Not sure what your budget should be for Google ads, how to calculate a solid budget or how much Google ads cost? Read this article!
If you’re considering using shopping ads to help boost revenue but aren’t convinced I’ve outline some of the benefits here. Keep in mind that proper management of both shopping and regular Google Ads require proper management in order to be successful.
If you didn’t already know this – Google provide nonprofits $10,000 per month to advertise their cause. This offers organizations the potential at not only reaching thousands of new visitors a month, but also the opportunity to generate more donations.
In this article I’ll provide some the best practices you need to not maintain and keep your Grant account.
If you’re a nonprofit and don’t know already have an Google grant account, you learn more about eligibility here. Google offers these grants to over 200,000 nonprofits world wide.
How to Qualify for a Google Grant Account?
In order to qualify for an Adwords grant you must met the following criteria based on your country. In the United States your organization must:
- Be a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization
- Be registered with Techsoup
- If your organization is automatically tax exempt such as a church. You are still required to have 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS to qualify for the Google for Nonprofits program.
The great thing about Google grants is that you can use the money to …
- Recruit volunteers
- Collect donations
- Build brand awareness
- Spread the word about your cause
How to Manage A Google Grant Account?
Some of the challenges that nonprofits run into is the know-how to set up and maintain these accounts. There are many nuances to Adwords grant accounts that don’t apply to regular accounts. Those being…
- Limits on how much you can spend per click – currently at $2
- Which words you can use in ad. For example; you can’t use the word “donate” in your ads
- You account needs to be maintained. If you don’t make any changes to the account every 90 days you could lose your grant account with Google.
Google has recently updated some of the conditions in order to keep your account active.
- You can not use single keywords
- You must use at least 2 sitelinks per adgorup
- You can’t use overly generic or broad keywords
- Your must maintain at minimum a 5% click through rate.
It’s beneficial to work with someone with Adwords grant management experience who understands the Adwords platform and the restrictions around it. This can help optimize and maximize your campaign to get the most out of the grant money.
If you need help managing your Google grant account contact me today! I offer reduced rates for nonprofits.
Do’s and Don’ts When Hiring Someone to Manage Your Adwords Account
Adwords is in many cases is a must for new websites. Simply because SEO takes time to kick in and if you want traffic from users performing certain keyword searches, PPC is the way to go. Adwords works well in many cases – providing the paid search manager knows what he or she is doing. Which is not always the case.
I’ve been managing Adwords accounts since 2004 and I’ve seen a lot of mistakes made by website owners when it comes to working with paid search agencies or managers. I’ve created a list of some of the basic things you should ask and do before hiring anyone to manage or create your Adwords campaigns.
(Do)– Speak to a real person
Never “order” a paid search management service like you would a pair of socks. You want to speak with a live person with paid search experience. A good paid search manager will ask you questions about your goals, target CPA and past PPC performance. You’ll also want to have your existing account audited. Find out how your current campaigns are performing and what the new manager / company will do to improve upon it.
(Don’t)- Management costs
You’ll also want to inquire about any set up costs and monthly maintenance fees. Many agencies try and offer you flat rate pricing based on your spend (which you should never do. I’ll explain later) or by the number of keywords. Freelancers my charge you by the hour.
If you have an existing account get an audit. Some agencies will take a look at your existing campaign to determine how much revamping a campaign may need. They will also have a sense of how much time they will spend in your account.
Too good to be true management fees are just that. Too good to be true. If you have 10,000 products in your Google shopping campaign and your management fee is $300 a month, I guarantee you that your account will not be managed properly. Every account I’ve looked at that had a ridiculously low management fee suffered from lack of management. Every time!
Also avoid paying anyone a percentage of your spend. It’s very easy for a manager to increase what you’re spending on Adwords and which in turn will increase what they get paid. Also an increase in spend is not an indication that they are sending more time managing your Adwords campaign.
I recommend either a flat monthly rate or a percentage of revenue. If the fee is a flat rate, you know exactly what you’re fees will be. If you go with a percentage of sales value – you pay more money only if you make more money.
You can also go hourly. Just be sure to set a limit to how many hours you can afford a month so there are no unexpected fees.
(Do)- Does certification matter?
Certification isn’t an indication that a person or company is good at managing Adwords. It does indicate that they understand the fundamentals. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for the certification. Always ask for case studies and for references. Reach out to those references and ask them about what the management company’s reports on and how responsive they are.
If you are working with an agency that is certified, be sure that the individual you are working with is certified. Don’t assume that if an agency is certified that everyone in that agency is. Ask to see certification of the people managing your account.
(Do) – Own your accounts
Never, under any circumstance allow an agency or manager to create an Adwords account for you. Create one yourself and grant them access. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to clients who had their accounts held for ransom. You want to be able to revoke access to anyone at anytime. You want to retain all of the data the account has for the next manager.
You don’t’ want to lose valuable data that you’ve spent money on. Even if you decide to rebuilt the account from scratch the data that has already been collected is very valuable. Without it, you have to start all over which will cost you even more time and money.
(Do) – Reporting on progress
One area I see lacking from some agencies is reporting. Many times a client will only receive a screenshot of the account or a spreadsheet showing the campaign’s performance. However, an ideal report comes with an explanation of what was done the previous month and the game plan for the next month.
