What we’ve learnt from spending £50,000 on Google Ads

What we’ve learnt from spending £50,000 on Google Ads

What we’ve learnt from spending £50,000 on Google Ads

I’m guessing you are reading this because you have either invested in Google Ads or because your thinking about investing in Google Ads to drum up more business.

Now, I’m also going to hazard a guess that you have heard that Google Ads is expensive, complicate and a great way to lose money?

You’re not alone. I know many marquee companies, including our own who have lost thousands of pounds to Google Ads. In fact, there is a famous quote from Neil Patel (a Googel Ads God) who said: “Unfortunately, one of my most consistent observations has been that AdWords is a great way to lose a lot of money.” He said this after auditing 2000 companies on their Google Ads account.

“Unfortunately, one of my most consistent observations has been that Google Ads is a great way to lose a lot of money.”
Neil Patel (Google Ads God).

So why did Marquee Bookings choose to spend £50,000 on Google Ads?

The short answer? We didn’t have a choice.

Jan – Oct 2019 Ad Spend.

We had to invest in Google Ads, and it needed to work for us! Luckily, it did!

As a completely new website, we had zero SEO clout with Google. The long and short of that means… We were page 10 on Google (a place which no one has ever visited).

We had over 200 companies on our system and 600+ individual marquees, but zero traffic, zero leads and zero customers. This is a problem for a nationwide marquee hire booking website.

On top of this, SEO is getting harder and harder and Google is making it harder as they want you to pay for clicks (over 85% of the first page is now Google Ads). As a nationwide company, we don’t just need good SEO scores in one area of the country, we need it in all areas of the country, and we needed it now.

To summarise, we had no choice but to invest in Google Ads.

Let’s start with the good news.

Google Ads has enabled us to generate over £1m in sales for Suppliers on Marquee Bookings

  • Over £1m in sales for suppliers
  • Over £38k in additional revenue for the top supplier
  • £31,042 for the top 10% of suppliers
  • £19,525 for the top 30%
  • £9275 was the average additional revenue for suppliers
  • 3.2 was the average additional bookings for suppliers

All in all, Google Ads has worked for us at Marquee Tech, here is why:

Google Ads is instant

From the moment you hit go with Google Ads, the effects are instant. Traffic on your website, leads coming through and most importantly sales.

Google Ads is easy to measure.

I can open the Google Ads app an within seconds workout how well our campaigns are performing. No other marketing channel can offer this level of detail when it comes to measuring results.

Google Ads is easy to scale.

Because you choose how much you want to invest in Google Ads, you can start off slowly, fine-tune your campaigns and scale as your revenue grows.

Google Ads lets you target keywords that are usually out of reach.

This was especially true for us, as we could now target keywords like “marquee hire devon”, “tipi hire in Kent”, “yurt hire wales” and generate business of those keywords.

The fundamental reason (number #1 rule) as to why Google Ads works?

Google Ads, over any other form of advertising, targets individuals who, at that very moment in time are 100% interest in marquee hire.

The individual is searching Google for answers about marquee hire. The individual is asking Google questions. Questions like, “How much does a marquee cost?”, “What marquee should I book?”, “What size marquee do I need?”. What Google is trying to do is find the best paying company who can answer these questions to the individual.

When the individual makes an enquiry with Marquee Bookings, we use our website, phone calls and emails to answer all of these questions for her.

But more importantly, at that moment of time the individual is 100% focused on the marquee hire. The longer it takes for someone to answer these questions the less she becomes interested in marquee hire. This is has been proven by many studies, if your interested in difference in revenue from taking 5 minutes to respond to a lead, compared to 24 hours, read this Increase your revenue by £40k.

What we have learnt from Google Ads

Number 1.

Tracking, measuring, tracking, measuring, tracking, measuring ...

You need to have tracking between Your Website, Google Ads and Google Analytics set up properly.

Skill level required.

Low. If you can log in to WordPress to change photos you should be able to do this. If not, any low-cost web developer will be able to do this for you at a minimal price.

What to track?

Keep it simple to start with. We suggest tracking:

The Traffic to Enquiry Conversion

The amount of traffic that makes an enquiry as a %.

The Enquiry to Sales Conversion %

the number of enquiries that pay and become customers as a %.

Why are these metrics important? At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the maths as to why just a 1% increase in either Traffic: Lead or Lead to Sales can increase your revenue by Tens of Thousands of Pounds.

Just a 1% increase in either Traffic: Lead or Lead to Sales can increase your revenue by Tens of Thousands of Pounds.

Number 2.

