"Now My Watch Has Ended"
When You Know To Give Up On An AdWords Account
“Clients gather, and now my marketing begins. It shall not end until profit wains. I shall steal no copy, hold no negatives, father no low positions. I shall waste no budget and ignore no bids. I shall optimize and keep my costs low. I am the sword in the ad market. I am the watcher of the clicks. I am the shield that guards the realms of conversions. I pledge my strategies and working life to the Ad’s Watch, for this night and all nights scheduled.“
―The Ad’s Watch oath
Just as Jon Snow confronted his vows to the Night’s Watch, you too must have the courage to say ‘no’ to a hopeless AdWords account and move on.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is certainly not for everybody. The space is populated with many companies that offer products, services, or advertising budgets that simply aren’t compatible with Google AdWords. Many of these businesses approach PPC like some approach blogs or Facebook pages; they do ppc advertising because everybody else is doing it. However, approaching your business’s’ advertising management in a manner reminiscent of junior high school peer pressure is a huge mistake.
When developing a marketing plan for PPC, you have to make sure that your strategy is:
- Well thought out
- Finite in focus
- Has clear objectives
- Works within a realistic budget.
That said – you can do everything “right” and still not get the results you need.
Maybe the online auction market is too competitive for your vertical.
Maybe the volume you need carries a cost-per-click that is prohibitive to meeting your cost-per-acquisition goals.
Maybe there just isn’t an efficient way to drive relevant traffic to your business at volume.
If any of these are the case, it’s time to make some tough decisions about where to place your marketing budget.
Return on Investment
Return on your investment of ad spend is king when deciding whether the continue with your pay-per-click ads.
It can take months to optimize your campaigns and drive the performance required to make your investment worthwhile. At times, you will put months of optimizations and work into your account and receive little to no value in return. There are one of three things happening here:
- You are advertising on the wrong platform
- Your current strategies aren’t working and you need to commission an expert or agency to help
- Reaching your targeted goals simply isn’t obtainable due to natural market forces.
If you aren’t finding success on AdWords long after cleaning up your campaigns and consulting experts – then maybe Google’s platform isn’t for you. Consider trying others like Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, or Yahoo Gemini. Each has pros and cons, but there is a lot of potential to find a platform that works perfectly for your business scope.
If you aren’t confident that your strategies are effective – or you find yourself questioning whether you are up-to-date on the latest Google AdWords best practices – then you should certainly consider finding a reputable freelance expert, agency, or strategist to help you to audit and hone your strategies. I personally tell my clients in advance whether I think AdWords is right for them after I’ve done research on their industry, keyword CPCs, and competition.
Sugarcoating conversion expectations or KPI estimates hurts both parties in the short term instead of creating a healthy, mutually-beneficial relationship in the long-term. This doesn’t mean that we never push forward to see if our best-chance strategies work out, but setting realistic goals can help to properly set expectations and ensure that we significantly cut waste and give our clients a clean out if AdWords isn’t right for them.
Before starting an AdWords campaign, decide on how much budget you can allocate to the work, how long you will run campaigns in pursuit of positive results, and determine a reasonable timeline to hit your goals. An 800% return on ad spend doesn’t happen overnight, so you can miss out on some big business opportunities by not showing patience during the campaign build and optimization process.
Not all AdWords campaigns are meant for cut-and-dry ROI results. Many companies rely on quality leads that they can close at a high rate, branding for exposure and to kickstart organic momentum, or as tool to edge out their closest competitors.
Like ROI, any lead, branding, or competitor goals need to be properly tracked and weighed appropriately in a cost/benefit analysis. If you or your experts can’t optimize your AdWords campaigns to complement your business goals over the course of 3-12 months, then you will know that you probably should consider other options.
Platforms like Bing Ads and Facebook Ads can be great alternatives to check out to find marketing compatability with your business.
Microsoft Bing Ads controls a significantly smaller portion of the total search market than Google AdWord, but also offers wealthier, more B2B centric demographics. The Bing Ads platform is also less competitive and enjoys overall lower cost-per-clicks.
Facebook Ads is a cost-effective option suitable for businesses that don’t have a large PPC budget, need to be extremely accurate with whom they target, or both. Facebook Ads have arguably the most powerful targeting tools of any platform and allow for builds with extremely relevant and granular targeting criteria. If you sell RVs and you’re typical customer demographic is 90% males, 65% over the age of 55, you can target just males over the age of 50 who have liked Facebook pages that are RV related.
The Facebook Ads platform is a highly appealing option for larger business to augment and compliment their overarching digital marketing strategies, or for smaller business to reach the exact demographic they need to.
Without the use of proper goal-setting, budgeting, and patience in the early stages of a ppc campaign build, your business runs the risk of running a campaign that will turn on you down the road and leave your budget bleeding in the snow.
Recognizing what to look for and covering all of your bases will optimize your project for success. Most importantly, every campaign effort is a sunk cost. Once you have your data and realize that a certain ppc platform isn’t right for you, nobody will hold you to your oath if it means watching your ads run your business into the ground.
Much like Jon Snow, it can sometimes be best to walk away with dignity.