10 ways you could be failing with Google Adwords

If you’re new to Google Adwords, or even if you’ve been around a while, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and miss out on a few tricks that could really help you out and save / make you money.

This great infographic from TechWyse Internet Marketing shows the main 10 ways people fail with Adwords, covering:

  • Broad Geo-targeting
  • Unfocused display network campaigns
  • Uncategorised ad groups
  • Low quality landing page score
  • Unchecked autospend
  • Broad match ads
  • No keywords in ads
  • Huge keyword lists
  • No negative keywords
  • No conversion tracking

I could write pages on the items above, but this infographic puts it far more succinctly 🙂


Google Adwords Business Credit Card – will you be getting one?

So, Google are now offering some Adwords advertisers the chance to own their very own Google Adwords credit card – an interesting development I’m sure you’ll agree.

Putting aside how cool some people will think it is to have a credit card with Google plastered all over it, is it really a good idea?

I’m not convinced, I have to admit. It all seems a little gimmicky to me.

They say:

It will be easier to keep an eye on your AdWords spending.
When your AdWords spending is on a single statement and not mixed in with other expenses, you can see what you spend every month and adjust as you see fit. Plus, it means you’ll have plenty of credit available for AdWords.

I say let’s be honest – how many advertisers really have a problem finding their Adwords spend on their usual credit or debit card? I don’t, my VA doesn’t, my accountant doesn’t – how difficult is it?

They say:

You’ll get more flexibility across your entire budget.
Maybe 2013 is the year you finally make that one big business purchase. Or maybe you’d just like to breathe a little easier at the end of the month. Either way, your existing cards will be free for other spending.

REALLY? Spending money on another credit card gives you more money to spend on the ones you already own? What kind of logic is that? Your Adwords credit card can only be used to top up Adwords accounts, so it’s not giving you access to extra money, but are Google really recommending that you spend the money you now have free on the original card you used? I’m not so sure that’s the best way to sell their new product…

They say:

And by the way, it all comes with a low 11.9% APR Representative (variable) interest rate and minimum monthly payments.

Now, I’m no financial whiz kid and I don’t know a lot about credit cards, but a quick Google search shows that that rate of APR isn’t bad. However, it’s not so good if you take the credit, pay the interest AND spend the money you’ve freed up on another card.

But I’m not here to lecture you about spending – I want to know your thoughts.

Will you be applying for your Google Adwords Business Credit Card? Do you have one already? Is it more than just a gimmick? Am I being a little cynical? 😉

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Charities and not for profits – could you be eligible for a Google Grant?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Using their power for good, Google has launched a campaign aimed at raising the awareness of charities. Using their own Google AdWords programme, this grant entitles selected not-for-profit organisations to have free advertising alongside the usual relevant organic search results.

In the past, these ‘pay-per-click’ – or PPC – adverts have been restricted to companies with a larger marketing budget whilst charities lose out on both exposure and potential subsequent donations. But with this Google Grants campaign, charities are entitled up to $10,000 worth of free AdWords advertising per month that can not only enhance awareness, but also encourage potential volunteers to step forward who are just as valuable as monetary donations.

How Google AdWords work is really very simple. A company (or in this case, a charity) selects certain keywords and phrases their potential audience is likely to search for in Google. Then, when a Google user searches, for example, ‘cancer treatment’, an ad for a relevant charity such as Cancer Research will appear in a prominent position next to the organic search results. This means that the charity only reaches targeted and relevant audiences who are likely to be interested in the organisation.

These keywords and phrases can be changed at any time to reflect both on- going and temporary campaigns running via their charity’s website. Words cannot, however, be used if they do not reflect the charity’s primary focus or links that don’t lead to their own website. Other than that, the charity has free reign to choose and change their most important and useful keywords to attract Google users.

As well as other criteria, Google also offer Grantspro which is basically Google Grants for advanced charities that regularly reach their $10,000 monthly cap. If this figure is consistently reached and the charity abides by a couple of other qualifying terms, their AdWords monthly budget can be extended up to $40,000, sky-rocketing the charity’s online presence and potential donations and volunteer pool.

Applications are constantly being accepted by Google, so get in touch today to see how your charity or not-for-profit organisation could benefit from their Google Grants scheme.

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When traffic being LESS can be a GOOD thing

Heather_R's Twitter StatsYeah, I know, it sounds weird doesn’t it?

One of the things I talk about a lot is increasing traffic to your website, but I’ve recently had a conversation with a client in which I had to remind him that less traffic can actually be a GOOD thing!

Let me explain. Getting lots of traffic to a website is great – it’s great for the stats, great for the ego and great if keeping your job revolves around how many people visit your website. Yep, great. But it’s NOT great if that traffic isn’t buying. Or if that traffic costs you a lot of time / money / effort. Or if that traffic doesn’t stick around, or never comes back.

In those scenarios, that traffic is just pointless numbers. And then it’s not so impressive. eh?

In my client’s case, his Google Adwords campaign was bringing him a LOT of traffic. It was also costing him a lot of money. And making very few sales. We took out the generic keyphrases and replaced them with a lot more niche phrases, and his traffic went down by 40%. He panicked. He’d logged into his Google Analytics account and found out that his traffic was down by 40% and felt that there was something massively wrong with what we were doing.

Until he looked at his cost per sale.

As Google Adwords is a pay per click system, he had to pay for every single click he got to his website from that source. And on the generic traffic he was creating, those clicks cost A LOT. The keyphrases we replaced them with were more niche, less competitive, and cost a lot less. So he saved money.

But that’s not all.

The keyphrases we replaced them with were also a lot more focused, and more likely to bring INTERESTED customers to his website – customers who picked up the phone and bought, who emailed and asked questions and who purchased his services.

