John Jago

Day 21: Are Google Ads effective for bootstrapped founders?

Now that it’s been a few days since I turned off Google Ads for Dashify, I can see the results.

I started running them about halfway through April, and turned them off at the end of April. During that time, my website traffic rose to around 20 visitors daily, and it seemed like it was going up even more, perhaps after Google’s algorithms figured out when and where to show the ad.

I had a click through rate of 5.91%, and those visitors stayed on the website for just over a minute, on average. Some of these visitors are probably using Dashify, though with WordPress plugins it’s hard to tell.

Here’s my Google Ads graph around the time I turned them off:

Screenshot of my Google Ads overview graph which shows impressions and clicks, around the time I turned them off. You can see it flatline at 0 after the date I turned it off.

Here’s the corresponding graph for website visitors:

Screenshot of my Fathom Analytics website visitor graph for showing it dip close to 0 around the same time I turned off Google Ads.


If you’re a bootstrapped founder, whether Google Ads work for you depends on a few factors.

For myself, having spent over $50, it’s not worth it at the moment to continue, though I think that $50 itself was worth it. It likely is the cause of Dashify finding its first 10 free users. If you’re operating in an ecosystem where it’s easier to measure conversions end-to-end, do it. It will give you a clear answer whether the ads are worth it.

👋 This is my work journal, a series where I write daily about trying to make a living building a bootstrapped software product.