If you are a google employee…
I’m sure that someone from google is going to find this post sooner or later.
So, I don’t want you to think I’m a google adwords hater. I generally like adwords. It has helped me a lot over the years.
It would be dishonest if I were to say that you didn’t cause me major hassles and pain along the way. Those would be the kind of hassles that cost me money and hurt my business.
It would also be dishonest if I didn’t say that you have left me with the feeling that you could care less about me or my business.
But I digress. This is not a Google Adwords hate post. Just pointing out some of the funny things that happen when working with Adwords ok?
If you really hate this post, you can contact me and we’ll talk about it.
Keywords Triggering Expensive Worthless Clicks
You have to watch your adwords account like a hawk. If you don’t check it frequently enough you can end up with a big bill.
This can happen when a ‘broad matched’, ‘phrase match’ or ‘modified broad match’ keyword suddenly starts triggering clicks for “creepy but invisible purple widgets’ when one is actually targeting ‘simple cute fluffy green widgets’.
I am not exactly sure why this happens on a keyword that has been sitting there quietly and doing its job for years, but it does happen. And, it can be quite expensive – if you happen to be on vacation or working on other projects.
Don’t think that for a moment that google will give your money back either. They will fight that to the bitter end. You would think they would be able to say: “O.K., you are right, obviously purple invisible creepy widgets have nothing to do with your business, so we will refund you for those clicks”. But, alas, that’s not the case.
So, if you are running adwords, you have to keep an eye on it. You can easily get lolled into complacency, particularly when everything is rolling along smoothly and you are not checking your account on a regular (several times daily) basis.
Those are the rules of the road. The bigger your adwords account grows, the more checking you will have to do.
Again, I’m not against adwords, but I know there will be other users out there with the same frustrations that I have.
Account bans can be particularly hard to deal with. I have heard that things have gotten a little better since the last time I was banned.
I was banned right before the busiest shopping season of the year and my account was not ‘unbanned’ until 3 or 4 days before Christmas.
That caused us to miss out on the biggest and most lucrative part of the year. Many businesses rely on that season to bring in their profit for the entire year.
Did anyone care about the timing of this ban? No one I talked to at G had any sympathy for how this affected me or my business that I could detect.
The information we got from the Google reps was not helpful at all. They often give you some generic stuff that makes no sense at all.
The adwords rep I was talking too had no idea either. All she could do was tell me the same things over and over that made no sense.
She could not tell me what it actually meant. She was just a go between for the mysterious department that was making the real decisions.
I coudn’t catch a clue about what they wanted me to change until I was lucky enough to get another rep on the phone one day.
I made the changes they wanted and my account was back. However, we lost out on the busiest shopping season for that year.
There was never any apology made – and certainly no compensation either
Should You Outsource Your Adwords Account To A “Professional”?
The Short Answer is NO! The problem with doing that is that the ‘middleman’ needs to make his profit too. It is not easy to get an adwords campaign to be profitable. If you add the extra expense in, then you have a much bigger nut to crack. Most professional adwords people are going to be targeting bigger accounts.
There are also people who have software to make all the decisions on bidding, etc. I suppose if it works for your company and you are happy with the results, then it is worth it.
I can’t imagine that using a service would make my life any easier. I can only see it draining further into what little profits I am able to obtain now. And perhaps they would also cause my campaigns to become unprofitable. So, that road is just not for me.
In my opinion, based solely on my personal experience, I believe that conversion tracking is very inaccurate. I have talked to adwords “professionals’ that tell me conversion tracking is VERY accurate. I can only wonder if those ‘professionals’ really know what they are talking about.
My experience suggests that it is not accurate at all. Of course, I can be wrong. I have been wrong before. I am not an engineer. I am just a customer. I have to go with experiences I have.
This leads to the biggest problem of all. If you don’t know what is converting and what is not, how do you succeed with adwords?
Exactly, it makes everything a LOT more complicated to figure out. If conversion tracking is not accurate, how do you know what is working?
The flip side of that is those who believe the tracking is accurate. Because their decisions are based on that belief, they make their decisions accordingly. It is, after all, the only thing they have to go on.
I am not complaining about Adwords. I’m just pointing out the frustrations that can come from using PPC to drive your business. I’m skeptical about other methods though. What can work better?
It’s going to be work, pain and suffering no matter how you look at it.
Am I worried that Google is going to hurt me for saying all of these things? You bet I am. One thing I have learned is that they don’t listen to me anyway. So, I am thinking they won’t care much about what I have to say here. On the other hand, it could end up being the worst post of my life.
“Do No Evil” ?