Pay per click platforms like Google will help you optimize your campaign every now and then. Not that I’m head over heels for Google Adwords, but there’s no denying that they are, as of this writing, the biggest in the online market today. And compared to many of the vendors I’ve worked with, practically everybody else (with the exception of a few smaller and newer vendors) will leave you hanging by your thumbs. Yahoo Search Marketing for instance, takes weeks to respond to queries that actually require a customer service representative to address your issue.
Google on the other hand, usually assigns a team to your campaign. They will tend to change members every few months, so you’ll have to be a bit patient there, but at the very least they will accommodate questions and unique campaign requirements.
The team’s account manager will schedule an appointment with you to discuss your business and what you would like to accomplish. This will lay the groundwork and specification for your campaigns. They’ll ask about your business and what you’d like to see from your campaign – define expectations and goals. After this hour long conversation, they’ll go off for about 2 weeks and then you’ll see optimization proposals on your campaign. This of course you’ll have to approve or decline as you see fit to your campaign.
First you’ll notice a reclassification of keywords. They will group keywords according to specific product references: jeans, blue jeans, stone-washed jeans will most likely fall into one ad group. More often than not, it will be advised that keywords be grouped according to products. There will also be instances when keywords will be separated depending on how important they are to your core business. This will help with tracking and targeting from your end.
Second, keywords will be assigned a set of ads or marketing copy called ad texts. These will usually involve your unique selling points (USPs). As a general rule, they do not allow the use of comparatives or superlatives unless you have an acclaimed third party verify it and this should be mentioned on your landing page. Also relevance here is a key point. The ads should be reflect content that is also present in your landing page or homepage.
Third, there will be a suggested bid amount for each keyword. This will start at the minimum allowable bid. Quality scores will impact this minimum allowable bid. When your keyword to landing page relevance (in terms of content) is low, this minimum bid will be higher than usual. Your quality score will by classified into 3- great, OK and poor.
Great will mean that your keyword is working well for you. Your landing page is relevant to your keyword.
OK will mean that there might be room for improvement in terms of landing page relevancy or ad text content.
Poor will mean that landing page relevance is likely to be low and/or ad text doesn’t fit. Over-all the impact will be a higher minimum bid for you to keep this keyword in your list.
It would be best to leave your bid at the absolute minimum at the beginning and strive on improving click through rate, as this will bring the keyword up without increasing your spend (theoretically). More often than not though, you may have to increase your bid should you also want to increase your chances of getting noticed online.
Google particularly will require that you run your campaign for a few weeks with no changes and rightly so, after significant investment in time and effort from their end to optimize the campaign. From personal experience, there is often some noticeable improvement in this period. Naturally, they would know their platform best. Learn from these proposals and make sure to ask lots of questions. They are quite keen to lend a hand. Beats paying someone else to do it – that’s for sure.
Maximizing the analytics that Google can provide, as well as the platform of numerous other pay per click vendors will get leads through the door. However, turning these leads into actual marketing and selling opportunities can only be done from the inside. The optimization will never be complete until you know for a fact on a per keyword basis, the return on investment that will allow you to actually see which variable is working best for you, whether it’s the
that is bringing in the money. Being able to pinpoint the key success areas will allow you to gain the most from them. Make sure you maximize the services of your account management team but also balance this with proper tracking and reporting from your end. Bottom line: Google may provide the tools and services, but the marketing analysis and campaign evaluation is and always will be an internal effort.