February 2016

Marketing Analytics Q&A: Is Google suited to manage your Google AdWords account?

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Is Google suited to manage your Google AdWords account-

Is Google suited to manage your Google AdWords account?

It depends…

The thing is, Google likes to flirt with both sides a bit. On one hand, Google actively works with agencies and consultants (through the Google Partner program) to acquire new clients, court existing ones, and generally provide incentives and competitions to Partners to get new clients with such prizes as a rare trip to San Fransisco, Chromebooks, big containers of Jelly Beans, hampers of food, Google collateral, lots of AdWords credit to hand out etc…

Google also actively courts businesses directly, through direct mail, email promotions through affiliated services such as Google Analytics with offers of free credits and free setups. As part of this direct help to new businesses, Google sometimes steps on the toes of Google partners who might be already speaking to the potential clients, or sometimes even unintentionally approaches them when they are already working with a partner.

But that’s not the point of this email, the point is to ask, what’s the best option for you?

You’re either:

1) Happily working with someone managing your AdWords
2) Not happily working with someone managing your AdWords
3) Managing your AdWords yourself with maybe some help from Google
4) Thinking about AdWords soon for your business
5) Not interested in AdWords

When I spoke to a Dentist late last year about managing their AdWords I found out that the Dentist wanted to kick-off AdWords to:

1) Get some basic exposure on relevant keywords in a few suburbs
2) Rank on their brand name (as a competitor was bidding on it)
3) Perhaps trial some re-marketing later

Very much AdWords 101 stuff…

It might take my team 5 hours to setup an account like this including writing the ad copy, setting up the account and getting feedback. Then it might take 1-2 hours a week to monitor and optimise in the first month.

We’d obviously have to charge for this, so as the Dentist didn’t want to spend too much (perhaps $500 – $1000) in the first month on advertising spend including professional fees, it didn’t make economic sense for us to set it up. Since he had an offer from Google to set up and manage, I told him to take them up on that offer and come back to us when he wanted to optimise it and make it gain him more customers…

Conclusion: If you’ve got a fairly basic account to setup, it might be worth taking Google up on the offer of doing it. Just don’t expect too much help beyond making the ads show and getting some clicks.

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On another case, I met a training company who wanted to drive hard inquiries through their website via Google AdWords and was going to spend $10k+ per month

In this situation, working with Google probably wouldn’t be a good idea. The reason being that what you need in this case is:

1) A strong understanding and focus on Analytics
2) Optimisation of the conversion rate via the landing pages and application flow
3) A stronger focus on the AdWords, including which position you want to bid for and how much you can pay
4) At least 3-4 hours a week of optimisation on the AdWords, at least in the first few months
5) Various flexible bidding strategies and rules based on your competitor bids

Much more complex and business ROI-driven AdWords

In this case, you’d be wise working with a Google Partner as opposed to Google themselves, especially someone who had relevant experience in what you were trying to do, and a solid positive ROI driven proposal.

It will take taken dozens of hours to research and set up such an account correctly, including integration with Google Analytics, the website, and various tweaks before you would be happy to go live. You just won’t get this from Google, at best you’ll get some ads showing on the keywords but no optimisation that extends beyond the AdWords account itself.

If I am going to work with Google, is there anything I should worry about?

In my experience, Googles setup and management follows a fairly standard process. The inherent risks are the KPIs for the Google employees/contractors setting up your account are related to you spending a certain amount per month on AdWords. While you will certainly get clicks to your website, it is unlikely they will spend time helping you convert those clicks to customers and help understand the behaviour. Remember clicks are meaningless without understanding what those visitors did on your website.

Are there situations where I could manage Google AdWords myself?

Yes, of course. If you want to learn the ropes and save on professional fees, this is always an option. It’s probably going to be an uphill battle if your account or situation is overly complicated (e.g. if you are like the training company), but if you’ve had a professional or Google manage your AdWords before and you’re happy to take over and continue the status quo then this is a recommended option.

We’re opening an online course soon for business owners and marketing managers who want to learn AdWords via a simple but effective process. Send us a message via the Contact Us page if you’d like to find out the details of that course before it opens publicly.