Nationwide, belts are tightening. And in Michigan — home of the auto industry — belts are on just about the tightest holes.
As a way to support the local community, we’ve developed a program in our Ann Arbor office called AdWords in the Curriculum. In the course, Michigan high school and college students learn the ins and outs of Google AdWords. We hope graduates of the course, armed with a new set of skills, will go forth and help Michigan’s companies succeed in a global, technology-based economy.
“What does this all have to do with me?” you may be asking.
In AdWords in the Curriculum, students are assigned local Google Grantees. They work together to apply the students’ new knowledge and implement strategies.
But because most of you don’t necessarily have time to take a class and spend a lot of time experimenting with AdWords accounts, we thought we’d set you up with regular check-ins from the AdWords in the Curriculum students. We want to share their learnings, so that we can all make the most of their newfound experience, and spend advertising dollars wisely.
We'll be rounding up their learnings on a monthly basis here on the blog, so we hope you'll check back in to see what's new in the world of AdWords for non-profits.
To tide you over until the first official check-in, we'll leave you with a quick tip from one AdWords in the Curriculum alumni: Know your audience.
Eastern Michigan University students working with Dawn Farm, a rehab facility, initially targeted drug users looking for help. But when their ads weren't appearing often at all, they soon realized that it's not the addicts themselves looking -- they, of course, don't always realize they need help. Rather, it was loved ones searching, and researching drug effects. So, the students added keywords like 'LSD symptoms' and 'crack effects.' They also wrote ads targeted more toward loved ones, highlighting the informational portions of the site.
Traffic to the site rose by 60 percent.
In this video from Eastern Michigan University's College of Business, an AdWords in the Curriculum professor interviews one of the students about her experience with the Dawn Farms account.
If you’re looking to track a specific action on your website, conversion tracking is a great way to do this. Conversion tracking begins when a user clicks on your ad, and then if the user reaches your conversion page (typically a ‘thank you’ page), the conversion will be recorded in your account.
Once you input your account’s conversion tracking code, you’ll notice new columns appear on the Campaign Summary page. These columns will report conversion data. When setting up tracking, you’ll be able to indicate the action you’re tracking as a Purchase, Lead, Signup, Pageview, and Other. Instructions on implementing conversion tracking can be found in the AdWords Help Center and in the Learning Center. One important thing to note is that you’ll have to edit the code on your website to get started, so make sure that your webmaster is available to make these fairly simple changes to your website’s code.
After conversion tracking is set up and you begin to accrue data, you may also want to run a Keyword Performance report and even customize the columns to focus on conversion data. This previous post provides helpful information on running reports.
Ultimately, conversion tracking can help you determine how to most effectively use your Grant. You might find that one ad group drives the majority of your conversions, which could indicate that your Grant could be used more effectively if other ad groups were paused. Also, you may notice that certain keywords drive up your campaign’s cost without resulting in conversions. In this case, you may want to consider pausing those keywords in order to permit the keywords that result in conversions to run more frequently. Whatever your campaign’s purpose may be, conversion tracking may potentially increase your campaign’s success.