Google Adwords Can Be Risky
Google Adwords management in the wrong hands can be a costly endeavor. If you are having your Adwords managed on your behalf by an agency or a hired hand, be sure you understand the critical factors for your success. Adwords without the proper tracking can waste money and time.
Now that you have your web presence built and ready to go, you are probably ready to begin promoting it. You’re likely looking at organic and paid approaches to accomplish this.
There are key considerations when developing your strategy for promoting your online business. First, your strategy must include a path to the ultimate goal of greatly reducing your reliance on paid search. Some businesses will be able to completely ween themselves from the Adwords merry-go-round, while others in more saturated industries will need to maintain a budget consistently.
We’re going to discuss the differences and offer up some advice to help you get the most out of your spend.
Don’t Pay An Agency For Google AdWords Management
I have run an agency, used agencies and recommended agencies before. My advice? Avoid using an agency to support your AdWords spend.
Likewise, remember that you should be quite selective in who you trust to manage your PPC for you. It should be something you toil over like you would when handing your bankcard over to someone to pick something up for you. You are quite mindful and cautious when doing so, as you should be.
Google AdWords management is something you don’t want left to chance.
Agencies Serve Many Masters
An agency or individual that provides services to many companies find it very difficult to manage multiple accounts, effectively. Most end up suffering with being servant to many masters. The only solution to this is with the old adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
There are many factors that require proper care and feeding when supporting an effective set of paid campaigns. If your market is saturated, or the slightest bit competitive, you will want to ensure your paid ads are reviewed daily and adjusted no less than weekly.
Agencies and individuals providing PPC support to multiple customers find it extremely difficult to review on a daily basis. They will most certainly short change all of their customers to one degree or another.
I have witnessed companies, being served by agencies, who are provided monthly reporting that has no focus on the most important concern of any paid ad campaign – conversions.
Jack Of All Trades…Master Of None
Agencies don’t normally specialize in a specific industry. Some may hire specialists for a given industry, but these people are generally overworked. They are expected to earn their keep and to assist in sales sessions as the subject matter expert to help close.
They don’t have a lot of time where they can focus on their industry-distinct accounts. So, they play the role of detached lead rather than having an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and adjust spends based on competition and business environment for any particular customer.
It is quite a difficult prospect to find an industry specific expert that is also a PPC professional.
Hire A Throat To Choke
I have had a lot of success in hiring PPC experts for my clients and employers. I have hired based on a candidate’s expertise of PPC and worked toward growing their knowledge in a specific industry. In order to do this effectively, they have to be 100% focused on the business. This is why this strategy does not work well for agencies. There are too many distractions vying for resource attention.
When hiring a PPC Analyst to work as an employee in your business, you will have someone focused on your success and learning your industry in order to make the most of your campaigns and watch the seasonality and adjust as needed. They collect a paycheck from you and have no other distractions keeping them from watching your investment.
Setting Up For Success
A PPC Analyst is not the only skill you will need for your business when it comes to Search.
The proper setup for handling your search engine optimization and marketing requires 5 areas of discipline. Each focused on various aspects for success. I have had the benefit of working with some great people in the area of search over the years. We came up with a winning strategy for managing search activities:
- Technical SEO
- OnPage SEO
- Pay Per Click
- Conversion Management
It can be difficult to find one person that has all of these skills. It is essentially a unicorn. I have had the opportunity to work with a few of these in my career, but even then, they were inundated with work and couldn’t possibly handle all of these work efforts by themselves.
What are all of these things?
Let’s look at the breakdown of the skill requirements for each of these activities. I will also provide some high level best practices for Google Adwords management.
OnPage SEO includes review of your content and making recommendations for effective page titles, meta-descriptions, image alt-tags, keywords, body copy, word count and more. They also ensure the appropriate content is available to earn quality backlinks.
Pay Per Click is the effort of managing paid keyword research looking at monthly search volume and low competition. This also is the support of the proper layout and content focus of a landing page. It includes the management of the spend budget for Adwords, setup campaigns and ad groups and monitor results. Location, seasonality and competition research is a requirement of this activity.
The most important aspect of any search and Google Adwords management strategy? Sales! Too many search analysts focus on traffic, reach and sources. Conversions are what fuel your business and this should be the primary focus in your search marketing plan.
