In my 17 years as a B2B SEO and marketing consultant, I hadn’t really considered giving PPC a go until Google changed the layout for its search results to remove right-side ads on desktop and to increase the number of ads appearing above the organic results to as many as four.
Suddenly, SEO became a whole different ball game, especially since I work with small manufacturers, many of whom are SEO-challenged to begin with. Seeing the lower CTRs and my clients’ listings being pushed farther and farther down on the page, I realized it was time for me to learn AdWords so that I could offer it as a new service.
Thankfully, one of my manufacturing clients wanted to begin a small AdWords campaign, so we agreed I’d set it up and manage it — with the understanding that I was in “beta.”
Although I brought considerable skills to the table, including direct response copywriting, years of analytics and a deep knowledge of SEO and online marketing, I still found myself making mistakes and having to spend time researching to figure things out.
AdWords, I discovered, has a steep learning curve — and if I was struggling, I could only imagine what small business owners must be going through.
What follows are some of the things I learned — from an AdWords newbie perspective — that you can use if you’re considering an AdWords campaign for your small manufacturing business.
It’s deceptively easy to start an AdWords campaign and begin
wasting, oops, I mean spendingmoney immediately. Why? Google doesn’t let you complete your AdWords account setup without first creating an ad and making live.
It’s much more difficult, however, to make your campaign effective. AdWords has an incredible number of moving pieces. You have the Search and Display networks, remarketing, plus all the add-ons: extensions, dynamic insertion, bid adjustments by device and so on.
It really helps, therefore, to take the time before opening your account to read through Google’s documentation. That way, you can decide where you want to place your focus — and your budget.
Google does a nice job of explaining exactly how AdWords works. I advise taking at least a week or two to read through the Setup and Basics guides — and be sure to watch the videos, as they’re quite helpful. Do this learning in small chunks of time so that you retain what you read.
TIP: Once you’re ready to open your account, work through the setup process, which includes creating an ad, then put your now live campaign on pause until you’ve completed your strategy (Tip #2).
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