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I am just wondering if anyone else has a team and if so, what are some things I could discuss with them. I am happy running things on my own but wonder if there is anything I should ask about or look out for.
Yahoo gave me a rep that calls me on the phone every month because they basically want to write my ads, create campaigns and do all the work for me. I haven't let them do anything yet because I worry that they are more interested in creating ads that will bring them more money than my ROI.
Both companies know that I am an affiliate and seem very intersted in helping me out, which is a bit surprising at times considering google's crackdowns every six months or so.
I guess I am a control freak and am a bit suspicious of google offering an affiliate their own team.
Any feedback or suggestions?
If you let someone you don't know in, let them only have a slice of your business to allow them to prove their worth.
From the side of consultant though, I'll tell you, that control freak thing and my advice to start slow, are warning signs - so also convey that you have no other team working the other side, that you're a control freak because of past bad experiences but are looking for somewhat autonomous, non-micromanaged consultant / manager.
Work through your peers to find someone you can establish trust with, in a two-way manner.
G's team may not be personalized enough for you, if it's true about control freakiness (i read that as "details are important" person) - so definitely don't turn the whole thing over to them at once, without any track record.
If that's not acceptable to them, take a pass (and get back to finding someone who does care and is properly motivated with a pay for performance plan).
Google has also recently organized themselves into a more vertically aligned approach to CS, so they might also have interesting stats, articles, and ideas to share.
They are useful for learning about new features and taking care of copyright issues etc. They also say they are there to assist in strategy and other account modifications.
So far, my experience has been mixed...it's nice to have someone else do the tedious work for you...but they will never know the intricacies of your account the way you do (depending how large it is)
ONE CAVEAT: don't let them let anything go live until you check it over yourself. Again, they don't know your account the way you do. I got a new list of campaign negative keywords from our rep, and found that about 10% of the negatives were parts of keywords elsewhere in the account.
and NEVER forget - you and google will always have a conflict of interest...the reps want to "optimize" your account, which means tons of traffic and clicks and $$ for google. How these changes affect conversion is secondary to them...so be a control freak, be skeptical....but at least be open to their suggetions.
I had a "team" set up a campaign for me. I let them do it, but said that I must see it first before it went live. Well the campaign they setup for me was completely ridiculous. It would have killed my ROI. I rejected the entire campaign. The rep that was in contact w/ me did not seem very happy about it, and I haven't heard from them again since.
Their teams may be good w/ quality scores, CTR, and setting up your site so that it fits better with their algos - but that is not always what is best for your ROI.
It is also interesting to hear about ideas and strategies being discussed, as well as account optimization. In fact, the team they have assigned me has a relationship manager, an account manager, and an optimization specialist.
JBrown, you asked about what spend this kicks in at. I don't think it's strictly about spend. They said that I was assigned a team based on my advertising history and performance so there are probably other factors involved.
I turned the older campaigns back on and they seem to be performing better than the optimized campaigns.
Google offers a lot of tools to help you manage your adwords campaign and therefore deal with the actual spend you pay them- broad match, creative, average CPC and of course the adwords team service (for free).
what does it mean for independent service providers? do you think that advertisers will cease using SEM tools and services in the future?
They're great at creating more traffic but do not pay as much attention to ROI as I'd like to. Luckily I have always some "experiment budget", so I can test some of their suggestions and I must admit several have proven quite valuable. Not always in direct ROI but also in easier campaign management.
They may not know our market as well as we do, but they do know the google products better than we do.
Although in the short term they may have a semi-conflict of interest with us, in the longer term they do not, in the sense that if they help us meet ROI goals, we'll trust them more and be more willing to test new things to increase traffic at the same ROI, leading to a win/win situation.
Also keep in mind that because they don't know our markets as well as we do (as pointed out above), it is helpful to provide your team with as much relevant information as possible. Then, work with them on monitoring the performance after their optimization suggestions, and tweak the campaigns as needed.
I tend to like to tell them up front that 'if you can meet this ROI, then I'll be willing to increase budget for additional testing to increase traffic at a similar or slightly worse ROI' That way, you create short term incentives for them too.
Optimization - we’ve been always better then them.
Just don’t pinch them too much, and here is why:
What happened to us, just recently, is that after more than 2 years of having dedicated support person, and finally two “full time” people plus two for optimization … suddenly we were left with none. They said “vertical” which we totally disagree with. Spending is not a problem, we spend enough. The only thing we could think of was the fact that we pressed policy team very hard about irregularities that persistently are there, we kept reporting them, and yet, policy team did nothing. We questioned same cases again and again, on daily bases. Finally we got dumped, simple as that.
I don't do it for the power trip or anything like that. It's because Google has a lot of inconsistencies, and I like to call them out on it, the reason being that to my boss, it looks like I'm the one screwing up.
But your right, they rarely have a decent answer when I have some ad showing for a keyword phrase on which we are not bidding. It's always "we'll look into it," and then a week later they come back and say nothing was wrong.
I have a very close relationship with mine but have had them for 4 plus years... the occasional free dinner is cool too.