Conversion management is responsible for reviewing your cost to revenue ratio for every keyword they bid for in your strategy. Here you’re looking for the DNA of success based on reporting results. Recommendations from this analysis are used to adjust the spend based on the revenue each keyword generates. Conversion is driven by key business goals developed while working with stakeholders.
Reporting is extremely important when it comes to tracking your successes with Google Adword management. This data, along with analysis, provides specific indicators for adjustments toward success.
The Pitfalls And How To Protect Yourself And Your Business
I have witnessed agencies that have provided Google Analytics data, without analysis, to their customers leaving them to decipher exactly how to act on the information.
Some agencies provide recommendations for action and I’ve watched businesses agree simply because of an unwillingness to speak up and admit they didn’t understand the data. Yet, they sink so much trust and confidence in their agencies and their capabilities.
I have reviewed reports from agencies where listed keywords showed conversions as “sales” but never defined a “sale” to the business. Further, the site in question was not even an eCommerce website, so what was it referring to as a “sale”? In-depth examination of the report proved there was no tie to a conversion.
Business is all about sales, or conversions. The following are 5 considerations to help you get the most from your hired SEO gun:
- eCommerce Tracking
- Lead Generation
- Tag Manager
- Data Studio
Location, Location, Location
Any successful Google Adwords Management effort relies on location.
Location is the foundation of Google and all searches. It is important to plan your strategy around location. If you have a physical location, or set of locations, utilize Google My Business to help your rankings.
Develop your Pay Per Click campaigns around location. Anyone managing your AdWords will know this is a key aspect for success.
It’s All About The Benjamins
Sites that focus on selling goods online need to be wired up for eCommerce Tracking. As a business owner, you want to be able to analyze cost versus revenue for every keyword you purchase. eCommerce Tracking provides exactly that (and much more). You can see which keywords are performing and which are not producing an equitable return.
Another key aspect to successful Google AdWords management is a focus on generating leads. If you sell a product or service that has a longer sales cycle, you will want to incorporate some sort of lead generation in order to fuel a drip campaign. If you have a specific landing page where an AdWord dumps your visitors, you will want to ensure you are capturing leads effectively.
Google Tag Manager
Google’s Tag Manager provides a container that allows you to not only implement your universal analytics tracking code through the GTM dashboard, but also a host of other triggers and tracking code. Google Tag Manager is a powerful component in providing you with the capacity to add code to trace your visitors’ journey, end-to-end to conversion.
Google’s Data Studio
Analytics is really a misnomer, as there is no real analysis in Google Analytics. Instead, Google Analytics only provides a collection of data points and leaves the conclusions and analysis to you.
Google’s beta project, Data Studio, is the perfect reporting solution for any business. You can easily pull data from AdWords, Analytics, spreadsheets and databases.
You can develop charts and graphs from the data and produce business level analysis in an intuitive layout eliminating the confusing data labels found in analytics.
Google Adwords Management, The Right Way!
When it comes to the very best approach to Google adwords management, it is recommended that you consider hiring someone on staff. Leaving your adwords management to an agency is ensuring no better than part-time focus on your spend. As a small business, every penny counts.
Your business depends on daily review of the spend and a consistent knowledge pursuit of the constant Google algorithm changes. No agency is going to give you one on one, dedicated support as a direct hire will.
Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines can help you understand how the search engine works. This can be used to help you produce content and processes to gain ranking improvements without gaming the system.
Google Search Engine Optimization Guide is provided to help SEO’s leverage acceptable practices to gain organic ranking in their search engine.
Google Search Console is a powerful toolset that provides search queries used by your audience to find your site. You can review the ranking position for specific search queries as well as search volume. This is an essential tool in your organic search arsenal.
Google Sheets Search Console Extension allows you to store more than 90 days of your search console data. 90 Days is search console’s limitation and this extension provides the ability to capture and store all your search data.
Google Data Studio is a powerful reporting tool that allows you to utilize multiple data sources to produce charts and analysis to promote effective decision-making.
SEO Powersuite is a suite of SEO tools that work great for site auditing, technical SEO, on-page and off page concerns. It also provides a comprehensive outreach tool in supporting you with development of quality backlinks. It isn’t cheap, but it does have a considerable number of tools making for a complete solution.
Tell us your thoughts in the comments. How do you effectively manage your Google Adwords?