WordStream Improves Its Free AdWords Benchmark Tool For Small Business Advertisers

Google AdWords benchmarks

“There are roughly 3 million advertisers on Google, and 99% are small businesses,” says Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream.

And too many small businesses  spend more money on AdWords than they need to, while not always getting good results.

“A small business spends on average $1,200 per month in Google AdWords,” Kim says.  And when you’re as busy as most staff are in a small business, it’s “hard to figure out and use all the best practices for AdWords,” he adds.  For instance, only 1% of small business advertisers log into their AdWords account at least once a week.  As a result, small businesses using Google AdWords to advertise can waste a lot of money without knowing any better, and without knowing what to do to change the status quo.

It doesn’t need to be that way, though, Kim says — if people just had the right tools and information.  For instance, benchmarking information is important.   Have you ever wondered how your business does, compared with other small businesses your size and in your industry, when it comes to Google AdWords?  Are you spending more or less money? Are you getting more sales conversions, or less?

For most of us who know just a little bit about Google AdWords, and don’t have the time to sift through hours of information, we may never improve.  It’s too time consuming — and too baffling.

Enhanced Business Data to Avoid Waste, Get Better Results

And that’s where WordStream’s AdWords Grader Plus comes in.  A version of the AdWords benchmark tool has been offered for a couple of years now.   Today, WordStream launched an enhanced version of the Grader tool, to give small businesses access to even more business data and guidance.

The enhancements focus on intelligence around mobile ad spending, which is growing at a fast pace, including assessing your mobile PPC readiness, as shown below:

AdWords mobile PPC readiness

There are also improved AdWords benchmarking statistics and performance indicators.

The tool actually grades your performance. A grade is expressed in a percentage (see image at top of article) so you can tell how you’re doing.  And now you’ll have access to even more data to compare how you’re doing in specific areas.

And perhaps best of all, the enhanced tool features a performance tracker (image below) that compares how your AdWords account is doing over time, and can send you a monthly report showing progress or lack thereof.  That way, you can monitor and manage your AdWords activity intelligently.

 AdWords Grader by Wordstream - performance tracker

Kim, like many a bootstrapped startup founder, started WordStream in his basement several years ago.  He has built it up to the multimillion dollar business it is today, and says his company has now sifted through $3 billion in AdWords spending data.  WordStream has been able to take that data and distill it down into insights and best practices advice for small businesses.   Think of the AdWords Grader tool as “big data” meets Google AdWords, for small businesses.

Pay Regular Attention and Use Available Tools

Robert Brady, a pay-per-click guru and founder of Righteous Marketing, echoes Kim’s sentiments about wasted advertising budgets and emphasizes the need for information and hands-on involvement.  We reached out to Brady for his reaction to today’s news. (Brady is one of our top contributors here at Small Business Trends.)  He told us in an interview, “Google AdWords has become more and more complex over the years, making it harder for SMBs.  Many default settings in AdWords seem to benefit Google’s bottom line more than advertiser performance.”

He advocates using tools so that they give you an advantage and help you perform better while spending less. The key is that you have to regularly tend your AdWords advertising, if you want to be effective and spend money wisely. “Use whatever system works for you (software, sticky notes, apps) but regular attention and activity are necessary for success,” Brady emphasizes.

The WordStream AdWords Grader Plus can be found here.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

3 Reactions
  1. I am wondering how this became valuable to advertisers. I know that it is a free adwords analytics tool but Adwords already have some built in analytics in it. I am wondering how this can help.

    • Aira,

      The historical tracking of Quality Score (QS) is very valuable since it’s a function not provided by AdWords. The other benchmark and best practices information is helpful for SMBs that may not be keeping up with the rapid rate of change in Adwords as well.

  2. Tools can be great if they really understand the user and how to help him or her. I have seen many PPC tools fail over the years and have yet to see one that delivers true expert power to the everyday user…