What Parenting and Google AdWords have in Common
Parenting has helped me develop some good business instincts: budgeting, negotiation, analyzing ROI, adaptability and trusting my gut.
Return on investment is likely one of the best skills – $200 for a day at the water park for 95% fun vs. $40 for 3 hours at Chuck E. Cheese for 75% fun.
So, here are six ways to improve your Google AdWords campaigns by applying well known parenting techniques.
1. They Want Your Money
Google is just like kids, the reason they exist is to take your money. Despite their philosophical “free” mantra, Google is in business to make money. So, when crafting your Google AdWords campaigns, be wary of the “quick-and-dirty” campaign set up. New products, such as Google AdWords Express, make it easy to advertise on Google without you “wasting time” managing it. But you need to make sure that your business is reaching its goals by advertising with Google. To do this, you need to constantly monitor, adjust, test and analyze results; otherwise you are just feeding Google’s pockets and not your own.
2. Google Analytics Say the Darndest Things
The other day, my 7-year old said, “Now I understand everything in the universe!”. (Google Analytics actually does). You may expect one thing from your Google AdWords campaigns but then the analytics throw you a curve ball. I don’t know how many times I have seen a keyword that we were so sure would work and then we looked at the analytics and saw that it was driving traffic but not converting. Sometimes you just throw a keyword in there, never truly believing it will deliver and that turns out to be the winner. So, listen to your Google AdWords and Google Analytics data, there are some real gems in there.
3. Name Everything or You’ll Misplace it
I have a brother with 4 kids. He has a tough time keeping track of them. Thank goodness he didn’t name them all George or the house would be madness! The same is true of your Google AdWords campaigns. In order to keep track of what’s going on, you need to establish some clear naming conventions for your campaigns and Ad groups. The names should be set up logically so that anyone can go into that account and figure out what is going on. This also simplifies and clarifies the data for analysis and reporting.
A time out can stop bad behaviour. This can also be applied to your AdWords campaigns. When you analyze your results, you will see some real troublemakers, costing you lots of money for clicks but not achieving your goals. The solution is a time out (pause campaigns) for those Ad groups, ads, and keywords that are behaving badly. Don’t forget to implement a good grounding on the real serious troublemakers by adding negative keywords to your campaigns.
5. The Loudest One isn’t Always Right
I have one kid who is really loud and another who is fairly subdued. One thing I always have to keep in mind is that the loudest voice isn’t always right. Google ads and keywords that have the highest CTR and appear to be shouting from the treetops about how awesome they are because they are delivering the most website traffic, aren’t always the ones that are most successful. They may be driving loads of volume but not converting on your goals and driving website leads. So you are paying for clicks that you shouldn’t. Shift your budget to quieter keywords (lower CTR and/or traffic) that deliver the goods.
The oldest trick in the book: cheese sauce on broccoli. You know it is good for them (your website visitors) but you need to spice it up to get that click through. Make your value proposition more appetizing by adding some tasty cheese: an enticing offer of a free download or free consultation, whatever will appeal to your market.