Poor landing page design = recipe for failure

Landing pages need to be tailored for the keyword you are targeting. In the example below, what can you see wrong with the landing page?

Did you spot the one fatal mistake? Yep, what is a photo of a clear span doing on this landing page?

Did you know over 52% of Google Ads accounts point their traffic to there homepage. Getting clicks, even the right sort of clicks to your site is not enough to make the campaigns effective. Research from Stanford Business University has shown that a poor initial website experience can eliminate up to 75% of your potential sales.

If you are not thinking about how to convert clicks into leads or sales, you’re just giving your money to Google.

Number 3.

Be prepared to loose money (especially at the start) and why!

When you start a Google Ads campaign you are essentially starting on a blank slate. You have no data, nothing to back up your ideas and no track record of what works and what doesn’t work.

This means the chances of your initial campaigns running successfully are pretty slim. You need to spend money to generate traffic to your site, then you need to have your tracking set up to correctly measure what campaigns, keywords, ad copy and landing pages are driving leads and sales.

But when you have the data and have fine-tuned the system to work for you, you can increase the spend on the campaign, bring in more leads and more sales (on a system that is proven to work, with the numbers to back it up).

Number 4.

Call To Action


This corresponds with landing page design, but I thought it needed its own section due to its importance.

You need to have ample Call To Actions (CTA’s) across your landing pages, like in the example below.

CTAs tell the individual on your website – what to do – i.e. contact you!

The maths we use to justify a Google Ads Campaign.

Download this spreadsheet in Excel format

So how does this spreadsheet work?


A/ This is the figure you are willing to spend each month on Google Ads.

B/ The cost a single click to your website will cost you. Google Ads will tell you the Cost Per Click (CPC) before you start a campaign.

C/ This is the estimated traffic to your site. It is calculated by dividing the Monthly Advertising Budget by the CPC.

D/ The Traffic: Lead % is the percentage of traffic that will be converted into leads i.e. will make an enquiry with your company. The % could be higher or lower than 4%, the higher the better. This metric is extremely important for justifying the expenditure on a Google Ads campaign as you will see further down this article.

E/ Total Leads is calculated by multiplying the Estimated Traffic To Your Site by the Traffic:Lead %.

F/ The Lead: Sale % is the percentage of leads you or your sales team can convert into paying customers. It could be higher or lower than 4%, the higher the percentage the better. This metric is extremely important for justifying the expenditure on a Google Ads campaign as you will see further down this article.

G/ Total Sales is calculated by multiplying the Total Leads by the Lead: Sales %.H/ Your Average Booking Value is the just that, the average cost you hire your marquees & tents out for. I/ The Total Sales Revenue is calculated by multiplying the Total Sales by Your Average Booking Value.

J/ The Balance is the Total Sales Revenue minus The Monthly Advertising Budget.K/ ROI is calculated by (Balance – Monthly Advertising Budget) / 100​

Why are Traffic:Lead and Lead:Sale Important Metrics?

These metrics are everything! In the next group of tables and graphs, the only change we are going to make is to the Traffic: Lead % and Lead: Sale %. The Monthly Advertising Budget, Cost Per Click, Estimate Traffic To The Site and The Average Booking Value will stay at a fixed amount.

However, the qty of leads, Total Sales and Total Sales Revenue will increase, drastically based on these 2 metrics. The difference in the sales revenue is shown on the new row added, titled ‘Difference’.

The effect on revenue from Google Ads due to optimising your website to convert more traffic into leads.

Download this spreadsheet in Excel format

The effect on revenue with Google Ads via optimising your sales team to convert more leads into sales.

Download this spreadsheet in Excel format

A word of warning.

Although these numbers look very promising, the initial investment to bring your website, Google Ads account and sales team has not been factored in. These spreadsheets only provide the upside ROI value of Google Ads once you have a finely tuned sales and marketing machine, like It has taken us over £50k in Google Ads and tens of thousands of pounds more in software development, measuring analytics and thousands of leads, mistakes, CRM changes and many more operation and system changes to get to this point.

It would be irresponsible of us to tell you should expect the results above without first letting you know the initial risks and costs. As with all investments (and Google Ads is an investment), your capital is at risk.

That’s not to say this is not achievable. What we are saying is, that you need to invest heavily at the start and keep investing, tweaking and measuring your metrics.


Build relevant landing pages for the keywords you are targeting.

Be prepared to spend money. You need a strong data set to improve your ad campaigns (the only way to get a valid data set is to spend money)

Keep going! Once you have a valid data set the reward are amazing. If you can nail Google Ads it will be the best investment you’ll ever make.

Be prepared to service the leads quickly – Read this article for more information on the importance on this.

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