Google AdWords – Managing Your Expectations

Google AdWords – Managing Your Expectations

As a Google Certified Partner we are lucky enough to work with a large variety of businesses ranging from small firms to large corporates.

Each AdWords Campaign varies hugely: there is no two the same. However there is one area of AdWords Management that we work on that is common amongst all of our clients – managing their expectations.



AdWords can be running in minutes, but don’t expect results in minutes.


There is a danger it seems for new clients to expect instant results with AdWords (and other online marketing mediums such as SEO). I’m not quite sure why this is but I usually ask clients that if they set up a shop on a high street today, would they be the market leader and hugely successful tomorrow? No, of course not, and the same goes for setting up a business online.

The quick fix culture is rife online but it’s a myth. Sure, there are the lucky few that for one reason or another have enjoyed a massive amount of success almost overnight but it is the exception rather than the rule. Building your business online is going to take time: whether it’s AdWords or SEO you need to become established and work hard at it, eventually the rewards will come.


Managing your own expectations starts with setting realistic goals.



I know what your thinking: “My goal is too make lots of money via AdWords, thats my goal.” Sure it is, but you need to break it down into smaller milestones to get there.

Here’s some actual comments from clients when asked: “what to you expect from AdWords?”



Client 1: In the first month I want a return of 500%, given my budget that would indicate AdWords will work for me.


My Answer: Unlikely going to happen. In the medium to long term perhaps but thats not a realistic expectation.



Client 2: We’re personal injury lawyers, we want to target the accident claims industry with a budget of £200 per month, we expect to see 30 enquiries from AdWords in the first 2 months.


My Answer: Unlikely and probably impossible. Cost per Click (CPC) prices in your industry vary from £15 to over £50 and given your website has a 10% conversion rate you are not going to see results.



Client 3: I have a budget of £50 per month, if I get some enquiries in month 1 I will continue.


My Answer: With a budget this low its going to take considerable time to gather enough data to efficiently optimise your campaigns to bring results (not to mention our management fee is considerably more than the budget). You may get some conversions but expect it will take a number of months to get better performance.

In each of these examples, the clients had unrealistic expectations. AdWords, when managed properly gets better and better over time. By virtue of this the first month is generally the poorest performer.



The process of managing an AdWords account in short:



Build Campaign > Test Campaign > Measure Campaign > Optimise Campaign > Test Optimised Campaign > Measure Optimised Campaign > Re-Optimise Campaign and Repeat.
In each of the examples above the client is expecting to go from 0 to 100mph without going through 1-99mph. It just isn’t going to happen.

Short term wins are possible to a degree but you are not going to get the returns you’ll see in 6 or 12 months in month 1.


Reasons why AdWords doesn’t work.



I take on many accounts that have seen very poor performance over time, leaving the advertiser disillusioned. Almost every case I have falls into 1 of the below 3 reasons:

Client has set the AdWords Campaigns up, dumped in a load of keywords and left it to run on it’s own – Minimum effort will see minimal returns.
Client has a limiting budget (just like client 2 in my above example). If your average Cost Per Click is £15 and your setting a budget of £15 per day and expect daily conversions your going to need a 100% conversion rate – that’s not going to happen.
Lack of understanding – Client has spent regular time “optimising” the account without taking time to learn the fundamentals of how AdWords works and as a result, does not see significant improvement.

Each of the 3 cases above has one thing in common – misplaced expectations. You cannot expect AdWords to work well if you cannot give it the attention it needs, you cannot expect champagne on a lemonade budget and you cannot run a campaign effectively without understanding how it works.
Here are some examples of real AdWords advertisers performance (revenue) – what do they have in common?


adwords performance

They all gradually rise over time with regular peaks and troughs. Neither goes from its lowest position to its highest in one minute / day / week or month.





AdWords is a fantastic system and I see first hand every day how businesses profit from it greatly. It should be no surprise that those who benefit most are the ones that take time to understand AdWords, the ones who understand that initially it’s an investment and those that are willing to invest time and resources into AdWords to get the return they require.