Niche and targeted traffic is always going to be better for most websites than wide and generic numbers – it’s more likely you’ll find people who are interested in your products or services, and that you’ll spend a lot less money / time / effort attracting them.

Huge amounts of traffic is great, but at the end of the day it’s cost per sale that counts – is your traffic generating enough sales to cover it’s cost in financial and time terms?

If not, maybe it’s time to realise that LESS traffic can be a GOOD thing…

Is there such a thing as a Google Authorised Adwords Reseller?

This question is popping up more and more in my inbox – and the answer is yes.

Google tells us:

There are five Authorised Google AdWords Resellers in the UK:

There is one Authorised Google AdWords Reseller in Ireland:

  • Yodel
  • These companies are authorised by Google to resell Adwords to you, and they are the only companies that can claim to be an authorised Google Adwords reseller.

    This is different to a company such as ours, selling you Google Adwords Management – we make our money by charging for our time, and you pay your clickthrough costs direct to Google.

    What does a company have to do to become an Adwords reseller?

    Again, from the horse’s mouth:

    The AdWords Authorized Reseller Program is not a good fit for everyone. We work with a wide variety of businesses, but we do find that our most successful partners share these traits:

    • A dedicated direct sales force who can actively sell AdWords to local business customers with a goal of achieving at least 500 accounts
    • Customer support for advertisers, including AdWords account management to handle questions and requests
    • A reporting system for keeping advertisers informed about the performance of their AdWords advertising
    • A billing and collections system for customer invoicing and payment collection

    Will NikkiPilkington.com become an Authorised Google Adwords Reseller in the future?

    It’s unlikely, to be honest. We’re a small agency, and we like it that way. We don’t work locally on the scale that Yell and Reach Local do, and we don’t have the sales or support resources to handle 500 accounts. We do offer Google Adwords account management, but we don’t want to be the conduit for payment for your clicks. To us, it’s much better if you pay Google direct and just pay us a management fee. We do offer reporting, on a monthly basis, as well as support for questions and requests.

    I think it’s clear, from looking at the companies who ARE authorised resellers, that this appeals to a certain type of company and their clients – and we’re not that sort of company.

    Hope that clears the issue up, but do remember that if you get a phonecall from someone claiming to be a Google partner, Google representative or Google subsidiary, and they’re not one of the above companies, it’s probably a Google scam.

    Google Adwords help – and a cartoon that's too rude to post?

    Regular readers know that in the last few months we’ve taken to including cartoons in our newsletter – we use Mike Flanagan of Flantoons and he’s fab 🙂

    This month our newsletter will focus on Google Adwords help, and our September special offer, which is a Google Adwords Healthcheck for just £40.

    One of the things that we find a lot of when doing these healthchecks is that people are often getting thousnds of clicks on their ads per month, but no sales from their site. Obviously this could be for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons we come across a lot is that thy simply haven’t thought their keyphrases through properly, and haven’t made sure that they’re not getting clicks that were meant for some other product or service.

    To illustrate this, Mike came up with 2 cartoons – and we love them. The first one is below, as although it makes me (Nikki) giggle every time I look at it, I have the feeling that some of our more staid readers may not like to see it in their inbox 🙂


    We’ll probably go with the other cartoon (sign up to the newsletter if you want to see it!) but I think the above one does a great job of showing just one of the mistakes you could be making with Adwords – it might be worth having a Google Adwords healthcheck to find out if you’re making more!

    Google Adwords – Free Google Adwords ebook

     Adwords free ebook cover

    We know from our overflowing inbox that lots of you have questions about Google Adwords.

    It seems so easy – sign up, post some ads, get traffic, make money.

    But as everyone who has tried it soon finds out, there’s more to it than that!

    This FREE e-book will help you through the process of setting up and making money from your Google Adwords account – download it now with our compliments 🙂

    See below for a full chapter list:

    • “Are You Prepared To Profit From Instant Web Traffic?”………………………….4
    • “10 Minutes To Instant Web Traffic”…………………………………………………..10
    • “Keyword Research Basics”……………………………………………………………..23
    • “How to Write Ads that Attract Clicks”……………………………………………….33
    • “Tracking Ads and Landing Pages”……………………………………………………45
    • “Adwords Keyword Strategies”…………………………………………………………55
    • Bonus Chapter – Finding Profitable Markets……………………………………….63
    • Bonus Chapter – Finding High Paying Adsense Keywords……………………..72
    • Bonus Chapter – Finding Profitable Keywords…………………………………….78

    So what are you waiting for? It’s here, it’s fab and it’s FREE 🙂

    Need a customer support phone number for Google?


    OK, we get a lot of visits to this page. We also get a lot of phone calls to our office, and comments left below, the majority of which I remove for being abusive. So I’m afraid I’m going to shout: WE’RE NOT GOOGLE! All we’ve done is provide a customer support phone number for them – in the post, below. Please stop calling us and asking poor Leigh: “Are you Google?” or we’ll consider setting up a premium number…. thanks!

    When you’re spending money with Google, it’s nice to know you can get hold of them, right?

    Well they don’t make it easy, but there is a number that connects to their very helpful customer support department in Ireland. Make sure you know your Customer ID number (in the top right hand corner of your Adwords account), then give them a call on 0845 358 0038 – you have to press 2 and then enter your ID number once connected.

    They’re very good at calling back when they say they will, and can sort most problems very quickly.

    [Edited to add 14/08/09 – an email in today tells us: “Your Google phone number has been very good but they have changed the option 2 to enter your ID and then give a recorded message to got to the web help menu. “]

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