We hear increasingly from potential clients they don’t want to use Google AdWords because “we did that for a while and all we did was burn through a bunch of money with no return.” We have had great success leveraging AdWords for our clients so we know it can work–if done properly. In order to “save money” businesses set up their own campaigns instead of hiring a trustworthy consultant. While creating a few ads and putting your credit card on file with Google is easy enough for almost anyone to do, setting up your campaign and managing it properly takes years of experience and data analysis know-how. We find there are four common themes that lead to businesses getting disillusioned with AdWords:
You Can’t Set It and Forget It
Running a successful AdWords campaign does require ongoing management. Your competitors are constantly changing their bids, consumer demand changes often, Google changes the way AdWords works from time to time, and on top of all that you need to determine which of your ad campaigns aren’t working very well and either make changes to them or pause them altogether. Most often the biggest mistake we see is businesses set up their account, throw a big budget at the campaign, and then they just let it run and run and run. That’s a perfect way to get disappointed by AdWords.
Don’t Always Listen to Google
When you log into your AdWords account often you will see messages from Google telling you things like, “There are 83 keywords you should add to your campaign!” and other similar advice. The common person thinks, “Since Google is telling me to do this I had better listen!” But our experience often leads us to NOT listen to those automated messages that pop up when we log into an AdWords account. Remember these are automated messages that are designed to try to be helpful, but you can’t treat them as gospel.
Tracking the Wrong Metrics
Another colossal No-No is to simply track “clicks” as your primary success metric. It’s easy enough to get clicks–just set a big budget and target a bunch of non-qualified crap and you’ll get tons of clicks! Will that get you business? Heck no. When clients bring their unsuccessful AdWords accounts to us we are almost always able to reduce their monthly ad budget as we optimize and tighten their campaigns. On top of that we are tracking even more important metrics than simple clicks: how long people stay on the website once they’ve clicked on an ad; and even more importantly, whether they fill out a contact form or purchase a product once they got to your Landing Page.
Find the Right Partner
We have often been shocked and saddened by campaigns we see from other supposedly reputable companies in our industry. Your AdWords account should be set up in YOUR name with YOUR credit card on the account. That gives you ownership and non-restricted access to your campaign. When you’re hiring a company to help with your campaign make sure they are asking questions about your products and services, the types of clients you want to target, the geographic areas you want to target. They should be talking to you about the importance of remarketing campaigns, the importance of monitoring and improving your campaign Quality Scores, and most importantly they should be talking about how they will measure and track conversions using Google Analytics. A click is great, but a conversion is what will make the campaign a viable marketing tactic for your business.