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It isn't often that I start my own threads, but today I've been offered a pretty cool opportunity, and I think a new thread is probably in order.
I was chatting with a couple of the folks from the Google Advertising Professional team, and I proudly mentioned that a very high percentage (18% as I recall?) of the first 100 Qualified Pros were members of this Forum. (And, the cool thing is that they were actually aware of this, since they read the Advertiser Feedback Report, and I'd mentioned the percentage way back when.)
Then, they started wondering aloud what suggestions folks on this Forum might have about the Google Advertising Professionals program, given the chance to comment freely to the program's decision makers.
I said "Let's ask", and they said "Please do". So here I am. ;)
So, what do you have to say about the Google Advertising Professional program, present and future? How could it be made easier and more effective to use? How could it be made more valuable to you and your clients - both current and prospective? What should be added? What should be done away with?
Do you have comments on the Learning Center? On the test? On the materials that are available to you once you're 'Qualified'? Anything else? Open season here, folks.
As always, I can't guarantee that every 'Wish List' item will end up being implemented. However, I can guarantee that your suggestions will be collected, made into a thorough presentation for the program's decision makers, and taken very seriously indeed.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what you all have to say. And so, I know, are a bunch of others. ;)
Thanks in advance!
1. One of the top requests in the sales process is projections of numbers. Either visitors or budget (and best case is both). We all know the traffic estimator doesn't work well, no need to rehash that, but estimations are crucial.
2. Troubleshooting assistance. Right now, while (and thank the G dpt) the Ad Diagnostic tool lets one specify geographies; however, one can't see the ad positioning or the surrounding ads in any specific geography. This additional functionality would go towards making more relevant ads for that result.
3. The test. While it's been quite a while since I've taken it, I've listened to others feedback over the past few months - so these comments are also from there, my apologies if these have all been fixed. The test had several ambiguous questions, and others that seemed you needed to know the 'Google answer' and not the correct answer. Not to sound haughty, but I found it too easy, especially knowing one only needed a 70% to pass.
4. The learning center. While it's a great resource, there were (maybe still are) some incorrect answers and misspellings. Greater QC of this, especially as it expands to other languages is a necessity.
5. Promotional credits. If an organization continues to sell, why limit their credits? (you already know my views on this quite well ;) )
6. Account knowledge. Are those keywords being phrase matched, broad matched, exact matched - let us know what's actually going on in the account.
7. Get rid of the https image error in the FAQs. It was gone for about 48 hours and then came back again - takes twice as long to search FAQs.
8. FAQs. An announcement list when an FAQ is changed. In the last set of rollouts, some of these were changed, and it was people who were new to the system asking questions that made me go back and look at a few and then realizing they had been changed. Some sort of changelog, etc, so we can stay on top of the small AdWords changes.
9. MCC. Allow a search across all advertisers.
10. MCC. Allow a 'custom this view' ability so that advertisers could add conversion data, CTR data, etc to that view. From what I understand, most MCCs are not using the budgeting feature (you'd know more about this than I), so why have it take up half the screen?
11. In the MCC reports, there's not a place to list advertisers as a checkbox. So, while one can run some interesting custom reports - there's no way of knowing which advertiser is associated with particular numbers.
12. MCC Organization. I'd like to be able to add an MCC to multiple MCC accounts. Right now, an MCC can only be listed under a single MCC. I'd like to be able to add MCCs under multiple other MCCs.
13. Google GAP Advertising. While the GAP certification is nice to those in the know - the average business person has no idea it exists. The way to bring value to such a certification is for Google to promote the certification so that the average user is aware of it as well.
14. Must end with some praise. Many have lobbied for an AdWords newsletter - and the blog has gone a long ways towards bringing more communication to advertisers. The occasional post about some very unique strategies, use of custom reports, etc, would be welcome.
QGAP is great program and I like to hear AWA saying that they care for it!
