Can I do this myself?
Yes. Yes you can. Go to google.co.uk/adwords and everything you need to know to start your own campaigns is there, including extensive training.
Should I do this myself?
Probably not. Google AdWords is a very powerful system and it requires training, skill and experience to get the best out of it and avoid expensive mistakes. AdWords campaigns work best when someone who knows how they work and who knows what to look for is regularly monitoring and continually looking to optimise them. What search terms did people use to get to our ads? Which search terms are most likely to result in people not only clicking on the ad but actually buying something? How can we improve our Quality Scores? Could we spend a little bit more but improve our ad positioning substantially? Would it actually be worth our while doing this? An experienced AdWords professional is more likely to do this well and thereby save you money.
A business came to us not that long ago wanting help with their AdWords campaigns. Their ads were getting lots of impressions (i.e. they were appearing very frequently in response to search terms) and quite a lot of clicks, but they didn’t seem to be leading to sales. The first thing we noticed was that it was their ‘Special Offers’ campaign that was attracting the most clicks. Closer examination revealed that most of these clicks were from people who had typed in search terms like “aldi special offers this week” or “lidl special offers”. Our client was not a discount supermarket. However, every time someone clicked on their ad hoping to find half-price orange juice or buy-one-get-one-free on rump steaks, our client was paying for that click. The problem was that our client had been targeting very generic keywords like “special offers” instead of more specific ones relating to what they were trying to sell. This sort of pitfall is very easy to fall into with AdWords campaigns.
So who should I get to do it? (And our credentials)
It is very much in Google’s own interests that advertisers get the most out of AdWords. Because of this, Google runs accreditation schemes for individuals and agencies. To become a Google Qualified Advertising Professional, an individual needs to pass professional exams set by Google. Here at Clare Associates, Mark Poles is a Google Qualified Advertising Professional with accreditations in both Advanced Search and Display advertising, and also holds the Google Analytics Individual Qualification and the Google Advanced Certificate in Video Advertising.
For agencies, Google runs the Google Partner scheme. Agencies that carry the Google Partner accreditation combine technical knowledge and extensive experience of running AdWords campaigns for clients. To qualify as a Partner, an agency must have at least one Google Qualified Advertising Professional, must manage at least US$10,000 of advertising spend over a 90 day period and must have a consistent record of following Google’s recommended best practice for campaign management. Google’s own scoresheet shows that Clare Associates exceeds not only the required standard for Google Partner status, but is also among the top-rated agencies for following Google Best Practice.
We are one of a handful of agencies in the southwest to have achieved Google Partner status.
Obviously, we’d like you to choose Clare Associates to handle your AdWords campaigns. If you are looking for personal service, qualified and experienced professionals (who understand business – Mark Poles is also a qualified Chartered Accountant) and people committed to your business, we think we’d be a good choice. Call us on 01822 835802 for an initial discussion.
We certainly think your AdWords marketing should be handled by a Google Partner. However, we would go further and recommend using an agency that can also help you with your other online marketing. This includes search engine optimisation for your website, website development and design, e-commerce and website management. Many online marketing agencies grew out of traditional ‘20th century’ marketing agencies and have to subcontract much of their web development work. Clare Associates provides a complete ‘21st century’ marketing service.