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Everyone wants to save on marketing spend wherever possible. But letting Google AdWords run unmanaged could cost you much more in sales than you’ll save on paid search. It’s important for businesses to take risk assessment into consideration when developing a paid search strategy.
The paid search landscape is a bit like a kaleidoscope. Things are always moving around. Customers change, your competitors change, even your own company evolves. Hence, this post is a warning not to neglect your AdWords campaigns. Here are eight reasons why.
1. Paid Search Changes
Google is not a company known for resting on the laurels. They like to change it up. Sometimes monthly, if not more frequently. For your AdWords account, this can have a big impact. There are still a few businesses out there whose online profiles don’t show a business address — because they haven’t logged into their accounts since Google switched over to Google My Business directory listings. Question: if people don’t know where to go, how can they buy from you?
The good news is that you can stay on top of such changes to Google AdWords simply by reading the notifications your account receives. Of course, you need someone to be managing that account, so those alerts don’t fall on deaf ears.
2. Your Customers Change
Another warning: your customers and their behavior aren’t going to remain static. Customer behavior is a very dynamic factor in most businesses today. How they search for your products and services changes, with new phrases or keywords popping up all the time. As technology shifts, you may have more consumers coming to you via tablet or smartphone, or there might even be an uptick in desktop visitors.
If you’re not paying attention to your paid search account, you’re going to miss these shifts in the behavior of your customers. Not only could that start costing you sales, but it could also affect how customers respond to your ad campaigns. That could snowball, the way AdWords works. On the other hand, being on top of these shifts lets you move perfectly in sync with the habits of your customers.
3. Competition Changes
Sometimes it seems like there’s always a new kid on the block when it comes to competition. Those companies do their advertising, of course, which could impact your own campaign’s performance. If no one’s paying attention to your paid search campaign, this new advertiser could come in and outbid you. Your ads would then drop in the search results, and so would your sales.
It pays to monitor your AdWords campaigns for just such an occurrence. You’re going to have new competition eventually. And you want to be prepared to respond when you do.
4. New Competition, New Deals
You’ve gone to the trouble of carefully crafting deals and offers that appeal to your target audience. You’ve set up a great AdWords campaign to market your offer. Things are great for a while. But what happens when that new kid on the block does their homework? They see your offer, and the competition raises. The competitor’s offer is just slightly better than yours, and customers who would’ve otherwise been yours are lost to this competitor.
This is a fairly common occurrence. It costs very little to check out what the other guy has done and offer a tiny bit better offer. So many folks do. If you’re paying attention, this isn’t a big deal. But if you have a “set it and forget it” AdWords campaign, you’re going to lose out.
5. Your Product Catalog Changes
Many companies’ operations are dynamic. You may have seasonal products, seasonal deals, seasonal campaigns, dealing with seasonal stock fluctuations, or you could be launching a new product and retiring old product. What an awful time for a paid search ad click to return a 404 error! If you have a large e-commerce catalog, this is something that’s probably going to happen sooner or later — unless you stay on top of your AdWords campaign.
If you make sure not to leave your campaigns on autopilot, you’ll quickly pick up on performance issues, like a drop in Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Pause those ad groups and keep moving forward. This way, you won’t waste your ad budget.
6. Your Company Changes
Riding a wave is great. But eventually, you’ll find it’s necessary to pivot. That’s great for your business, too — as long as your paid search campaigns pivot with you. Over time all businesses will need to make changes to products and services, as well as to their approach to advertising.
Remember to keep your AdWords campaigns up-to-date. You want your paid search strategy to be fresh and relevant. Agility in your advertising should match the agility of your business itself.
7. Metrics Performance Changes Over Time
Even if you experience obvious changes in your business, your campaign metrics — which keywords, ads, offers, devices, etc., perform best — could still change over time. If you aren’t actively monitoring your AdWords account, you won’t notice these changes, won’t be able to spot and track trends, and won’t be able to optimize to improve your performance and ROI.
But if you are paying attention, you’ll be able to see when your most profitable ad groups start to slip. Your campaign won’t be set adrift, with your ad spend transferring to less profitable ad groups, and lowering your performance and ROI. Instead, you’ll be able to make adjustments and stay on top of performance.
8. You’ll Need to Change to Get Better
No one hits a homerun their first time at bat. And paid search isn’t as perfected as it’s going to be on the first implementation. Your ROI improves over time as you adjust and refine variables — like keywords, geographic targets, and so on. A lot of paid search management is about testing and retesting and testing some more.
Your AdWords campaign will need to change over time, improving and refining your ad campaign to better reach your paid search goals and maximize your ROI.
It’s natural to want to save money wherever possible for your business. Some things can work out okay with a “set it and forget it” approach. However, your paid search AdWords campaign is not one of those things. Companies should heed this warning that it can cost them sales and leave them open to risk by letting an AdWords campaign run unmanaged. The best way to get the most from the ad spend you are already committing is to actively manage your AdWords campaigns. Change is a part of paid search. Embracing that change is how you take your business to the next level.