“I don’t really know what’s happening with my AdWords Account Management… I just pay the bill and they supposedly do the work – we think its doing alright…”
“What should we be looking for in our AdWords Management Solution?”
I can’t tell you how many times a week I hear these two sentences. For me, its an indication that there is a serious lack of transparency in the Internet Marketing, and in particular, Google Adwords Management market.
Why is the Online Marketing Management market so bad? Because there is a significant amount of money in ignorance.
Its easy for us to feel overwhelmed by things that we don’t have a firm understanding of especially when we have limited time to do the research. So what should you be looking for if you are currently having management? And, if you are just starting out with a marketing solution, how do you know what to be looking for?
1. What Are MY Goals?
In the internet marketing world, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the jargon and lose sight of what the ultimate goal is. For most organisations, that goal is to generate a solid return from a given marketing budget. This goal needs to be reflected in the organisations that you choose to provide your Adwords Management Solution.
Here is what to look out for:
Many organisations who have existing accounts, get AdWords Management sold to them on the basis of improving the metrics within their account. While having a good Click-Thru-Rate, High Quality Scores and a Below Industry Average Cost-Per-Click are extremely beneficial, they are a means to an end.
Improving Click-Thru-Rate or lowering your Cost-Per-Click means nothing to your business if that change does not result in return on your investment. Its no different to painting your car a different colour and expecting it to go faster.
2. Who Should I Employ For The Role?
When you are recruiting to fill a role for your organisation, it’s important to make sure that you hire a qualified, dedicated individual who can work as part of a team as well as being able to work with a level of proactive autonomy. Not everyone will be the right cultural fit or have the necessary skills or qualifications for your role but when you find the right person, the payoff can be significant.
What should be on your recruitment checklist?
Are you and your company qualified?
On an individual level, making sure the person who is ultimately responsible for the changes in your AdWords Account is a Google Certified Individual, will help ensure that Google recognizes that they have the knowledge to manage and deploy high quality and compliant advertising to Google’s vast audience.
Ideally, this Google Certified Individual should be associated with a company that is recognised by the Google Partner Program. The Google Partner Program recognises companies that work at a high level with Google’s Products. If their organisation is recognised by the program, Google considers businesses to healthy, their customers to be happy, and trust that they adhere to Google best practices.
If you have been approached by an organisation and you are considering them, we recommend checking they are recognised in the Google Partner Database.
Where will my money go?
Once you have identified that the person and organisation you are considering have the required level of qualifications to undertake the work it’s down to business.
There are a number payment structures employed by AdWords Managements Companies in Australia. The one reality, regardless of the company is that is looking after your Google AdWords Account, is that a portion of what you invest will go to Google and a portion will go to the company that Manages the AdWords Account for you.
Make sure you know where you know where your money is going. Afterall, this is YOUR money.
What to look out for:
AdWords is a bit like a pay-as-you-go phone plan. That means that you only pay for what you receive in clicks. Google doesn’t sell ‘wholesale’ clicks as some organisations are claiming, so avoid any guarantees about a certain amount of ad views [impressions] or a certain number of clicks.
Transparency is the key for this kind of relationship to work. Often companies will ‘bundled costs’ which is known in the industry as cloaking. If the Google AdWords Management Company charges a lump sum without breaking down the costs then its difficult to see where the majority of your investment is actually going.
Some Google AdWords Management firms will charge a percentage of your spend of Google Clicks. These kinds of firms are typically focused on volume of traffic rather than quality of leads generated. There is no good in getting 1,000 clicks if none of them add value to your business and cover their own cost.
3. So… AdWords Management Off Contract Or On Contract?
It’s common for us to get professional assistance with things that we are not familiar with or don’t have time to do. This is the case for many business people when it come to Google Advertising, and in getting help, those organisations are putting themselves way ahead of the market, provided the person they chose to help them understands their goals.
The thing thats really important for me to repeat is that Google AdWords is a vehicle for Returning your Investment. This is something that is measurable right down to which ad copy caused someone to call you and how many sales you made of a specific keyword. That being said, you want to ensure the AdWords Management Company you choose is invested in generating a return on you and not just wanting to drive lots of unqualified traffic to you.
One of the big selling points for a number AdWords Management Companies is that their management structure is on a ‘week-to-week’ or ‘month -to-month’ cycle. This, to many people, is an attractive option but the reality is that choosing a weekly or monthly option means very little in practical terms if the AdWords Management company you are working with is not invested in making you money.
What you want to know:
If you are making a commitment to work with a company for any amount of time, beit weekly, monthly, yearly or whatever, there needs to be a fair exchange of commitment back to you from the company. You wouldn’t hire an employee for even a day if you didn’t expect them to undertake the work, let alone on a 6 or 12 month contract.
So what should you expect back from you commitment of time and finances?
A Goal percentage for Return. This is the single most important thing you want to hear from your AdWords Management company. You shouldn’t need to prompt them, this should be volunteered by the Company.
If your conversation with the Adwords Management Company does not mention a goal return for your investment then you should move on. A commitment of a minimum ROI is acceptable (obviously no one can guarantee an exact ROI figure but if they can’t promise to meet a minimum mark [eg. breaking even] then it is irresponsible for the company to work with you in the first place.)
Will the work be undertaken by a Qualified Individual in Australia? Is the company they are associated with recognised by the Google Partner Program in Australia?
Yes, I’m rehashing, but the reason that this is important is because you want the account manager to understand the linguistic nuances of the market you to target (ie. how your customers speak about their needs).
As an example, the preferred keyword ‘icypole’ in Victoria has a lower search volume in Western Australia where the word ‘popsicle’ is preferred. This is an extremely generic example but it does illustrate the need well.
Are they committed to your success or do they just want to sell AdWords Management?
The reality is that salespeople want to make sales – unfortunately there is no way around that.
That being said, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against being involved in something that is not right for you and your business. The most important thing to do is to identify if they just want the sale first and then work out the details later:
Are the AdWords Management Company confident that they will be able to generate conversions from your website?
Your website and is ease of access to your potential clients is a central part of the conversion process.
What do I actually own?
It’s fair to assume that if your are paying someone to build you something it’s yours, right?
Well in the online marketing world, this might not be the case. If you are having a Website built for you or a Google AdWords account structured or restructured from an existing Account, you want to know:
- Is the work you do for me, mine to own if I chose to leave?
- If I do leave before the duration of my contract reached completion, am I entitled to my AdWords account and/or any other work you do for me (ie. the campaign your company structures for me or will you delete it? )
- If I do own the AdWords Account you manageme for me, will I have access to log in whenever I want a look at the change history?
Having access to your actual Google AdWords account is an absolute necessity. Not having access to your account is like giving someone your bank card and not being able to see your statements or having access to the receipts.
You should be provided an email address and a passwords which you can log in to your Google AdWords account. Having access will mean that you can see how much you are investing on a daily basis and track how fast you are spending that investment.
You can also see if they are regularly managing your account. You would be horrified at how many accounts I do analysis on that are looked after by an AdWords Management company and have not been touched for weeks or even months. You want to know that you are at least getting what you pay for wich is someone managing your account with ROI in mind.
If you are not seeing this from your management company then perhaps its time to have a chat and see where their priorities lay. I would say its time to move on if they try and drop their price to keep you on board – would you let an employee who has been delivering poor quality service to your customers and underperforming internally stay on if they tried to offer their work at a lower pay level?
You know what you want for your business. How you engage with your employees should be how you engage with your AdWords Management Company and you should expect your AdWords Management company to engage with you as your staff would.
If you’re not sure if your account is being managed its time to Analyze your results and see where your money is going.