I would like to expand eWhisper's list:
15. Make a special support channel for QGAP. If QGAP is asking a question it is never a newbie question. These are tough questions and the basic level support usally can't handle it.
16. Promotional credits are still for US based QGAP only. You promised here (msg18): [webmasterworld.com...]
that the change will not take years, I hope it is still valid :-)
The MCC alone is a huge improvement, but it could stand to be fine-tuned. I'd love it if the initial page could be customizable (as mentioned before) but also if any particular alerts for any account could be placed there, preferably in red or something noticeable - such that one client's credit card was refused, or another has some words that have gone inactive - just something that indicates that a particular account requires some immediate attention.
I'd like to be able to move/copy reports back and forth between clients in the MCC, without having to recreate it for each one. Or maybe I just haven't figured out how to do that yet?
I went through the Learning Center when the program first started, in order to take the test and become Qualified; that was around the end of last year or the beginning of this one. I went in there for a refresher on something recently, and found all kinds of new and interesting stuff I had no idea was there - it'd be nice if you had some way of letting us know when there have been significant updates or additions to the information in the Learning Center, which is already a LOT more comprehensive than the normal AdWords help files. I was thinking of it as mainly just a tool to help pass the test, but it deserves more exposure as a help resource. A newsletter or forum or blog or something?
I do kind of get the feeling that once having passed the test and earned the logo, Google has sort of stepped back and lost interest in us. Your posting is definitely a step in the right direction.
P.S. My understanding is that the test is supposed to be taken yearly - is that correct? Is there some system of notification in effect when someone is coming up to be 30 to 60 days away from having to re-certify?
If I've got my time zones correct, that was some late night posting eWhisper! Many thanks indeed. (Your feedback is approaching Legendary Status here in the hallways of AdWords, BTW.) Thanks also to Migriffin, dave741, and netmeg for great info. ;)
...Promotional credits are still for US based QGAP only. You promised here (msg18): [webmasterworld.com...]
that the change will not take years, I hope it is still valid :-)
The folks over here (who are really pleased to be getting this high-quality feedback) asked me to say "Thanks!" - and also to mention that promotional credits are now available to Google Advertising Professionals in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK - in addition to the US. (I'm not aware of what other countries will be included, or when, but at least this is a pretty good start.) ;)
1) Case Studies. We need case studies in every possible industry, at all company sizes (mom-and-pop to large corps). And not just one case study. Offer several. And not just successes. Offer examples where PPC wasn't appropriate (yes, there are types of industries where PPC doesn't work).
2) The projection estimates don't work (and for various reasons, can't work), so don't bother with that. In fact, remove that. It's extremely misleading and confusing for people.
3) Chat Room for GAPs: Add a chatlist for GAPs. Make it accessible from within the MCC. We could exchange info among each other. For example, I've written some 24 case studies, which will be part of my book that will be published in the next few weeks. I'd like to be able to distribute these. We could also discuss changes and improvements to the MCC.
4) Agree with eWhisper's #13: Promote the GAP program. None of my new clients were aware of GAP.
5) Standardize the name! :-) Certified Adwords Professional? Google Adwords Professional? Qualified Google Advertising Professional? Google Black Hats? Many of these names are in use (check the GAP/QAP/CAP FAQ page).
6) A pass for the Google cafeteria. The desserts are fabulous. The some-sort-of-pecan-pie-thing... whoa!
7) Email notification of system problems, fixes, etc. It's a bit embarrassing that we often find out about errors on WebmasterWorld, not via Google. If something isn't working in GAW, do I ask my rep? No, just go to WebmasterWorld and see if others have spotted it yet. Google is a mega-corp in a huge industry, yet things often happen as if we were Brownies selling cookies.
8) Look at the certification programs at SalesForce.com, Oracle, etc. Hire someone to be the GAP/QAP-whatever coordinator. Develop a full strategy and implement it. Give her a webpage, with pix and a link from our MCC GAP page, where we can contact her. Forget Yahoo; they're not really competing anymore. Microsoft is coming fast with their PPC and they will roll out a complete all-points full-contact strategy against Google. Something they could easily build up would be a strong certification program that rewards its members. That could hurt Google revenues. So preempt them with a better program that ties the GAPs tighter to Google.
