When discussing paid search with our clients a number of questions regularly come up about the value of paid search, and in particular, Google paid search. Many people are not sure that Google Ads work. We have attempted to answer the more common questions here.

Search Engine Use

The first question often asked of us is “Do my customers really use paid search when looking for a product or service”? Two pieces of data from a WebVisible survey answer that:

  • 86% of consumers use the Internet to find a local business
  • 72% of consumers prefer to find information on local merchants via search.

Now that we know people use Search to make buying decisions:

Why Google Ads Work

  • Google owns 71% of the search market. In other words, 29% of the Search market is split among dozens of search engines. That alone should explain “Why Google.” Some more things to consider…
  • Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network. (comScore)
  • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights)
  • Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand- and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media) And consumers exposed to retargeting display ads are 1046% more likely to search for a brand/website they previously visited! (comScore)


Another great fact to remember about Google, 97% of Google revenue comes from advertising. This underscores just how valuable Google Ads (formerly Adwords) is to the company. Google invests a tremendous amount of time and money into improving the Google Ads platform. New additions are rolled out regularly, whether in beta or as new components. It is far and away the most robust search engine available.

So, why not just invest in:


  •  89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. (Google Research)
  • For high commercial intent search queries, the top three ad spots take about 40% of the clicks on the page. (The War on Free Clicks – Wordstream) This stat increases every year as more searches take place on mobile and organic results get pushed down the page. (Hey, Google is in the business of selling ads)
  • 98% of searchers choose a business that is on page 1 of the results they get. (BrightLocal). This emphasizes the importance of ranking on the first page of Google. If you’re investing in SEO (which we highly recommend), then advertising is yet another way to get your business on the first page to ensure you are in front of 98% of your audience.

This leads to the most important question:

Do Google Ads work

When set up and managed correctly, then businesses can see strong return on investment from Google AdWords, as indicated by the following stats:

  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  • 72% of AdWords marketers plan to increase their PPC budgets (Search Engine Watch). This is a strong indication that those businesses were generating positive ROI, because if they were not, then they wouldn’t increase their budgets.
  • 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from Google Search. (Expandedramblings.com)
  • 70% of mobile searches result in action being taken within an hour. (Mediative Labs)


Like all advertising this is not a guarantee of success. Google Ads need to be properly constructed and managed. That requires time and expertise. But if you follow best practices and offer a good product or service Google Ads is a highly profitable way to advertise. Yes, Google Ads work!