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Google Advertising Professional Vs Doing it yourself

     
10:13 am on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi new to WebmasterWorld and new to Adwords!

Just setup a Adword campain last week that has not given the big results.

Then yesterday a company rang that employs two Google Advertising Professionals that offered 100 clicks for free. Why not? So I said yes.

These guys got higher listings than me for (if I can belive them) less money....

So my question is do these guys have another login system to me, like a super user account with Google? Since they can get better results for less cent per click?

Would like to control Adwords myself, but if it is a mine field then maybe I am better of paying some company to do it for me, just like to do things myself!

Yours in need of advice,

Mark

10:28 am on Sept 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Did they put your keywords in your login area or theirs? If it was theirs then it is likely they have some history in their account for keywords in your industry and so dont have to pay as much for top positions.

Either that or they used a different bid strategy to yours which was slightly cheaper.

10:55 am on Sept 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes it was on their account.... So I guest they could have pass use of these keywords.

So it is only this that gives them an advantage?

11:08 am on Sept 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Basically yes, they maybe able to set the max CPC the same as you but only pay half what you will. Google works on its CTR basis, the higher the CPC potencially the more money they make, if your CPC is better and your bids slightly lower its likely you will appear above your competitors.

Thats the only advantage they have. Of course they may have more experience than you but.... You get the idea.

3:57 pm on Sept 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've taken over a couple of accounts for clients who set up initially themselves. Mainly it came down to they didn't have time to keep up with the ups and downs of the whole thing, figuring out strategies, reacting (or even finding out about) Google's latest actions, etc. Usually the job of AdWords was handed to someone who already had a fulltime job doing something else. They would just set up the accounts, and basically leave them on auto pilot - so they brought me in to keep more of an eye on things, and implement some strategies to get a better return.
5:28 pm on Sept 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one can manage your money better than yourself. If you take the time, you can be much better. I would never trust anyone else with my account.
2:42 pm on Sept 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one can manage your money better than yourself. If you take the time, you can be much better. I would never trust anyone else with my account.

True, if you are going to live forever. Personally I don't have the personal knowledge to minimise my tax bill, which is why I pay a tax advisor.

3:15 pm on Sept 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one can manage your money better than yourself. If you take the time, you can be much better. I would never trust anyone else with my account.

That's so incredibly wrong. Can you do a better job than your plumber? Your accountant? Would you like to defend yourself at a murder trial or would you hire the best lawyer you could afford?

The likely reason those guys achieved more clicks for less money is that they wrote better ads, picked better keywords, and managed bids more effectively than you did. Not suprising really, Adwords is a very complex system, more so than most people realize.

3:59 pm on Sept 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I quite agree. I don't really see that if they had a previous account with the same keywords in, that it would make any difference. As soon as a new url is placed against the keyword it loses its QS etc and is as if a brand new keyword has been added. Or am I mistaken? I quite agree that whilst one could start your own Adwords campaign and probably do reasonably well, experience does come after time, I have - against my better judgement - just taken on somenes Adwords account because he doesn't have the time and/or experience. When talking to him yesterday - it became very apparent that having a bit of experience can get you a lot further at a much faster pace. I now have the problem that my new customer is concerned that he is getting too much traffic....I was so delighted to have a 20% CTR for only 6p a click in a highly competitive field, I'm now a bit gutted he has asked me to slow things down.
5:48 pm on Sept 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Really it comes down to how valuable your time is.

1. Do you have the time to learn and experiment in everything they have (the professionals) done.
2. Do you have the time to develop the relationships with the engines
3. Do you have the time to do all the anaylsis, research, and bid management

You may have the time but is your time better spent doing someething else in your business or is it cheaper to pay someone to do it for you.

My one point is - set volume, CPA, ROAS (or whatever metric you use) expectations in a resonable manner, and require they meet those goals in a certain time frame.

Good luck!

Melissa

PS I've done both and while I'm a control freak I do enjoy the outside prespective.

9:25 pm on Sept 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I suggest to potential clients that compared to doing Adwords themselves, I can get them twice the traffic for the same amount of money or the same amount of traffic for half the money that they get on their own.

How?

Once I run an amateur's account through about a 63 point audit (with many a nuance to every "point"), there are always myriad ways to improve the account.

From my experience.

12:01 pm on Sept 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No one can manage your money better than yourself.

If you're new to AdWords, chances are you're going to pay far more for the traffic than an experienced user. In competitive markets, it can be suicidal.

Like anything - tax, the law etc - it pays to know enough to ask your professional the right questions. In this instance, "how would hiring you impact my ROI?".

3:28 pm on Sept 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I could save money by cutting my own hair (after all, nobody knows my hair better than I do) but I might not be terribly happy with the way it comes out.
4:58 pm on Sept 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Netmeg, I'll be using that line with potential GAP clients...
5:44 pm on Sept 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Heh, we've been using it for years....
2:54 pm on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can see that a professional might have advantages, especially if you're too busy to deal with it yourself, but my concerns would be:

i) Industry-specific knowledge. Does an adwords professional know the search terms YOUR customers will be using? My guess is that an in-house employee, who has experience dealing with your customers is probably going to be far more familiar with the terms that the public use (rightly or wrongly) to describe (and search for) your products/services.

ii) Motivation. If you're paying a professional a percentage of your ad spend (which is what most of the ones who cold-call me ask for), then it's actually in the professional's interest to INCREASE your spend. Why would he/she try to make savings for you? Now, if you can arrange to pay them by conversion, then you might be on to something.

