Google AdWords: $25 Over 14 Days And A Significant Learning Curve

A recent assignment for MKTG 470  gave me an opportunity (a mandatory opportunity but all the same a fun one) to play and experiment with Google AdWords (for a grade but again, more fun than writing a paper or reading a textbook).

Fourteen days. Two campaigns. Two ad groups per campaign. Two ads for each ad group.

I finally figured out that meant a total of eight ads and that keywords in one ad group SHOULD NEVER be the same as keywords in another ad group under the same campaign. It is the keywords between ads under the same ad group that should be the same. Now it seems obvious but at the time it was incredibly confusing and new to me. Visualizing it with a diagram really helped me:

Picture 5

In my 14 days with Google AdWords I learned much more than “common sense” is needed to run a successful ad campaign. My original strategy was to come up with as many keywords as possible that I could imagine a typical person would type into Google to find my blog post. Then I would simply change my bids when needed and everything would go exactly as planned. This was a fantasy.

Google searchers are much more complicated than I expected them to be. Within a few days I only had a couple of clicks and I started to panic, thinking I would never reach the $25 budget Dr. Clarke had assigned. I began to utilize AdWords’ keyword generator to find out what people really search for and found I needed to use some of those keywords, not only to trigger my ads through bidding, but in my actual ad copy so that searchers would know my ad was relevant to their query.

So, I added a couple new ads with smarter ad copy, paused the old ones, got more aggressive with my budget, and started playing with match types. This is how my campaign turned out on day 14:

Picture 3 I ended up meeting the $25 goal and I have been told that a .23% click through rate is “respectable” although, to me, it sounds terrible. Each student was given a $100 voucher code so that after spending $25 of our own money we could continue to run campaigns and learn more from AdWords. I am looking forward to testing AdWords again now that I know a little more about what I’m doing. I plan on working harder to maximize the number of clicks with the lowest possible average cost-per-click and getting a CTR above .23%.

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2 Responses to Google AdWords: $25 Over 14 Days And A Significant Learning Curve

  1. Great story Shelby. Thanks for sharing your experience about one of my class assignments. It is a tough one, but you made it through!

  2. Pingback: MKTG 470 Challenge: Out-Optimize Your Classmates and Make it to the Top of the SERPs

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