3 Google AdWords Steps for Digital Agency Startups
The final push of the semester has involved a heavy focus on understanding the Google AdWords digital advertising platform. In class on Thursday, we spent the majority of the time doing a walkthrough of the AdWords campaign creation and dashboard features, specifically the Display Planner tool. By doing this, we were able to put into practice many of the concepts we encountered in the certification exams.
Because we are building digital marketing agency brands from scratch, Ike and Russ conducted the exercise as if we were planning a Google AdWords campaign for our own agencies. Google AdWords is an expansive environment that takes a great deal of practice, exploration, and testing to master the platform. The complexity of AdWords can prove to be a challenge for startups – making the need for a clear, outlined focus something to think about before starting an ad campaign(s).
1. Know your objective or goal
Defining a goal is the first and most important step in creating any digital marketing or advertising campaign. This is the framework that will set the stage for measuring success based upon the results of the goal set. We decided as a class to make our goal brand awareness and advertise on the Display Network because our agencies have very little visibility starting out. After we walked through the display planning exercise, Russ concluded that we should have chosen a different goal such as clicks to the website in order to boost conversions via a sale or landing page. Conversions are ultimately the driving force of the business. Creating ads with calls to actions like “Start your training now!” or “Learn more about digital” are ideal.
2. Know your audience
Knowing and understanding your audience is probably equally as important as defining your campaign goals. This is where selecting high quality, relevant keywords come into play. It is tempting to brainstorm keywords that describe your industry or general products, however, you have to get into the mindset of your customer base and consider how they will actually search for your industry on Google. As Dr. Ike would say…there’s a real science behind it. The Keyword Planner tool through Google AdWords is helpful in selecting the keywords that would best suit your startup.
3. Know your budget
Most digital marketing agency startups have small budgets to work with initially. The idea of pouring money into a Google AdWords marketing budget with hopes of storming the market and acquiring clients is daunting and may seem like a risky venture at first. The fact of the matter is this: you have to spend money to make money. We spoke hypothetically in class about what our agency services prices would be and if acquiring just a few clients for those services would result in a return on investment with only a $200 AdWords monthly budget. It turns out, with premier digital training services listed in the thousands of dollars, only a handful of new clients would result in a sizable ROI from the $200 range AdWords budget. Taking both cost and ROI into consideration is necessary, but ultimately, ROI is of utmost importance. There’s only one way to master the Google AdWords budget and that is to relentlessly test and learn until you fall into a system that works for your digital agency startup.
Questions to Consider:
1. Which of the Google Ad Networks would you recommend a digital agency startup begin with and why? (Search Only, Display Only, or Search w/ Display Select)
2. Which of the 3 Google AdWords steps listed in the post do you think is the most important to focus on?
3. If you founded a digital agency startup, would you invest in Google AdWords immediately or try to acquire an audience organically first using other digital resources?