I had my first experience with a Google Adwords Strategist recently. As a Google Engage partner, Google issues me Adwords credits to pass out to my clients. The credits are only good for first time Adwords users.
I had just started to set up an Adwords campaign for one of my clients and issued them a $100 credit, when they received a call directly from Google. Google now offers free setup support for first time users, and this Google employee called my client to offer their services. My client is busy however, and after failing to contact them via phone, the Google employee emailed them a lengthy list of ways they could improve the campaign I was in the middle of setting up for them.
My client put the “Adwords Strategist” in contact with me, so we could work together to optimize their campaign. Here are the good and the bad ideas I got from our collaboration:
1. Use all of the tools Google makes available to you to maximize click through ratio (CTR). This includes ad extensions (phone, location & sitelinks). It takes more time to setup, but for competitive keywords it should help your CTR. I think the major advantage to using all of these extensions is that it makes your ad larger than competitors who aren’t using them.
2. Negative keywords. This bit of advice was given as part of what I consider a bad strategy for this particular campaign, but I’ll give credit where credit is due.
1. Increase the budget. (My approach is to create a tight, efficient campaign and THEN increasing the budget, when the ROI is proven).
2. Forget about the niche, long tail keywords and only go after the highly competitive (aka expensive) keywords. ( OK, I can see now why I would need to increase the budget!)
3. Use broad match modifier type keywords to get more impressions and clicks, and add negative keywords to control CTR.
At that point in the campaign I was experimenting with exact match and phrase match keywords, and many of the phrase match keywords were giving me way too low a CTR, even with negative keywords. So how was I to control the CTR, and therefore the quality score, with broad match modifier keywords, which are less targeted, if I was already having trouble with phrase match? I didn’t get an answer to that question, just the repeated advice that I increase the budget and aggressively go after those competitive, broad match modified keywords and negative keywords.
I think the problem is that Adwords Strategists are low level customer services employees, well trained by Google in the mechanics and general strategies of running an Adwords campaign, but without a lot of experience in running campaigns for a variety of businesses. In addition to that, their strategies are not only aimed at making you a successful Adwords advertiser, but also maximizing earnings for Google.
For those of you who would like to take advantage of Google’s free Adwords setup support, and maintain the campaign yourself, keep in mind that Google’s advice will generally tend to:
1. Cost you more money and
2. Push you towards the higher traffic, higher cost keywords.
That has been my experience anyway.