With many forms of advertising, there’s not a lot of “active managing” of the campaigns.  Certainly a lot of work goes into planning the media buys and designing the ads, but then once the ads are turned on, it’s more of a waiting game.  For media like TV, radio, print, and direct mail, you’ll need to wait until the ads run and you’ve collected enough data to analyze the results.

It’s like fishing with crab pots, or traps.  If you’ve watched Deadliest Catch, then you know what I’m talking about.  You drop your pots full of bait, let them “soak” on the bottom of the sea floor, and then pull them back up to see if you caught any king crab.

Now let’s compare that to running ads on Google AdWords.  With AdWords, there is no such thing as an inactive “soaking” period.  Sure, you can just let your ads run by themselves, but that’s not the best strategy.

Advertising on Google AdWords is more like bass fishing with lures than king crab fishing.  If you’re familiar with fishing with lures, then you know you don’t just cast and let the lure sit there.  You need to give your lure some action by reeling and jerking your fishing rod.  Plus, you’ll often need to swap out multiple lures until you find one the bass are biting on that day.  In other words, with every cast you’re testing, learning, and adjusting your technique until you find the best combination.

That’s how to think about managing your Google AdWords campaigns.   It’s not as simple as setting a trap and then waiting to see what you’ve caught.  So what exactly do you need to manage in a Google AdWords campaign?

Why Google AdWords is Like Fishing for Bass Not Crab


Keyword Bids

Google AdWords is a blind auction.  Every time someone searches in Google.com, the AdWords program runs a split second auction to determine which advertisers will be displayed on the first page.  The higher you bid, the higher your ad will display on the first page of Google.com.

Obviously, ad position plays a big role in the performance of your ad campaign, so it’s important to monitor this key metric and adjust bids accordingly.   If bids are too low, then your ads won’t get the exposure they need.  If bids are too high, then you could be overpaying.

Another important consideration is your target cost per-lead or cost per-sale.  Once your campaign has conversion data, then you can adjust bids up or down based on the cost per-lead or per-sale for individual keywords.


Keyword Targets

Every day, brand new, never-before-searched keywords are typed into Google.com.  That means it’s impossible to launch an AdWords campaign with all the best keywords.  That also means it’s impossible to know all the irrelevant keywords to block from your campaign.

For this reason, keyword target management is a critical task.  To find the exact keywords that are triggering your ads, use the AdWords Search Terms report (aka the search query report).  If you’re using Broad match or Phrase match keywords, then you may be shocked by all the different keywords in that report.  Some of the keywords you’ll want to add to your list as new targets, and others you’ll want to block by adding as negative keywords.



The third area to review is your ad copy.  I recommend testing at least 2 different ad variations at all times.  Then once your ads have impressions, clicks, and possibly even conversions, then you can determine which of the variations performs the best.

Optimizing ad copy is one of the most important AdWords management tasks.  As you improve your ad click through rate, you’ll also increase your quality scores, which in turn lowers your cost per click and improves ad positioning.


Landing Page(s)

The last area of your campaign is not actually within Google AdWords.  It’s on your website.  The ad landing page is the webpage your prospects “land” on after clicking on your AdWords ad.

An AdWords campaign that is set up and managed perfectly is absolutely worthless if the landing pages do not convert visitors into leads and sales.  That’s why AdWords management also includes landing page optimization.


Need Help With Google AdWords?

Click here to request a quote. If you’re just getting started with Google AdWords, I’ll send you a quote to get your campaign up and running.  And if you’re already advertising in Google, I’ll review your AdWords campaign and then I’ll give you a quote to manage your campaigns.