google_adwordsToday I decided to get certified with Google Adwords and Google Analytics. Admittedly it’s been a few years since I was involved with either product so I knew I would have a lot to catch up one. What I didn’t realize was just how intricate the Adword network was now. You see ads every day wherever you go on the internet, but have you thought about what it takes to get the right ad served up to the right person? I’d like to share a few things that I learned while going through the process.

Google Adwords

To start with, the wealth of options now available with Adwords caught me off-guard. It is no longer about picking some good keywords and writing a catchy text-based ad. The Search Network still provides that basic function and you can use the handy Keyword Planner of yore to help you find those keywords that will be good for you. The Display Network is where I started learning the most about what I’d missed over the last few years. It’s more of a context-based system that serves up your ad on sites related to your product.

So here are a few interesting points that I learned about the basics

  • You have access to more refined term matching, including negative keywords.
  • You can have very targeted ad types across location, demographics, and even devices (nice!).
  • Bid, ad format, relevance, and conversion likelihood all play a part on how high an ad displays on a page.
  • Become familiar with the different costing model acronyms. Know what you’re paying for.
  • Bidding adjustments… You can increase or decrease your ad bids based on variables like time of day, location or device.
  • Creating draft campaigns for testing can help you refine your message even mid-campaign

To get certified I needed to complete the Fundamentals exam and one other. I decided to focus on the Mobile exam, even though all of them are important. The first part wasn’t so bad but I was in for a ride when I started diving into my first choice, Mobile Advertising.

Here’s a few insights I learned from the mobile exam prep:

  • It’s a LOT of information if you’re trying to do this in one day
  • Think about how you use your mobile device. Translate that behavior into ad strategies that target your customers.
  • Marketing Automation concepts are used throughout the re-targeting sections of the exam prep materials. I was able to understand some of this quicker because of my background (yay!).
  • Mobile ads does not necessarily mean App ads. They are related but there is a distinct landscape for ads that appear within Apps that you need to be aware of, that takes a lot more planning.

So now I’m officially certified, but I still want to finish the other sections.  Those will have to wait for another day, as will the Google Analytics certification. There is a LOT of information to know about advertising on just Google. If you have someone in your corner doing this for you, take a moment to thank them. 🙂