I'm starting up a maintenance company and have been trying different advertising approaches. My hosting service for my website offered $100 credit for Adwords on Google.
I've started it up and have been generating 'impressions' (when your ad is shown). At the time of writing, 600 impressions generated 3 clicks on the ads costing $5.00 dollars (not my money though
Since they have to call a number on the website there is no real way knowing how productive this sort of advertising is. If it was a mail order tee-shirt shop where you plug your credit card in, I think it would be great.
On the plus side, out of the 100's of landscapers in this city I only see 3 companies really active in ads that I am competing with. Web savvy clients probably have $$$ (As in no $25 dollar special to mow your big lawn and then drop me). Two of the companies are big companies True Green and Scotts Lawn which are multi-city big companies, and the other is local business that seems to be web savvy and well funded.
The minus side is adwords works as an auction and big companies drive up prices. Being the last side bar ad is almost useless. I might have to spend up $5.00 dollars a click to get the top spot. And not really know if it generates business or not.
Google keeps all these algorithms on how they figure out your 'quality' (which lowers your bid price to get the #1 spot) secret so you never really know if you going in the right direction.