It seems like a million years ago but back in December I did a presentation about web analytics for members of a local technology collaborative. One of the members of the audience was Diane Sabato, a professor in the business school at Springfield Technical Community College. Diane is also very involved with STCC’s Entrepreneurial Institute and has tailored one of her classes so that groups of students team up to help real businesses establish online lead generation using Google AdWords. This was the first time I went onto the old Springfield Armory part of the campus – what great history and what wonderful architecture, I can’t wait to go back and get a tour.
Knowing from my presentation that, as VP of Marketing, I manage several Google AdWord campaigns for Atalasoft, Diane asked me to speak to her class to give them an overview of the platform so this last Tuesday night I dropped by and ended up spending the evening with her class discussing mainly AdWords but also digressing into web analytics, and even Twitter.
I had prepared an outline (below) that was to cover about an hour of Google AdWords basics, but questions from her class led to us creating an actual campaign from scratch as well as answering business-specific lead generation strategies for their clients. The majority of her students asked questions, some of them asked several. I think the informal tone went well and I saw only a couple heads nodding by the end of the 3 hours that we spent together, and I don’t blame them. I can’t thank Diane and her class enough for their time, their patience, and their incredibly focused questions. [If any of the class reads this post, please feel free to email me with follow-up questions: tomdog "AT" gmail.com]
- What are AdWords? AdWords are for Lead Generation – they aren’t really a part of the Traditional Advertising Mix. Your ads will only be presented to those who are looking for the specific keywords you are targeting. The size and format of the ads prevent any real branding.
- Are there other adwords options? Why go with Google AdWords? Google gets 58.9% of all search queries worldwide, they are distantly followed by Yahoo! at 22% and then MSN at 9%. Take care of the majority of search first – everybody is pressed for time, if you have the bandwidth to take care of these other lead generation venues, their priority is secondary.
- How can you connect AdWords to your business? You will be compiling lists of words that should be core to business. These are terms that shold be integral to the business and its customers.
- We’ve heard the term: Customer Centric. The premise of AdWords is as customer-centric as it gets because it is the customer who is in control, it is the customer who will be typing the words, as they perceive them, about their needs, as they perceive them.
- AdWords force you to think about the customer. Who are these potential customers? Where are they geographically/socially/domographically? How do these prospects talk about themselves, their needs, and the products/services they are interested in? Where do they hang out online? You will have to create customer profiles and customer roles.
- How to get started with Google AdWords:
Don’t be intimidated
You are in control
There is nothing that you can do that is “wrong”
You won’t spend any of your budget until you are ready to
The sooner you open up the interface and start a “fake” campaign, the better
- Start a New Campaign
- Placements vs. Keywords (Content vs. Search) = Do not do placements as a preliminary project
- Start With Keywords
- Choose via language (English I am assuming)
- Choose via location: you will be in better shape if you can do some geo-targetting of your campaign(s)
-Create an Ad:
Headline (25 char)
Description Line 1 (35 char)
Description Line 2 (35 char)
Display URL (35 char)
Destination URL (1024 char)
- Keyword Input (you will need to work closely with your clients to get their keyword list, this is their homework):
Put in your list and pay attention to the “suggested keywords” that appear in the right column
Add the appropriate “suggested keywords”
Pay attention to and review Match Types:
keyword = broad match
“keyword” = match exact phrase
[keyword] = match exact term only
-keyword = don’t match this term
- Hopefully the URL your ad links to will have some kind of action or goal on it: Product/Service Page, Newsletter Sign Up Page – you and your customer/client will need to find some way to measure the success of your ads [As you get more sophisticated, web analytics with conversion measurement should be employed]
- Don’t be intimidated. Just get started. Read as much as you can about the basics. Ask questions.