Should You Run Your Own PPC Campaign?

 In Newsletters, The NetSearch Blog
Should you try to run your own pay per click campaign? If you’d like, I can save you five minutes and give you the short answer:
No! Absolutely not. You shouldn’t run your own pay per click campaign. You’ll waste a ton of money!

Might this advice be a little biased because we offer this service? Of course! We want to make money, just like you. We’re great at what we do, and we’ve helped hundreds of business owners get more customers with pay per click. Because of that, we know that running a successful Google Ads campaign can be pretty tough, and the vast majority of folks will run into a lot of problems if they take the DIY approach. Read on if you want to know why trying to manage your own PPC campaign is such a bad idea!

Time

Working a full-time job, I already feel like I’m short on free time. I can only imagine what it’d be like if I factored running my own business into the mix. Juggling responsibilities from a full-time job and learning a new skill can be difficult to do in tandem, and learning Google Ads is going to take awhile. Learning to simply use the platform on a very basic level won’t take days, but becoming an expert at it will take you months, if not years. Successfully running a PPC account is ongoing work, that takes routine analysis and maintenance to keep things on track.

If you want your campaigns to be successful, they need to be adjusted and updated constantly. Changing your bidding strategy, trying out new ad groups, writing new copy, researching new keyword opportunities, making changes to landing pages, reviewing ad performance – this all adds up and can be really time consuming. If you aren’t an expert, you’re going to find yourself scratching your head pretty frequently, wondering why the changes you made weren’t effective. If you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll find out quickly that you bit off more than you can chew. It’s easy to spend hours setting things up, only to check back later to see there wasn’t any legitimate return on all those hours you spent in front of the computer.

If you’re running a business, it’s likely that your time and resources are already limited. More importantly, your time and resources could be spent better elsewhere. Delegating pay per click management to a professional allows you more time to do whatever it is you do best. It’s not that different than hiring a contractor to replace your home’s roof. You hire an expert because it’d take a lot of your time and energy to do a lesser job on your own. Running a successful digital marketing campaign isn’t any different.

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Knowledge

The Google platform is pretty complex. To run a successful pay per click campaign, you’re not only going to need to know the Google Ads platform, but the keyword research tool and Google Analytics. You’ll also need to have some marketing knowledge, know how to manage a budget, and be able to write great ad copy. It’s a fairly multi-facted skill set. A lot of good Google Ads specialists will also be proficient in search engine optimization, so they can combine the approaches to get you more business via both paid and organic search.

An entire industry has sprung up around Google Ads. There are classes, certifications, countless jobs with different specializations, national conferences – all devoted to learning Google Ads inside and out. It takes a lot of time, effort, and study to get to an expert level. It’s not something you can simply sign up for and flip a switch to get new leads. The know-how involved isn’t something one learns from a book they picked up and browsed through over a weekend. It’s not something you’ll end up being great at with a bit of tenacity and luck.

There are lots of places to get hung up in Google Ads. It could be right at the start doing keyword research and analysis. Do you know which keywords will actually work for your business? Do you understand search volumes and impression share? Do you know what your competitor’s are going after? Do you know how to seek out additional opportunities for exposure?

Or you could run into trouble during campaign setup. Do you know how to correctly break your keywords up into campaigns and ad groups? Do you know how to write compelling ad copy? What about when you’re restricted to the Google Ads character limit? How much of your total budget should be allocated to different campaigns? Do you know how your Quality Score works and how you can improve it?

If you get that far, you could run into problems with analyzing your campaign on an ongoing basis to continuously improve it. You’ll need to understand the data you’re looking at to make good decisions. Which ads are performing well? How can you determine what’s converting and what isn’t? Have you added tracking to your site, and do you know if it’s working correctly? Should you shift your budget around? How much? When? Where?

There are lots of decisions to make, and new opportunities for improvement will present themselves on an ongoing basis. If you lack the necessary knowledge, you’ll find yourself with a lot of wasted time, effort, and money.

Money

Which brings us to the big one. This will be the most important item on the list for everybody. It’s easy to spend money on Google Ads, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will waste a lot of money – period. You’ll waste it on the wrong keywords, on the wrong ads, on the wrong audience, and by not knowing how to optimize your campaign.

It’s very easy to quickly spend a lot of money on Google Ads. If your campaign isn’t set up properly, and you don’t have proper bidding measures in place, you could find yourself burning through your entire month’s budget in a few days. Bidding strategies, ad scheduling, automation rules, all of these need to be set up properly when getting started to make sure your money isn’t being wasted.

You will also need to be able to look at how your campaign is performing and know how to read the data to see where you can make improvements. Knowing which keywords and ads convert better is critical to improving your campaign. You could easily miss out on opportunities for improvement if you don’t know where to look in the first place, or even worse, you could tank your Quality Score by focusing on the wrong thing, driving your click costs up and wasting even more money.

Google wants to give their customers good results in search, not only for organic listings, but paid ones, too. Because of this, they offer discounted rates on ads that are more relevant to the user’s search. This means you’ll need to be able to look at your keywords, ad copy, and website, and make changes across the board to improve their performance and drive your costs down. Being unsuccessful at this will not only make your ads show up less frequently, but make your clicks more expensive. Your ad costs will actually increase if they’re poorly optimized. There are lots of pitfalls and “gotchas” to look out for here, and you can easily find yourself blowing a lot of dough on problems you aren’t even aware of.

Leave It To The Experts

At the end of the day, successfully managing a pay per click campaign is best left to the experts. There’s a reason an entire industry has popped up around the service – it requires expertise! It’s not that different than hiring an electrician, or a mechanic, or a lawyer. These are all things you could attempt on your own, but it’s worth the money to have it handled professionally. You’ll save yourself precious time and money that could be better spent elsewhere, and if you’ve partnered with a good agency, you’ll get great results and your return on investment will be worth it.

So please, leave PPC to the experts. Unless you’re this guy.

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