Set it and forget it.
Five of the most dangerous words in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.
Unless you are Scrooge McDuck, with expendable cash out the wazoo, the autopilot approach is hardly acceptable when running your own Google AdWords campaign. Now, if you have chosen to entrust someone else to manage your campaigns, well–then it is 100% unacceptable.
Studies show that the average cost-per-click (CPC) in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network. Without a defined budget, negative keywords, narrow context targeting, modified broad match, mobile optimization, and smart bid management, those costs can add up quick.
(This is why so many businesses seek out AdWords help)
However, an unfortunate reality in life that many of us learn the hard way is you don’t always get what you pay for. But that doesn’t need to be the case! At least not with Google AdWords management. Certainly there are things that you can do to protect yourself from ever ending up in a bad relationship. Though, even the most careful scrutiny and our best intuition can easily be outmatched by swindlers, or worse, those we consider to be our friends.
So what do you do?
Likely you are here reading this article because you have a gut feeling that you could do better with Google AdWords. Your gut is probably good indication that something is awry. That’s a start, however, I want to give you more than just a gut feeling to go on. I want to give you precise things to look for so you can first approach the person managing your AdWords, then either a) find a resolution within your existing arrangement, or b) replace your provider and/or find an alternate solution.
If you check any of the below boxes, I’d recommend taking immediate action.
You’re not involved
You’re in business for a reason. You know your industry, your audience, and you have accomplished a lot from time, experience, and maximizing your opportunities. In doing so, you’re in a financial position where hiring an AdWords Management Company makes strong business sense. It’s one less thing for you to have to worry about, and, it is a proven, effective way to reach people who are searching for your products or services. With the proper analysis, budgeting, and messaging, you can scale your business and further increase profitability.
An AdWords Manager’s role is to bring a certain set of skills to the table. This includes, but is not limited to, market research, data analysis, copy writing, web development, and strategic design. An AdWords Expert is extremely versatile. In a way, you can usually depict them as a true “Jack of all Trades.” With that being said, an AdWords Expert is not you. They rely on you for additional insights–insights that took you years to acquire–to build, optimize, and deliver award winning PPC campaigns.
If you are wondering if you are paying too much for your Google AdWords Management Services, take a look in the mirror. Do you see yourself distanced from the agency or specialist you hired? If so, you may need to make some changes. This does not mean that you need to pack a bag, pitch a tent, and live in your AdWords account. Simply, on-going communication goes a long way, often finding a way back to your wallet. Remember, communication is a two-way street. You are not getting proper AdWords help if your manager is not actively involving you in discussion and constantly looking to pick your brain. And you are almost certainly paying too much for management services if you don’t have a minimum of reading access on your account.
I was recently approached by one of our web development clients…They were frustrated and seeking alternate options for their AdWords management. Now typically when this type of interaction occurs, I’m naturally a little curious and want to discover what was the final nail in the coffin?
To get a better understanding of the motive for move, I first ask some fairly basic questions. Who is your current provider? How and when did you get started with them? What is your current AdWords spend? What percentage of those costs go to the management services? Can you explain to me why you are looking to move?
Almost every business owner has a grasp on the above questions. And from my experience, many of the answers have an eerie similarity. “This guy, Jerry, who is a friend of Mary, our operations manager here since 2008, has been running them. The terms of the original deal have changed over the years, but we’re paying something like 30% on top of our AdWords costs. They used to be really proactive, but now we get a basic monthly spreadsheet showing our total spend…” And so on, and so on.
The last part, the monthly spreadsheet (report), is what prompts my second line of questions. These, as you might expect, do not usually provide the same detailed responses. Do you know your average cost-per-click? What is your conversion rate? What is your average customer-acquisition-cost (CAC)? How many of your conversions are sign ups on your website versus calls? What are your top performing keywords and ad sets?
I ask all of these questions to prove a point: that the reporting is weak. Really, the only thing that I’m interested in, and the main thing you should be interested in, is your CAC. Chase Hughes of Kiss Metrics explains in detail why the CAC is The One Metric That Can Determine Your Company’s Fate. In essence, the CAC is used to optimize the return on your advertising investments AND help analyze the scalability of a company. This is huge from both an operations and investment perspective.
Don’t get me wrong, the other data is important, but only for those managing the campaign. Over-reporting can be equally weak reporting. An AdWords expert could literally generate thousands of different reports for your review, but that’s not an effective use of their time, or your time. If anything, excess data can cloud the truth and prevent you from realizing what really matters: how many leads were generated and how many sales were made.
Day 365 looks like Day 7
When you hire someone to manage your AdWords campaigns, you are paying for a service, not a fixed product. This concept is often overlooked, especially following early success.
Marketing is all about finding a way to beat your base. Search engine marketing and Google AdWords are no different. Just because you have an ad that seemingly catches the eye, a landing page that converts, and an internal sales team that can close, doesn’t mean that things can’t be better.
A/B testing is slowly becoming a lost art primarily because of today’s marketing automation fixation. But even the smallest of A/B Tests can prove to be wildly effective. Take any one of Unbounce’s 12 Surprising A/B Test Results for example. Statistics that show adding a couple testimonials can increase sales by 34% are probably worth paying attention to.
You may find that you may never be able to beat your base. You might have knocked a home run out of the park on the first swing. Most people say “If it ain’t broke, break it.” Living and breathing marketing, I couldn’t disagree more. My motto is “If it ain’t broke, break it.” That way when the day comes when it doesn’t work, you know why it broke, and how to fix it.