adwords drown ocean
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My First Time Drowning In The AdWords Ocean

Chris Crisalli helps manage the digital marketing efforts for FanDuel Inc., one of the leader’s in web-based fantasy sports. Prior to joining FanDuel, he helped the New York startup Intent Media scale their PPC product. Chris loves roller blading along the East River, hates people who walk slowly on the sidewalk, and has never had an awkward first date (alright, maybe one).

Chris is a good friend and when we first heard his story about how helpless he felt getting up and running with Google AdWords for the first time, we knew we wanted him share his experiences on the AdHawk blog. We’ll let him take it from here:

I first started teaching myself how to create and optimize Google AdWords campaigns a few years ago. I had this big vision of learning a tool that would help transform my Dad’s small business, and saw the personal opportunity to improve my own search advertising acumen along the way. After a few months of immersing myself in Google’s public AdWords study guides (who has time to read all the stuff?), I took the online certification test and passed. I figured I was on my way to becoming an account master and was excited about what the future held for my father’s small business.

I created my Dad’s account, thrusting myself for the first time into an actual AdWords dashboard. I knew all about the tool’s capabilities from my studies, but never truly got to familiarize myself with a real, live dashboard. In a word, it was pretty overwhelming. How do I actually set a bid increase for Friday through Sunday evenings? How do I actually create a custom radius for which I want my ads to appear in? How do I find out keywords that I haven’t considered before, and add them to my ad groups? These of course are actionable items, and don’t even begin to address the challenges associated with interpreting performance analytics and determining appropriate optimization techniques. It felt like I was swimming in an ocean with no lifeboat in sight.

I took pride in the fact that I was self-taught, but I also wanted to make sure that I was doing the most that I could for my Dad’s account. I tried reaching out to Google for help, but it was understandably difficult to get dedicated account management for a campaign spending only $1k a month. I pushed on, and after many failures, finally saw the type of return I was hoping for. Looking back it would have been so useful to have an automated account manager of sorts, there to help me understand where my spend was going, and offering optimization suggestions when applicable.

This general concept is why I’m so excited to see a product like AdHawk hit the market. The simplification of online advertising dashboards, such as AdWords, is long overdue. Being able to easily understand where my ad spend is going, as well as my campaign performance, is critical to small and medium sized businesses everywhere. Not to mention, I can get account optimization suggestions sent directly to me without having to wait for the attention of an account manager. Online advertising spend will only increase in the coming years, and it’s exciting to see products are being made to facilitate the success of these campaigns.