Why do we still use Google Search Ads to increase the discoverability of our SaaS products?


I understand that many people may have hesitations about continuing to use Google Search Ads for their startup projects. In light of this, I’d like to share some insights I have gained from my recent experiences with Google Ads.

Let’s begin by defining conversion rates. For SaaS projects, the first conversion goal is often for users to recognize the usefulness of the product and be encouraged to click on “sign up” or “start the trial” buttons on the website, because this is exact where that a SaaS product can step in and add value to the users. To achieve this, it is crucial to have a straightforward interface and provide clear information on the website.

Now, let’s discuss the challenge of enhancing discoverability through SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In my recent Google Search Ad projects, I observed a significant increase in impressions (See the graph below) and click-through rates (CTR) for the targeted regions by utilizing targeted keywords. The conversion rate exceeded 4%, which is generally considered decent for small SaaS product. This positive outcome helped alleviate my concerns about people potentially using “Ad blockers” or switching to search engines like DuckDuckGo to safeguard their privacy. During the 5-day experiment with Google Search Ads, I noticed that people are eager to find information on their own. They actively explore different keywords to find the specific information they need. (We can view the keywords that they use to search similar product online from Google Ads platform)

This behavior resonated with my personal experience when shopping for a pair of jeans. I felt the desire to take control and conduct independent searches to find jeans that would suit my needs, such as dealing with heat, fitting well, and having the desired length. None of this information could be provided by influencers or social networks. This highlights the growing trend of individuals being less reliant on social media for making purchasing decisions.

In light of the shift towards user autonomy in shopping decisions, improving SEO and Organic Search and continuing to apply Google Search Ads to startup projects can help users discover the valuable tools that can enhance their lives.Especially for the SaaS product that targeting niche market or niche customer segements, the Google Search Ads can be considered as a important tool to help the product to be found by the users that come with the certain needs.

While some startups like me may view Google Search Ads as addictive since once you start to use it, it’s hard to quit (Especially when you see the visitors drop dramatically after stop using Google Search Ads). However, Google Search Ads still remain one of the most effective methods available today. Users have changed their habits, seeking information independently rather than relying on influencers. When evaluating options, people want to take control and actively search for what they need. That’s why improving discoverability through SEO remains highly relevant and essential.

The Sign-Up page performance during the experimentation period:”

More about Google Search Ads

The correlation between the keywords users search for and the corresponding search results on the website can be a contributing factor in improving the click-through rate (CTR) in this scenario.

Example: The Search Result Appearance of Skyscanner
All the part marked as yellow is allowed to customized. A clear “Call to Actions” could help to increase chance for users to click and browse the website

During the Google Search Ads projects, we found the “customized” search result appearance play an incremental role to draw users’ attentions. Sometimes, if the search result Appearance is confusing, people may choose not to visit the website. This is because nowadays, we only have a few seconds to pay attention to the information showing in the search result.

For example, if you’re operating a ski resort in Hakuba, Japan, but the search result displays a title like “Japanese restaurant-Sakura” for your website link, people may get confused whether you’re promoting hotel accommodations in Hakuba or a restaurant chain across Japan. This example may seem silly, but it actually happens when people perform searches.

Especially before optimizing the website structure, Google Search Ads may recommend a display style of search result and the call to actions that do not align with the desired search outcome. It is important to pay special attention when actually launching the Google Search Ads.

That concludes the article! If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to share them below. Let’s engage in a learning process together and benefit from each other’s insights!

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