Google Ads is the single most popular PPC (pay-per-click) platform out there, which means that if you’re planning on a paid ad campaign for your business, it’s probably on Google Ads. And as a business owner, you are probably used to juggling multiple jobs and distractions at once. However, should you be managing your own PPC campaign? Before making this decision, there are a few things you must keep in mind.
For starters, PPC implementation and management is pretty vast and complex, and has an entire industry centred around it. Sure, you could get started with it yourself, even figure out how Google Ads work. If you’re a first time user, Google will also provide you with helpful tips on the way to setting up your first ad. But that is where the handholding will stop, and you will be able to see for yourself the need for expertise behind your advertising. And this expertise comes only from experience with Google Ads.
That said, however, you could still get started with Google Ads yourself, if only to get familiarised with the advertising environment and to see how it works. You might also be able to run a successful ad campaign that brings in revenue, provided you can keep the following points in mind.
It Requires Time
A well managed PPC campaign is one that has had a lot of time and effort put behind it. Learning Google Ads on a basic level and setting up your first ad will probably not take long, but becoming an advertising expert surely will.
A successful ad campaign requires routine analysis and regular maintenance. This will involve multiple tasks like updating your bidding tactics, developing new keyword lists, creating new ad groups, constantly writing newer and more optimised ad copies, optimising the landing pages, keeping up with updates to the Google algorithm, and reviewing ad performance, among a few others.
All of this will require a lot of time. Google will be there to provide you some insight into where your ads are going wrong such as conflicting negative keywords, and which ads aren’t performing well, and you will have to make deductions based on this information in order to improve your ads. Now you may make changes to your ads, hoping to make them perform better, and then find yourself frequently staring into the screen wondering why these changes aren’t having any effect.
Truth is, even the changes you make will require you to put a lot of time and research behind them. Let us consider researching keywords. It is simply one component of your ad campaign, and yet well-researched and analysed keywords are the foundation for a good and successful PPC campaign. However, if you are looking to change the keywords around which your ad campaign is based you will first have to select the most appropriate topics for your ads and create a seed list of keywords to begin with. You will then have to refine this list of keywords, and then create a new ad campaign based around the newly selected keywords.
Marketing groups will have an entire team to do this work. Needless to say, learning how to do it yourself, and then actually implementing it successfully is going to take quite a bit of time and effort. And if your keywords aren’t well researched, then a hit and try method of experimenting with keywords will simply cost you a lot of money. Therefore, if you do plan on doing it yourself, make sure you give yourself enough time to read before starting. There are innumerable blogs and videos hosted by companies that actually offer such digital marketing services, that are bound to prove helpful and answer a number of questions.
It Requires Knowledge
As mentioned earlier, the Google Ads platform is pretty vast and complex. There is a reason why an entire industry has sprung up around it – the service demands expertise. Here is just some of the knowledge, other than simply the Google Ads platform itself, that you need in your repertoire for successful ads that actually generate business:
- You will need to be deft with the keyword research tool as well as Google Analytics.
- You will need some marketing knowledge.
- You must know how to manage a budget.
- You should be able to write a great and convincing ad copy.
- You must ideally also have some SEO knowledge, if you wish to combine both the paid and organic approaches to boost business.
You should also know that the world of PPC is not exactly user-friendly. There are many ways to get caught up in the middle of the ad-creation process because you simply don’t understand what’s going on. If you don’t take the time to read, you might frequently find yourself overwhelmed by the terminologies. You must know and understand:
- Campaigns & Ad groups
- Keyword Match Type
- Quality Score, and how to improve it
- Estimated Bid Values
- CPA, CPM, CPC and CTR
- Ad Schedule
- Top Impression Rate
- Target Audiences and Locations
- Conversions & Cost per Conversion
Once you have actually wrapped your head around all of this and actually set up some ads, then comes the process of constant ongoing analysis and problem solving. This means you will have to understand and analyse the data to make useful deductions. Among other things, you will need to be able to figure out which ads are converting, and the cost per conversion; you will have to figure out which locations are not proving profitable for your ads, and what time of the day, or days are generating the most leads. You will have to address keywords that are bringing in non-targeted audiences, and you will also have to understand which landing pages are facing the highest bounce rates, and then address them according to need.
It’s a lot of decisions, and opportunities for improvements are going to frequently present themselves, which will require you to grasp them immediately. This, once again means, that you will need to educate yourself on each of the points mentioned above. For example, you should consider watching videos and reading instructional blogs hosted by top website designing services in order to get an insight into what really makes a good landing page, if that is indeed where your campaign is falling short. Having all of this knowledge will certainly help you a long way to make better ads. But to actually implement all of it yourself is going to take some time, patience, and quite a bit of reading.
It Requires Money
Unless you know what exactly you’re doing, it’s really easy to burn through your money very fast on Google Ads. You will end up wasting money on incorrect keywords, incorrect audiences, incorrect ads, and most importantly not knowing how to fix any of these issues. Its true that you’ll need to have a decent budget in order to run successful ads, but unless you wish to quickly drain your money, here are some of the things you will have to keep in mind:
- Your bidding strategies need to be well placed
- Your ads will have to be scheduled well
- You will need to learn and implement automated bidding
A good marketing agency will be able to draw out a budget for you, as well be able to manage your expectations. But you will have to be realistic regarding the returns you can expect. You will have to analyse your ad data and constantly make improvements, such as identifying the non-productive search terms and blocking them through negative keywords, adding valuable keywords by analysing the search terms, highlighting your business USPs in your ad copies, improving your landing pages by analysing the bounce rates, and keep your Quality Score high, all of which is essential to make sure your ads aren’t simply driving up your costs without any real returns.
Setting up and running your own PPC campaign can be a daunting task, but it is manageable with patience, and some money. However, you might find that you could save on both by hiring a top digital marketing agency to manage a PPC campaign for you. Think of it as hiring any other skilled serviceman, such as a lawyer or a mechanic. It’s probably even worth it to have all of this knowledge, since you might even be able to deal with such agencies in a much smarter manner. But it is always worth investing in professionals for your advertising needs, as it will help you save time, money, and effort, all of which you can channel into actually running your business.