For mid-sized businesses, staying relevant and visible on Google search pages is a necessity for success.  While staying visible on SERPs (search engine results page) organically can take years of adjustment and strategy to perfect, Google provides business with another avenue to show on search pages in the form of advertising, known as Google AdWords.

Google AdWords allows businesses to create text ads that appear along the top and bottom of the SERPs.  These ads can be created within a few hours and have businesses driving traffic to their website quickly.  While account setup can be quick, managing these ads to ensure effectiveness can become time consuming.

When businesses decide to start running ads with Google AdWords, they will also want to decide how they manage these ads.  There are three options business can consider for AdWords account management; automated management, through Google AdWords Express, managing the account internally, or hiring a third party professional account management company.

In this article, we will look at the three account management options and provide advantages and disadvantages for each strategy.

AdWords Express

Automated Management – Google AdWords Express

AdWords Express is simplified version of Google AdWords and is mainly managed by the AdWords Express system.  Quick setup and automated management are two key benefits of AdWords Express that can appeal to business.

In just a few steps, a business can create and run their AdWords Express ad.  When a business first creates an AdWords Express account, they create their ad text, specify the budget that they are willing to spend on a daily or monthly basis, specify the locations that they would like to target, and select the product category of the business.  The product category that the business chooses will determine which search terms AdWords Express uses to trigger the ad.  After all these steps are implemented, the AdWords Express ad is ready to start running and drive traffic to the company’s website.

The second benefit to using AdWords Express is that the program automatically manages itself.  AdWords Express will automatically create a list of keywords (search term) that can trigger the ad.  This helps to simplify setup and reduce the time to update and modify the list of keywords.  The AdWords Express system will also automatically select bids for these keywords to show the ad for relevant searches.

Another advantage for using AdWords Express is its ability to link with a company’s Google My Business account.  This will allow the ad to show business information, such as address and phone number.  For businesses without a website, AdWords Express can also send users who click on the ad directly to your Google My Business page.

While AdWords Express automation may be beneficial in some instances, the automation could hinder the account performance.  The lack of control AdWords Express gives a business can cause the ads to run ineffectively and drive irrelevant traffic to the website.  As stated before, the system will generate a list of keywords once a business category is selected, but it will not allow for the creation of any additional keywords to this list.  So, if there is a term that a business wants to have their ad triggered for that is not currently in the list, the term cannot be added.  AdWords Express also does not allow a business to adjust bids for the list of keywords, which can cause the ad to have a lower position for higher priority keywords.

Another disadvantage to using AdWords Express is the quality of results that the ad may receive.  The keywords that are automatically generated by AdWords Express tend to be in broad match.  Broad match keywords can trigger for the most search results and only has match a portion of the selected keyword.  This can sometimes lead to unrelated searches triggering the ad.

For example, if we have the keyword “football helmet” in broad match, this keyword could also trigger for searches like “football cleats”, “football games”, or “motorcycle helmets”.  If a user were to search for “motorcycle helmets” and click on the ad and go to a webpage about football helmets, they would have a higher likelihood to leave the pages, resulting in ineffective ad spend.  In a survey by BrightLocal, they found that 78% of SEO’s and SMB’s say AdWords Express delivers low ROI (return on investment).

AdWords Express is generally a best fit for small, local businesses that do not have the time to set aside for management and have lower advertising budget.  AdWords Express allows these businesses to stay relevant and visible on Google without braking the bank on advertising.

AdWords Management

Internal AdWords Management

While AdWords Express can be beneficial to small, local businesses, many businesses find the original AdWords program to be more suitable for their advertising needs.  With the implementation of an AdWords account for a business, there is more hands-on account management necessary and they will have to decide whether to manage the account internally or seek outside assistance from a third party.  For some businesses, managing the AdWords account internally is the option that is chosen.

The main benefit to managing an AdWords account internally is the fact that no one knows the business better than the employees themselves.  The familiarity that employees have with a business allows them to generate keywords and ad text specifically for the end users they are looking to attract.  Keywords are the backbone of what makes an AdWords campaign perform effectively and if a business can implement terms that they know their audience would search for, then their ads will show for the desired user and help to generate relevant traffic to their website.

Another advantage of managing AdWords internally is reduced costs paid by the business.  When a business manages their own AdWords account they are only charged by Google when users click on the ad.  If the business had a third party managing the account day-to-day, there would be additional agency fees incurred by the business.  The lack of charges from an agency allows the business to place all their advertising spend directly into Google AdWords and allows for higher campaign budgets.

The main disadvantage to a business managing its own AdWords account is the lack of AdWords experience.  In many instances, the individual who sets up and manages the business’s Google AdWords account has little to no experience in the past dealing with AdWords.  While setup of your AdWords account can be simple, there are many features and best practices that could be overlooked by an inexperienced user.  Effective account structure, ad extensions, and the use of phrase match, exact match, and broad match modifier keywords are aspects of and AdWords account that experts use, but are often neglected with internally managed accounts.

Ineffective account setup leads directly into our second disadvantage of a business managing its own AdWords account, reduced return on investment.  While not hiring an ad agency can reduce costs, these campaigns tend to see fewer sales and leads from users that visit the website due to issues with account setup.  As mentioned before, the use of keyword match types is a key component that is often forgotten during account setup.  If the campaign is only using broad match keywords there are more chances of driving irrelevant traffic to the website.  This results in a click that the business pays for, but receives no additional benefit from and can reduce the business’s return on investment.

Another disadvantage of a business managing an AdWords account internally is lack of time to manage the account.  Many self-managed AdWords accounts are small to medium sized businesses, in which the owner creates and manages the account.  In this scenario, the owner has little time to spend reviewing and managing the account since they are busy with day-to-day business activities.  Without regular maintenance and adjustment, account performance can suffer and the business will be unaware of the challenges the account is facing.

Considering the advantages and disadvantages of a business managing its own AdWords account, this option is recommended for medium to larger businesses that have a dedicated marketing team or individual.  This would allow these companies to have dedicated employees to maintain an AdWords account day-to-day.  If an internal marketing team is not available for a business, then professional account management may be the preferred course of action.

AdWords Management

Professional AdWords Management

The last option a business has when considering who should manage their AdWords account is to hire a third party digital marketing agency.  These agencies are comprised of AdWords experts that can help to create high quality campaigns and improve a business’s return on investment.

The main advantage of business hiring a marketing agency to manage their AdWords account is fact that the employees are AdWords experts.  These individuals have had extensive training along with years of experience creating and managing AdWords accounts.  An agency will be able to implement industry best practices to the account to drive valuable users to a business’s website.  Along with initial account setup, AdWords experts can interpret account statistics to understand what adjustments need to be made so that the accounts continue to run effectively.

The initial cost of hiring an advertising agency may be the only disadvantage to professional account management, but in the long-term businesses generally see higher return on investment.  With better account setup and continuous monitoring, agency managed AdWords accounts can generate lower ad spend while sending more effective users to the website.  This in turn generates more leads and sales for the business and creates the best value for the total spend a business incurs on advertising.

Professionally managed AdWords accounts are perfect for any business that is seeking to generate more sales and leads.  Businesses that use AdWords and continue to see low return on investment should consider using a digital advertising agency to assist with improving performance.

Clients discuss the cost of a new website.

Choose the Best Person for the Job

When considering who should manage the AdWords account for your business, remember to consider the pros and cons before deciding what is the best option for your business.  Some of these options may not be a fit for every business and what works for one company may not work for the next.  If you are considering professional management, Artonic is here to provide the best solutions for your advertising needs.

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