After attending a training a few weeks ago, hosted by Google, I decided to write this article in order to share some of the most important things I learned during this event. The training was part of the relatively new Google Engage for Agencies program.
If you’ve never heard of the Google Engage program here are a few details that might interest you:
Google Engage is a program designed to help agencies master the marketing art on Google. It offers its user free training, AdWords vouchers and marketing materials. Joining the program is simple: you sign up, pass the basic training and receive 10 AdWords vouchers, then find new clients and open up new AdWords accounts for them where you will use the voucher codes.
The program also gives you the option of becoming a Platinum Member. This of course comes with a few perks: vouchers of greater value, personalized materials and dedicated live training. There are only three conditions you must fulfill in order to become a Platinum Member:
- the total budget of your clients must be at least $1000
- you must have am MCC account used to manage your clients’ AdWords accounts
- you must be a Google Certified Partner
So far there are 400 agencies around the world that have signed up for this program. 150 of these agencies have managed to get new clients using the AdWords vouchers.
Apart from the short presentation at the beginning about the Google Engage program and its evolution from when it was launched 4 months ago, there were 4 more presentations.
1. In the black with colored letters of Google
This first presentation was held by Martin Gaubitz from e-wolff. He talked about how you can start earning money using AdWords. Here are a few tips from his presentation that I found interesting and helpful:
- it’s very important to be visible: there are many different ways in which you can increase your visibility, for example: have a website, make cold calls to potential customers, host events, get recommendations and partnernishps
- manage customer expectations: show your knowledge by creating case studies and obtaining Google certification badges you can place on your site, get more experience by working with clients from different domains, sign fair contracts that offer transparency and measurable results
- offer your clients additional services – for example: SEM/SEO, Webanalytics, Coversion Optimization.
- and the most important thing (or ‘The big secret’ as Martin called it): Just Do It!
2. Optimizing a Google AdWords Campaign
– presentation held by Tudor Marian. Here is a summary:
- in order to best optimize a Google AdWords Campaign you must start with the campaign structure and settings – make sure your ad groups have a certain topic and corresponding keywords, also make sure your campaign targets your specific demographic (user location and language)
- the second step is to optimize your list of keywords (analyze what keywords your potential customers use to find your products or services), make sure your ads are convincing and have a strong call-to-action, and establish your bids and budget so that you make sure not to lose any potential clients.
- and the final step is optimizing the landing page – make sure the content of your landing page matches what your ad promises and that it’s simple for the users to register conversions.
A few tips that I found helpful and applied on the campaigns I manage were:
- checking how the keywords perfom for the three different match types (broad, phrase and exact) – some keywords might have a better CTR with a lower CPC if the set match type is ‘exact match’. Even though for my campaigns there wasn’t a great number of keywords that performed better under ‘exact match’, it’s still a good way to bring in better quality traffic and save as much money per click as possible.
- checking what keywords triggered which ads – this is a good way of finding if there are certain keywords that you should include in your campaign because they bring quality traffic. It’s also a good way of finding keywords that you might want to exclude because they’re not really accurate for your site.
3. Google Analytics & Website Optimizer
There were also two more presentations, held by Norbert Simionescu, one about Google Analytics and the second about the Website Optimizer Tool.
A few important aspects from the Analytics presentation:
- your tool is only as good as your ability to use it
- success is defined by your objectives (it’s important to define goals for your site; what you expect your clients to to on the site)
- bounce rate can be a good way to see if your pages (landing pages) are useful to users, or if the keywords that brought the users to the site are accurate.
- the new version of the tool alows you to set automatic alerts (for example you might set an alert that tells when the bounce rate exceeds a certain limit)
- the new verions also introduces real-time reporting – that shows you exactly how many users are on your site and how they interact with the site
Although the presentation of the Website Optimizer tool was quite brief, here are some important aspects to consider:
- start testing different versions of pages that aren’t performing the way you were expecting (for example landing pages with a high bounce rate)
- test different pictures or messages on the landing page (for example a different picture for the users that visit the site in the morning and a different picture for those visiting in the evening) – it’s important to mention here that a users will never see different versions of the site.
- the tool is free, easy to use, does not impact SEO and has been known to increase conversions
I must admit I have not yet used the Website Optimizer tool, but I would very much like to try it out in the future. I think it would be very interesting to see how changing an image or a header on a landing page affect the way users interact with the certain page. It would also be interesting to see if a certain version of a page would trigger more conversions.
If you’ve worked with the Website Optimizer Tool, I’d be very interested in reading what you think about it and how it helped you improve your site.
Also, any other tips about Google AdWords campaigns or the Google Analytics tool are more than welcome.