Why You Need To Be Actively Managing Your Google AdWords Account
Running an AdWords campaign might seem, at first glance, like a pretty simple process. Choose keywords, add funding and off you go; full steam ahead! But in reality, if you want to run an effective campaign (and who doesn’t) things need to be watched a little more closely.
If you’re new to AdWords and rush into your campaign without a clear management plan, you could end up spending an inordinate amount of time and money for very little in the way of return. Conversely, if you think you’ve set up the most amazing campaign and yet are not willing to invest them time to manage it properly, chances are it’s not going to perform quite as you expected.
Here’s what you need to know about actively managing your AdWords account, and when it’s time to shout for help.
What do we mean by ‘active management’?
All too often we see businesses pouring all their effort into the early stages of an AdWords campaign, meticulously planning keyword groups, designing landing pages and setting up their campaigns, but then failing to maintain this level of input. Once the initial flurry of activity is over, they sit back and wait for the profits to come rolling in, only really revisiting AdWords when something goes wrong.
This type of ‘passive’ management is a very poor strategy to adopt indeed. If you only review what you’re doing on AdWords when something goes wrong, chances are it’s already too late. An effective campaign requires ongoing, active management, meaning you are constantly tweaking, refining, testing and learning, so you can maximise on what’s working (and draw back from what’s not) before you miss golden opportunities for your business.
How much activity?
How active are you? The medical profession recommends around 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week. If you’re managing that, then great, you can look forward to a future will a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other nasty ailments. If you’re a bit of a couch potato and barely manage one 15-minute walk to the shop each week, chances are your health is going to suffer sooner or later.
Staying active on AdWords follows a pretty similar set of rules, and the risks and benefits are very alike too. The precise level of input you need will depend on the size and nature of your campaign, but the idea of little and often is totally applicable here. If you’re managing to spend 15 to 30 minutes on your campaign around three times per week, then the future of your campaign is looking very healthy. And, if you’re an AdWords potato, barely managing a cursory glance once a week, chances are the health of your campaign will eventually fail.
So, how should you manage your AdWords account, and what things should you be checking for when you do allocate some management time?
AdWords management activities
Every AdWords campaign should be managed and optimised effectively and, as previously mentioned, the amount of time this will take will depend on your campaign size and complexity. If you’re typically running around five campaigns, for instance, you should be scheduling in three to four management sessions each week. These would ideally fall at the start of the week, allowing a review of the weekends activity, at the end of the week, to plan for the coming week, and around the mid-week mark to check everything is still on track.
When you’re managing your AdWords campaign, you should be considering:
- Your keywords: Are your keywords performing as expected? Watch out for those which generate a low click through rate (CTR) but high rates of impressions. This indicates that the keyword is maybe not as relevant as you thought.
- Conversion rates: If you’re getting a lot of click throughs but not many conversions, your landing page may need to be reviewed. Remember, clicks cost you money, so if they’re not making sales, they’re wasting your budget.
- AdWords metrics: Check out the data available from Google themselves to see how your campaign is progressing. Look at average position, impressions, conversions, and compare them with past performance and against ad variations you may be testing.
- Exact queries: Always take a moment to see exactly what people searched for when they were brought to your site. This can help highlight particularly profitable search terms, as well as those which are bringing in irrelevant traffic.
- Profitability: Keep close tabs on how your spend on AdWords compares to the benefit to your business. Allowing a campaign to continue costing you money when it’s not generating good quality conversions for your business can be dangerous, so always have a handle on your return on investment.
Leaving your campaign on auto pilot is never a good idea. In the digital world, things change quickly, and you could lose out significantly in a very short space of time if you’re not on top of your campaign.
Is outsourcing a better solution for you?
If you’re self-managing your account right now, it’s worth considering whether outsourcing could be a better solution for you in the long run. Whether your finding it too difficult to get the account performing well, or feel you need a fresh pair of eyes to un-stick your activity, getting an expert involved can be a great move. Here are a few of the tell-tale signs that your AdWords account could benefit from being outsourced.
- Your time is seriously limited
It’s unlikely that your only responsibility is to AdWords, so depending on the size of your company and team, you could be overseeing anything from social marketing to content creation. When your time is spread so thinly, it’s tricky to get an in depth understanding of anything at all. Juggling multiple channels is just one reason why your AdWords campaign could be missing out on reaching its full potential, and a good reason to consider outsourcing.
- You’d like to grow
If you’d love to expand things, but simply don’t have the in-house resources or the opportunity to create them, teaming up with an agency is a great way to add more capacity without the commitment of any new hires. When you work with an agency, chances are you’ll be paying the same or less than the cost of adding a new team member but will be getting a whole group of people who can hit the ground running with your project. Expertise is built in, commitment is much less, and multiple account managers mean there’s no down time in the event of sickness or holidays.
- You want to access the latest technologies and tools
If you keep up with the news, you’ll probably already be acutely aware of a whole raft of automation and streamlining tools that could make your campaigns more effective, easier to manage and more powerful. But, when PPC and AdWords isn’t the focus of your business, finding reasons to invest in such tech can be difficult enough, let alone knowing which ones are most relevant for your campaign. Working with an agency means you’ll get direct access to the best tools for your situation, without investing or committing yourself at all.
- The stats are just plain confusing
What is an AdWords campaign without feedback in the form of data and stats? Nothing, that’s what. You need to be on top of your CPCs, CTRs and CTCs, not to mention CRO, SEO and all sorts of other mind-bending acronyms. Ideally, you’ll be A/B testing different landing page strategies, and regularly tweaking your keywords, messages, bids and more. If you’re thoroughly confused by your data, or feel you could be doing more, it might be time to search for an expert partner.
- You’re not keeping pace with the competition
Digital marketing changes all the time. From trends and techniques to new tools and technology. Trying to stay abreast of all these innovations whilst also remaining an authority in your own niche is nothing short of mind boggling. If you feel a competitor is always one step ahead in the world of PPC, chances are, they’re already working with an expert. By collaborating with a specialist agency, you’ll be able to take advantage of the latest insight, capitalise on the hottest trends and be involved in cutting edge strategies and beta testing, so sail away ahead of the competition.
Having a professional to run your AdWords activity will ensure you get all the benefits of active management, without sacrificing your other commitments. Not only that but putting your AdWords account in expert hands can be more affordable than you think too. If you need help to improve your marketing efforts, we can help. Contact us today to chat with one of our digital marketing experts about how we can help your business to grow.
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