Google Adwords Campaign: What to Expect When You're Expecting (Results)

When dealing with your Google AdWords campaign, it’s important to test and measure. Looking at your campaign and understanding where the quality is within the campaign, plus leveraging that which is working and split testing new strategies against that to improve result; it can become quite a mission. A common question that comes up when talking about this process with clients is, ‘How long before we will see results?’ or, ‘How long before we know it is working?’

With Google AdWords, the more data you have on a change or a strategy you have implemented, the better informed your decisions can be. For the most part, we look at a strategy incubation period of between six and eight weeks (depending on the campaign). What I mean by this is that for any strategy that is implemented through AdWords, it can take up to six weeks of gathering data, interpreting the data and making small changes based on the stats before you can expect that strategy to be well on the way to consistent ROI.

Expecting Results from your Google AdWords campaign

This is not to say that you can’t expect to get results by this time. In fact, it is quite the opposite. For the most part with AdWords (as in any marketing campaign), you don’t land on your results, you work towards them. Each step along the way should be a process of elimination, testing your ideas, measuring the results and making decisions week on week based on what you see that works. Having patience is the key to this step in the strategy and understanding that investing in large amounts of uninterrupted data can be the difference (in the long run) between the small percentages that make a big difference when it comes to results.

What I mean by this is that as you upload a campaign, it’s imperative to measure the search volume, search terms and monitor metrics such as the cost per click and click through rate. More often than not, what you will find is that in the first few days of the campaign the cost per click will slowly drop and your click through rate will stabilise. This is because the metrics that determine these statistics are dynamically updating as more and more search data enters the system. The first few weeks of any campaign is about monitoring the data, allowing it to stabilise and in some respects, drip feed small changes that work to eliminate irrelevance from the get-go (negative keywords).

Your Google AdWords Campaign is an on-going process

As this process continues, you will find that these small changes will go a long way to building a solid foundation for your campaign. Having the basics set up well and a foundation of data for the campaign to build off will allow you to build out and grow something which will (more often than not) bring you the returns you’ll need.

It’s not uncommon for business owners and marketing directors to want results quickly from their online marketing campaigns. Although through analytics and conversion tracking you can get fairly instant feedback on the success of a campaign, long term results and success does take time. In my experience, the best results come from a clear strategy outlined from the very start of a new campaign and executed week on week based on the data that gets fed into the AdWords system.

Any top Google AdWords campaign take time to get to that point, and decisions can not be made on a couple of days’ worth of data. Google’s algorithms put weight on campaign history and, as such, the more information and history you have on a change the better the chances are that you will make. It might sound clichéd, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.


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