I make these comments after my company brought our adwords account back in-house after a professional had managed it for a while. He'd got us some quite good CTRs, but had missed a lot of very useful Keywords because he just didn't work in our niche of retailing, and (and this part really peeved me) he hadn't put in negative keywords to stop clickthroughs for items we don't sell.

Thinking about it, there was just no reason for him to care about it - the quality of traffic to our site (and their likelihood of conversion) didn't matter to him, because he got paid as long as he got clickthroughs.

Then again, maybe we just had a particularly lax manager - maybe others are better than ours was.

4:15 pm on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Does an adwords professional know the search terms YOUR customers will be using?

Good point. Every industry has it's own jargon, and chances are that a GAP won't be an expert in your vertical. I try to read up on a vertical if I'm going to be working in the sector.

I also ask clients to generate their own keyword lists, then filter them for generics, very broad matches etc. Going for vague, generic terms must be one of the most common textbook mistakes for newbies.

To my mind, managing a PPC campaign should be a partnership, like most other situations when you hire a professional.

there was just no reason for him to care about... the quality of traffic to our site

I've worked to conversion targets before for clients, but the difficulty is that you're at the mercy of their site's conversion performance. For example, some recent clients have had sites with no obvious calls to action, no privacy policy, oblique pricing etc, so conversion suffers. I'm happy to work with clients to fix these things, but not every client is happy to hear that their shiny new Web 2.0 site isn't perfect to make money from...

4:22 pm on Sept 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i) Industry-specific knowledge. Does an adwords professional know the search terms YOUR customers will be using?

There's no way I'm ever going to know as much about my client's business as they do (at least at first) so I require them to come up with the search terms to begin with - then I'll add to them as they occur to me and as I learn more about the business. The clients I've had for four years or more - I probably know the search terms better than they do.

That said, I won't take (and have had to refuse) clients who are in competing businesses. Anything that even leads to a possibility of a perception of conflict of interest is out of the question.

ii) Motivation. If you're paying a professional a percentage of your ad spend (which is what most of the ones who cold-call me ask for), then it's actually in the professional's interest to INCREASE your spend. Why would he/she try to make savings for you? Now, if you can arrange to pay them by conversion, then you might be on to something.

Maybe. If you can get someone to work on those terms, more power to you; I myself wouldn't take on a client who wanted to pay by conversion. There are too many factors that would be out of my control, and I could end up spending lots of time without getting paid.

I charge by the hour. My personal motivation to work as efficiently as possible and control my client's costs as much as possible is to maintain the longterm relationship that will keep those hourly charges coming in. I sometimes have to rein in clients who want to spend more than I feel is necessary; I keep having to tell them to spend smart not spend more. I have six clients who have been with me for four years (I think that's when AdWords started - I don't remember exactly) and the only ones I've lost are the ones who went out of business for other reasons, or the ones who didn't want to invest enough time and/or money into it to see a decent return. I've just taken on three new clients in the past month, so I'm near saturation point. And they're happy to pay me because they know I really do have their best interests in mind, because it's in MY best interest to do so.

Then again, maybe we just had a particularly lax manager

That sounds quite possible.

1:17 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How dpes one go about finding someone to work with that can actually do it right?
3:48 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i) Industry-specific knowledge. Does an adwords professional know the search terms YOUR customers will be using?

This works the other way too. Does someone with industry specific knowledge know how people search? I am still yet to meet someone who manages their campaign in-house, as part of a broader marketing role, who has not missed a considerable percentage of their potential search traffic.

As QGAPs, we always ask clients for the phrases they think their customers will use as a starting point. A savy customer may come up with a big list, but we would still end up expanding that list significantly.

ii) Motivation. If you're paying a professional a percentage of your ad spend (which is what most of the ones who cold-call me ask for), then it's actually in the professional's interest to INCREASE your spend. Why would he/she try to make savings for you? Now, if you can arrange to pay them by conversion, then you might be on to something.

We charge most of our clients on a percentage basis (but link it to time spent on the account) for a few reasons including using it as a guideline to keep the spend on management time reasonable in comparisom to the overall ad spend.

The big bonus of this route for our clients though is that it actually motivates us to increase their sales, because we know that if we can increase the performance of their campaign, they will be able to spend more, whilst still keeping to their return on investment targets.

In other words, whilst on the surface we charge a percentage, the way we end up being paid is broadly similar to being paid on commission.

3:55 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How dpes one go about finding someone to work with that can actually do it right?

A short question with many answers. Some of my thoughts (clearly tainted by who I am!):

1. Look for a specialist company - not a web developer who dabbles in it, or an advertising agency who has realised there is a lot of money being spent in this game.

2. Speak to their customers - especially those who have had accounts taken over by QGAPs. Ask about sales not clicks.

3. Read widely here so you can tell whether someone really gets it or not.

4. Ask for sample reports and check for focus on conversions etc, not just clicks.

 

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