I may think of more.
Don't forget the lunch pass.
Save time. Have Google create your ad.
Tell Google about your business and get a custom campaign. (New advertisers only.)
Get independent help. Hire a Qualified Google Adwords Professional to _manage your campaign_.
Have a page explaining what the program is, and giving a directory of QGAPs
B. Promote QGAPs to accounts that aren't running. Right now there's a box saying:
Your ads aren't running. Can we help?
We have noticed that all of your campaigns and/or Ad Groups are currently paused or deleted. If you're interested in running your ads again, the Google AdWords Team is available to address any questions or concerns you may have about your account.
Yes, help me out ¦ No, thanks
(BTW, linking yes to the help center is pretty lame IMHO)
Replace it with something like:
Your ads aren't running. Need help?
The Google AdWords Team can answer your questions about your account. If you need help managing your account, consider hiring a Qualified Google Adwords Professional.
Yes, I need help ¦ No, thanks
If they answer yes, give them info on how to contact the Adwords team and on how to hire a QGAP, giving a directory of them.
This one's got to be a huge win-win. Lots of people have thrown in the towel on their accounts because they cannot figure out how to run them.
It feels a little like a dichotomy right now as Google handles many accounts themselves and is trying to bring even more in-house. Why have a GAP program at all if they want to hire and manage all the advertisers themselves.
Just jumping in for a quick sec to say that the presentation that will evolve from this thread is now being put together.
There is still time to get your feedback in front of the program's decision makers, though. If you'd like to have your thoughts included, perhaps you could post them by, oh, say 6:00 this evening Pacific Time? (Roughly 8 hours from now...)
Thanks a ton for all the excellent feedback so far. I told the team you'd have some valuable insights, both 'positive' and 'negative' - and sure enough that's exactly what's happened.
This one's got to be a huge win-win. Lots of people have thrown in the towel on their accounts because they cannot figure out how to run them."
As someone who spends 6 figures on adwords, this was probably one of the best ideas. We are getting close to throwing in the towel do to the sub par results that we are getting. Without case studies to help give us bench marks nor an easy way to find reliable help or a trustworthy professionals, we feel just lost with adwords.
For example, I'd love to have a tool that would allow me to pick a location and do searches as if I'm from that location. I'd like to be able to see what my clients are competing against. I have lots of campaigns targeted to locations other than where I am. I have campaigns going on outside my region, outside my county and even regional campaigns within other countries.
Another thing that could be done is for Adwords to test new features only on accounts managed by QGAPs. We get the benefit of getting first access. Adwords gets the benefit of early feedback from folks who know what they're doing, helping it to avoid problems in rolling out new features to less-sophisticated users.
1. The ability to create individual ads for each and every keyword in a group, like we can with Overture.
2. Longer (or none) expiration time on the promotional credits
3. Unlimited AdGroups and Campaigns per account
4. Speedier response on all inquiries - Google is probably the worst supplier i've ever worked with, in terms of customer service, and coming from someone who lives in the UK (where customer service is virtually unheard of), that is REALLY bad!
5. Better site identification on the website tool for CPM campaigns (e.g. try finding websites for amateur football players - no matter what you search, you only ever get the same big sites - maybe a way to search within the search results? or eliminate certain websites from the results)
6. Certification for agencies / companies rather than just inidividuals
7. A way for ordinary users to find the Qualified Professionals' pages from Google itself, rather than just via a direct link from other sites. (i know im probably being too wishful here!)
8. In-built day-parts bidding, especially for campaigns with less than recommended daily budget. Allowing us to set day-parts directly on Google, rather than via 3rd-party software.
9. Demographic targeting where possible - with customers who have signed up on Google or Content Network sites.