For example, you may be targeting a specific demographic, but your ads may still be seen by people who are not interested in your products or services. This can result in a lot of wasted ad spend and lower conversions.

3. Ad fatigue

Another drawback of Google Ads is the risk of ad fatigue. With so many ads being displayed to users, it can be difficult to grab their attention and keep them engaged. This can result in lower click-through rates and fewer conversions, which can impact your ROI.

4. Dead leads

Finally, one of the biggest drawbacks of Google Ads targeting is the risk of attracting dead leads. These are people who click on your ads but have no intention of making a purchase. This can be a result of poor targeting, inaccurate ad copy, or simply a lack of interest in your products or services. Dead leads can result in wasted ad spend and lower conversions, which can negatively impact your ROI.

How to Avoid Dead Leads

So how exactly do you avoid dead leads in Google Ads? It can be a frustrating and costly issue, but there are several strategies that you can use to minimize the occurrence of this problem.

To start, research and use targeted keywords that are relevant to your target audience and the products or services you offer. This will help you reach the right people with your ads and minimize the number of dead leads.

Your ad copy is also an important factor in avoiding dead leads. Write ad copy that accurately represents your product or service and clearly states the benefits of doing business with you. This will help attract qualified leads and minimize the number of dead leads.

Furthermore, we recently gathered Top Performance Marketing Tips From Lead Digital Marketers and as part of that research, Aditya Vyas, the Senior Performance Marketing Specialist at, shared this advice:

“If you’re launching a new campaign, begin with fewer keywords and ensure each keyword is targeting one specific ad group with a customized bid for each and every match type. For example, if you’re targeting an exact match keyword, you can have a higher bid range than your average CPC.

“Once you accumulate conversion history, you can pivot and move to automated bidding strategies as they still allow you to set maximum CPC bids at ad group and keyword level, but will allow you to focus on reducing your average CPC.

“It’s also important to consistently review your keywords and exclude any that could see you appearing for irrelevant searches. With all the updates Google brings in, keeping your performance engine clean and healthy by utilizing your negative keyword list and monitoring what triggers your keywords will improve your relevancy in the SERPs.”

How to Guarantee Results on Google Ads

While there are no sure-fire ways to guarantee high-quality leads via Google Ads, by monitoring your campaigns regularly, using dedicated landing pages for each customer persona, and making use of ad extensions, you will certainly attract more qualified leads. 

Furthermore, one thing many marketers miss is protecting their campaigns from fraudulent leads. Without an ad fraud solution monitoring their ads, advertisers are highly vulnerable to invalid clicks. In fact, ad fraud losses hit $81 billion in 2022 alone, so it’s worth investing your time looking at what levels of invalid activity your campaigns are seeing. Try a 14-day trial of Spider AF for free. 

So, weigh up the pros and cons of Google Ads in relation to your business needs, avoid the common traps that produce dead leads, and see how running Google Ads can boost your business. 

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