Google provides free resources online for learning how to advertise effectively using AdWords. You don’t have to become AdWords certified. But the courses that lead to AdWords certification provide valuable information for anyone wanting to advertise on the Google search page.
These lessons can be found at the Google Academy for Ads. Taking the courses on AdWords Fundamentals and AdWords Search will teach you the basic concepts and vocabulary that you’ll need to understand before even starting to build your campaigns. You’ll learn why Google might not approve your ads and what to do about it if they are. You’ll also learn about the various types of bidding, each with their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Most importantly you’ll find out how to evaluate your campaign’s performance and what you should do if it is less than satisfactory.
Before you begin, you’ll want to plan your campaigns based on your advertising goals. Whether the goal is increased traffic to the website, more leads for your business, or more sales in your online store, each goal will require a different strategy to get there. Even more important, however, is setting up your campaign and website with the ability to track whether or not you are meeting those goals.
The ability to track your progress is one of the biggest advantages of AdWords advertising. If you don’t do it, you’ll never know if you’re succeeding. Tracking your goals (known as conversions) in AdWords requires a bit of technical knowledge, and the ability to use Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and perhaps a little bit of HTML, but nothing most people can’t master. Once you have your tracking in place for your campaigns, you’re ready to move forward.
Once you’ve built your campaign and launched it, you still have more work to do. Every campaign requires monitoring and optimization. Making “tweaks” to it over time to improve performance and get you closer to your goals. Google gives you a wealth of data to analyze and act on with every campaign. You’ll need to have patience sometimes until you have gathered enough data to act on. Knowing when you have enough information to act on is based on the experience you gain over time.
But the best way to perform these tweaks is on a set schedule. One day you can analyze the performance of your ads and make any necessary changes, the next day you can examine keyword data, and the next how your bids are performing, etc. Then, when the campaigns have gathered new data based on your changes, it’s time to do it over again according to your schedule. The work of optimization is never done but is even more important than setting up your campaign right from the beginning.
Google is always making changes. Changes to features, changes to the look and feel of the AdWords online interface, and changes to their policies. Any of these changes can have an impact on your advertising campaign. It’s better to know about them in advance than after the fact. The best way to keep up-to-date is by regularly monitoring the AdWords blog, called “Inside AdWords.” Also, make sure you are subscribed to the various emails that Google will send you about your account, whether it is for disapproved ads or keywords, account changes or important announcements affecting your account.
Some businesses make the decision to build and manage their own AdWords campaigns. If this is the route your business decides to take, we hope that the tips outlined above will help you get a good start on AdWords search advertising. On the other hand, if you are looking for an agency to get you started on the road to search advertising success, please don’t hesitate to give BIG YAM a call. We’d love to talk to you about your business goals!