How to Find a Google AdWords Specialist in a World of AdWords Amateurs
Finding the right AdWords manager to optimize your AdWords campaigns can be a tough job. It seems as if every computer student were capable of working with AdWords professionally.
Since there are no official certifications or widely accepted tests that could prove you’re an AdWords specialist it’s hard to spot out the average AdWords managers from the great ones.
To help you distinguish between an AdWords manager and an AdWords specialist, I’ve listed some of the ways I believe you should follow in order to find an AdWords specialist.
The Entire Company Can’t Be An AdWords Specialist
This is one of the first things you should remember. In a company not all members of the team are on the same level. There are great AdWords companies out there, but you’ll almost always find at least one or two junior people within the team.
You can’t avoid it and those teams that only have two or three specialists are normally very expensive. Most AdWords specialists are either working with big Clients who pay 5 figure fees or they’re managing their own team of AdWords managers.
And that’s where you need to be sharp. Are you ready to pay 5 figures for AdWords management or is your account straightforward enough that someone with a good understanding of AdWords would be capable of creating something amazing for you?
Most Small and Mid-Sized Businesses Don’t Need A Hands-On Specialist
If you get the right training and supervision you can become very good at AdWords without having to become an AdWords specialist. This is the transition phase that is so important for any AdWords agencies to focus on.
I’ve known companies with one or two AdWords stars that truly did amazing work, but their team members were left to fend for themselves. This produced a huge amount of dissatisfied Clients who couldn’t understand how the AdWords agency could get testimonials from big Clients with such poor personnel.
The secret resides in how thoroughly junior AdWords managers are being backed up by a real specialist. In White Shark Media we plan our teams based on seniority and there is always an AdWords specialist managing each team. The specialist will manage a smaller portfolio of Clients, but will be available for supervising his 2-3 team members.
If you’re a small business you might not be able to afford an AdWords specialist’s minimum wage of $150 per hour nor the several thousand dollars from fixed retainers. Choosing an agency that offers solid AdWords management backed up by specialists can be affordable and can produce amazing results.
Tracking Results Should Be In An AdWords Specialist’s Blood
Not using enough tracking is one of the most common mistakes. A single way of tracking is often not enough to give you the full picture about your AdWords account performance.
As an AdWords specialist I’ve actively refused high-paying jobs from Clients that were only interested in getting clicks rather than in tracking results.
The unfolding scenario is always the same: after a couple of $1,000 in ad spend the Client turns off the AdWords campaigns due to no revenue (or proof of revenue).
AdWords specialists often focus on long-term success with their AdWords Clients, as the best campaigns can’t be created over night nor within a couple of months.
The following tracking means should be in every AdWords specialist’s portfolio:
Conversion Tracking: The Most Basic Tracking
Conversion tracking is the proprietary tracking tool provided by Google AdWords. It can track sales, important page views, contact forms etc.
Even though the Conversion Tracking features have been greatly improved in 2012, I wouldn’t recommend to completely rely on them.
Call Tracking for Local and B2B Businesses
The advertisers who are most in need of call tracking are usually local or B2B advertisers, but any company relying on phone calls for sales should be using call tracking.
Calls often make up for over 50% of your conversions in an AdWords campaign depending on how much emphasis you have given your phone number in your website.
Without call tracking you’re missing out on 50% of the optimization data, which can be devastating for your account performance and long-term success.
Google Analytics is Essential for Ecommerce Businesses
Even though I recommend Google Analytics to all advertisers, it’s truly amazing for ecommerce advertisers as it allows you to calculate the revenue from each sale and also helps you find out many other useful things.
Before choosing an AdWords specialist you should ask him whether he uses all three tracking methods and allow him to explain what he recommends.
Certifications Are Nice, But Don’t Let Them Blind You
Most AdWords agencies greatly advertise their certifications and it’s a good way to know how well established an agency is.
The only danger about certifications is to be too blinded by them. Even though passing the exams is challenging and that many people fail their initial exams, then they’re not reliable to find experienced AdWords managers.
Even though you should definitely go with a certified AdWords company remember to review the other factors also mentioned in this blog post. Don’t allow certifications to be the reason for not doing thorough research on the company.
Specialists Should Be With The Latest New Development
Even though not all new features or ideas from the Google AdWords team should be followed, a true AdWords specialist should be knowledgeable enough about them to at least tell you why you shouldn’t use them.
If your AdWords “specialist” just says no to anything but normal search campaigns, then you should move on. There is a lot more to Google AdWords than just the immediate search campaign and you’ll be losing a lot of potential revenue if your AdWords campaigns don’t get up to speed.
Some of the latest additions to your Google AdWords arsenal should include the following:
- Product Listing Ads
- Mobile ads
- Ad Extensions
- Enhanced Campaigns
- AdWords Shared Library
- AdWords Scripts
- AdWords Remarketing for Search
Google keeps coming up with new features for AdWords advertisers to use. Your AdWords specialist should be ready to jump on these to get you a head start. If you’re always the one having to remind or ask your AdWords specialist about new features, then you’ll never reach the same performance levels as those competitors who have found a true AdWords specialist.
Ask For a Guarantee and Run Away If You Get One
AdWords is an auction. If somebody came up to you saying that he could guarantee you wouldn’t have to pay more than $100 for an iPhone if you bought it on an auction, I’m sure you’d look at him oddly.
It works exactly the same with AdWords. We can’t guarantee anything because tomorrow three of the nation-wide companies in your industry might decide to focus more actively on your state causing the click prices to increase and results to diminish.
Some advertisers mistake a guarantee for no-cure, no-pay agreements. A guarantee that you don’t have to pay if something doesn’t happen can be fine, but don’t allow yourself to get tricked into a first position guarantee because they don’t exist.