So far you’ve read about Google AdWords—what they are and how they work. Now, you need to know how much they cost.
This is the final installment of the three-part Google AdWords series. In the first two installments (Part 1: Is A Google Ads Program For You? and Part 2: Is a Google Ads Program For You?) , Daniel Klotz and Maddie Gargano, certified AdWords experts, talked about the nitty-gritty of AdWords. Now they’ll show you how you can start a Google AdWords campaign for your company.
Q: Can I go to Google and set up my own ad campaign?
Maddie: It’s a relatively simple process to set up an account on Google’s platform, but having a successful campaign has its challenges. For example, you don’t want to set up a campaign that incorrectly targets the audience you want to reach. Also, your campaign will not return the results you desire if you use irrelevant keywords, populate it with unremarkable ad copy or with poor landing pages. An advertiser must stay up-to-date on search engine marketing (SEM) knowledge and updates to the AdWords interface and program.
A certified Google AdWords Partner has taken the time to immerse themselves in Google’s guidelines/parameters and also in the use of the AdWords interface. Running a successful AdWords campaign requires you to constantly update bids for keywords, test ads for ROI and experiment with different ad groups and search terms. The success of your campaign depends upon conducting continual research and then testing different tactics. The process is both vital and timely and could be a burden to busy business owners.
Daniel: Most lawn care professionals I talk with tell me that if I wanted to learn how to take care of my own lawn, I could. They remind me it may be science, but it isn’t rocket science. The same is true of setting up and managing your AdWords campaigns. If you’re smart enough to run a business, you’re smart enough to learn how to run AdWords campaigns effectively. In both cases—lawn care and AdWords—it is probably best to stick to your strengths and hire a professional.
Q: What is the benefit of hiring a company that has certified Google employees?
Daniel: When you work with an agency that is a certified Google Partner you’re guaranteed two things:
First, the agency actually manages active AdWords campaigns for other businesses—at least $10,000 in direct spends over the most recent three months.
Second, the agency has at least one person who has studied and passed two or more exams to earn the Google Individual Qualification, which expires every 12 months so the qualification has to be actively maintained.
Google Partners have access to extra resources and support from Google when they need a hand or extra help. Google has support people who only work with Partners. Many times our agency has a level of access that our clients do not.
Google certification should be a must for any consultant or agency you’re considering working with for AdWords assistance. I wouldn’t stop there, though. My best advice for screening agencies or consultants who you are considering run your AdWords is to ask the person who is actually running (or will run) your campaigns to explain, in plain English, how they have your campaigns set up and why they have it set up that way. If they evade the question or demonstrate only a weak grasp of the answer; that’s a red flag. If someone knows the Google AdWords platform but can’t explain their approach and goals to you, the client, that person is missing the most important part of the picture.
Q: Why would you recommend Google AdWords to lawn and landscape companies?
Daniel: It comes down to simple arithmetic. With AdWords, you know how much you are paying for each website visit, and how many of those visits [are] converted into sales leads. You can very clearly see your cost and results, so you can directly assess the value of AdWords.
Search engine advertising is an incredible way to get people’s attention at the very moment when they’re looking for what you offer. When I see a billboard, I wasn’t already thinking about my lawn care needs. When I go to Google and search “lawn care companies” I am ready to go. Give me a good reason and make it easy for me, and I will inquire about hiring your services.
Business people are usually surprised to learn that on a search result page, typically 10 to 40 percent of users click an ad instead of an organic (natural, unpaid) listing. Google has done a tremendous job of curating the ads it shows to users. It only displays ads that are relevant to them and gives a quality experience after the click. Because of these high standards from Google, user behavior usually does include looking at the ads on the page.
Think about it. If I want to buy tennis equipment, and Google gives me an ad for a website that sells tennis equipment and also a Wikipedia article about tennis equipment, which am I going to click? The ad. Google has worked hard to make the ads in search results a useful part of the search experience and not an unwelcome intrusion.
Q: Is there anything else that you would you like to add?
Maddie: When a lawn care provider is interested in using AdWords for their business, it’s important to focus more on quality than quantity. Targeting just a few relevant keywords that are highly specific to your business is better than targeting a multitude of general or vague keywords. Take the time to identify those money-making keywords that work well with your lawn care or landscaping business to set up an AdWords campaign structure that works well with your lawn care or landscaping business. That will make your campaign successful in the long run.
Daniel: If you’re in the lawn care or landscape business, at least some of your competitors have been running AdWords campaigns for years at this point and have spent tens of thousands of dollars to do so. When they run AdWords, they get data. If the data didn’t show them that AdWords has been worthwhile, do you think they would continue to run them? If your savvy competitors have been running AdWords consistently for years, it’s a sure bet they’re making money from it. With careful management and a strategic approach, you could be making money from AdWords, too.