Four Things I Learned Running My First Google AdWords Campaign

Google-Adwords-LessonsRecently I ran my first Google AdWords campaign. OK, well technically not my first campaign. I ran lots of campaigns while working with Marchex a few years ago. This was my first one directly on the Google AdWords platform and the first one with a conversion goal. I underestimated how different it would be, and boy did I learn a lot.

This campaign had a triple purpose. First, I wanted to brush up on Google AdWords. It’s an evolving tool and I knew I was out-of-date. Second, Nelle at Mornington Peninsula Cheap Fruit and Vegetables wanted to test a new marketing tactic. Third, modeling my final Masters class on the Google Online Marketing Challenge seemed like an easy way to finish off the degree.

What I Learned With Google AdWords

AdWords Certification – Being a Hermione, I spent my mid-year break completing the AdWords certification. I shouldn’t have. I learned lots of AdWords tools and tactics, and very few were relevant to the specific campaign and its goals. It was also very US-centric and not very relevant for this Australian campaign. Lesson: only study a quick overview and the bits you need. Then do fun stuff instead.

Research – I should have done more. I should have checked geo-targeting options specific to Australia. I should have checked more keyword volumes. These were two areas I had to change after the campaign was live. Lesson: The adage “Fail to plan is planning to fail” is true. I could have received better results with more planning.

Landing Pages – I still don’t know how I could have fixed this one on this campaign. I definitely underestimated how powerful a landing page is. The campaign had a great cost-per-click and a fairly good click-through-rate, so I assume the landing pages were why the conversion sucked. More time would have let me experiment more. Lesson: Never underestimate a landing page. It’s as, if not more, important than the ad copy.

Enjoyment – This last one is personal. From passing the Google AdWords certification and running this campaign, I learned that I don’t really enjoy it. Social media and content marketing are much more fun. I’ve taking Google AdWords off the skills on my resume and downplayed it on my LinkedIn profile. Lesson: focus on the digital marketing tools you enjoy. You’ll have a lot more fun and be better at it.

This list is very personal and your list may be very different. I actually hope it is. What’s your biggest learning from Google AdWords? Please share in the comments.

2 comments

  1. Hey Bianca, thanks for the good insights and sharing honestly what worked and what you would have liked to have worked out better. Too often I find people aren’t willing to share the “what I could have done better” info and I think those can often be the most powerful learnings for us all.

    Glad to hear you’re finished your Masters. I’m sure it was a tough slog at times.

    Remember to look us up if you’re ever back in Vancouver again soon.

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.