In my mind PPC accounts should evolve. We call ourselves paid search managers, but what we should be doing is more than just manage. The goal is to grow the campaign and continue to improve performance and growth.
It’s always good to shop around and to see what agencies can do for you. Some may offer landing page optimization others may specialize in e-commerce. Find the agency that fits your needs and goals.
(Don’t) Avoid contracts
When it comes to PPC, performance is the goal. Over time you should see your campaign improve. Sure, there will be times it may not perform as expected, but there is usually a reason for it. It could be a new site went live. Perhaps your testing new landing pages or a new offer. Whatever the case may be know and understand why things are improving or why they may not be.
Don’t flip out if you have a bad month. Just understand that somethings things won’t go as planned. However, if you have several months of poor performance and your management company or manager isn’t able to improve performance it may be time to have an audit done by a third party and possibly a new manager. Getting locked into a 6 – 12 month contract could be costly.
Did I miss any tips? What have you learned in the past from working with agencies or managers that you can share?
PPC management is more than just looking at numbers; it’s also about the strategy. All too many times agencies work hard to get the clients and once they do, put the campaigns and clients on autopilot.
I’ve worked with enough clients to know why they left their old PPC management company to work with me. I created a list of 5 things you should look out for when working with a paid search company. You may not be sure just how much your paid search company should do for you. After reading this article you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. (more…)
We all want a high quality score in Adwords, but how does one go about improving their Adwords quality score? Most of what I’ve been reading has been missing some of the more basic issues that can push down your quality score. You’ll find some tips and ideas that are easy enough to implement and can have an almost instant result.
I would suggest doing each one of these tips one at a time to see which one of these has a bigger impact on your quality score. Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below.
How To Improve Your Quality Score
I’m going to assume you’ve structured your campaigns and adgroups as tightly as possible – while sending users to the most relevant pages. All of these go towards your quality score. This is the foundation of your Adwords success and should be carefully thought out. In many cases a poorly laid out adgroup can’t be improved without being restructured, so keep that in mind.
- Using broad terms opens the flood gates to irrelevant traffic, which in turn drives up your CPA. Using Adword’s search query report weekly, will help you identify terms that aren’t relevant as well as helping you find additional terms that will help you convert for less.
- When running broad terms it’s very important to stay on top of your negative terms. Irrelivant traffic will drive up your CPA and lwer yout CTR. Stay on top of the negative terms and you’ll bring in more targted traffic.
- If you are utilizing mobile campaigns then your site should be mobile friendly. Poor user experience in mobile will just waste your money. Opt out of mobile and focus on desktop and tablets only if the user experience is less than ideal for mobile users.
- It’s important to keep your content campaigns separate from your search campaigns. Reason is, Google’s content network will give you a high number of impressions and more than likely a lower CTR. You don’t want the content network to drag down your search campaigns quality score.
Get a Google Rep
- Google reps are great.. they will help you out, not as much as a consultant or agency, but there are some benefits. New features, beta launches etc … can only be granted through a rep. Beta features such as an email sign up box in search results can be provided by your rep. Most agencies and consultants have their own rep as well, in case you don’t have one. Many small accounts aren’t provided with a dedicated rep.
Stop Checking Your Ad Positioning on Google
- One thing you don’t want to do is go into Google several times a day and Google yourself to see where your ads are positioned. You’ll be driving up impressions on your ads which will drive down your CTR and hurt your quality score.
- One way we increase CTR (Click Through Rate) on our ads is to add site links. Site links take up more ad space and provide users with additional links to click. If you are looking to bring your quality score up quickly this would be it.
Bid On Your Brand
- Every PPC pro knows that brand terms convert the cheapest. However, I’m not just talking your own brand. If you sell a product that has strong brand, advertising on it will yield cheaper conversions and improve your quality score. Typically, branded terms have a high CTR and a lower CPA..
Calls to action!
- Calls to action or CTA’s lack in many ads. CTR drives a big part of the quality score and having ads with a strong “call to action” will help do that. You need to tell users what to do. Click Now!, Call Now!, Buy Now!, should be in your ad. Don’t forget the exclamation point!
Hire a consultant or agency
- I know this is a do-it-yourself guide, but the reality is, you can’t possibly know everything there is to know in Adwords. Hiring a firm or consultant who knows how to get the most out of your campaign will be money well spent.
What do to if your quality score is very poor or has become poor over time?
The one thing you don’t want to do is create a new account. Believe it or not Google prefers an account with history and so should you. Revamping your campaign and landing pages is the best way to get your account back on track.
If you are still having trouble improving your quality score you can always contact me.
Marketing isn’t a set and forget it type of thing. Creating a strategy and executing it is the easy part. Monitoring and improving it is where the heavy lifting comes in. However, if you are working on several different initiatives it can be difficult to know where to make improvements.
If part of your job is to manage adwords and you’re not a pro these tips can help you improve your adwords ROI. When it comes to managing campaigns it isn’t always about trimming the fat. It’s about finding new opportunities. Other times it’s about improving performance. I cover some of each in this post. (more…)