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Effective Google AdWords management
prevents wasted budgets

Press release, December 2009

It’s a simple truth that effective Google AdWords management can make the difference between advertising money well spent and a budget that is quickly wasted. New research into the ways that companies are advertising through Google AdWords indicates that poor planning or campaign management is benefiting Google by as much as 20% in terms of ‘wasted’ spend.

The study was conducted by Web Marketing Workshop, a website marketing and training consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. It looked at a sample of Google AdWords campaigns within 5 main industry sectors – travel, property, retail, finance and communications. Although it is recognised that quantifying a true figure of the additional revenue that Google earns from poorly executed AdWords campaigns, a number of measures were used to assess the likely success of advertisers’ campaigns.

For each of the business sectors that were analysed, five popular search terms were used on Google where at least eight sponsored listings from the AdWords advertising service were displayed. Each advertiser was then assessed in terms of their advert content, the link from the advert to their website (for relevancy of landing pages) and page load times – all factors that contribute to Google’s ‘Quality Score’ measure, which can also impact the bid levels and cost for each search term.

From the 200 adverts that were reviewed, 21% displayed a page load time of more than 5 seconds, with just over 30% of these having a page load time of more than 10 seconds which is likely to deter searchers from viewing the site. In addition to this, 7% of advertisers were found to display dead links or error pages on their websites, which would still incur an advertising cost through Google.

The wording of the adverts being used was also scored on a number of factors, with 36% not including the search phrase anywhere in the advert content, so that the searcher’s terms were not emboldened in the advert to encourage a higher clickthrough rate. Of the websites that were visited from the AdWords listings, 63% took visitors to their website’s Home Page or were judged to be displaying a landing page that could have been targeted better with an alternative page on the website.

Although the objectives and results for the surveyed advertisers are unknown, the indications from this data are that many advertisers are not using Google AdWords as effectively as they could be and that the management of the campaigns were found to be wanting. This means that Google continues to earn good turnover from competitive and high-cost adverts, whilst some advertisers are wasting their advertising spend through poorly managed and structured campaigns.

Managing Director of Web Marketing Workshop, Clive Hawkins, commented on these figures, saying: “We have come across many examples of poorly planned and executed Google AdWords campaigns in the past and so we wanted to try to quantify what this meant in financial terms for advertisers, and for Google. Our survey looked at some potentially high cost search terms and so we could estimate the likely spend from the search volumes and the clickthrough rates over a defined time period.”

“We can’t tell whether the Google AdWords campaigns that we analysed were being managed directly by the companies themselves or by an external agency of some form, but there clearly needs to be a better focus on the cost-effectiveness of these campaigns through some quite basic principles – even ones that Google themselves recommend to advertisers. Google AdWords might seem like a simple form of advertising to implement but it’s clear that more training or better awareness of best practices can improve performance for advertisers and reduce the wasted spend that just benefits Google.”

Hawkins continued: “As more and more advertisers move into this sector - which remains the fastest growing advertising medium for the past 4 years – average bid prices will continue to be pushed up. Therefore the effective control of spend and the improvement in the cost per conversion will be essential for advertisers, otherwise they will discount this technique as a powerful form of marketing for their business, when in reality it could be working much better for them.”


Web Marketing Workshop (http://www.webmarketingworkshop.com.au) is a website marketing consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. The company offers a variety of Internet marketing services for business websites, including search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising, as well as training courses to help develop SEO skills or the effective use of Google AdWords.

For more information, please contact Clive Hawkins, Managing Director, Web Marketing Workshop Pty Ltd, (tel: 1300 852877)
Website: www.webmarketingworkshop.com.au

The Web Search Workshop is a trading name of Web Marketing Workshop Pty Ltd and provides search engine marketing services to business websites, including search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising management. The company opened a new office in Sydney, Australia in January 2007, having been trading successfully in the UK since 2000.

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