Would it be possible to develop an AdWords Campaign Wizard that would walk you each step?
I have recently taken over management of an AdWords account from our IT staff. While I'm familiar with general concepts of databases and computer programming, I am not an analytics expert, and I have been frustrated that so many AdWords features seem to be squirreled away under menus and submenus and sub-submenus. Yet each of these components is necessary to develop a working AdWords campaign and to determine the ROI on AdWords spend.
It would be great if there was a Campaign Wizard that would walk you through all the steps, much in the manner that TurboTax walks you through all the steps of filing your income taxes, filling in the correct fields as you go. My primary responsibilities are not in IT and I have neither the time nor the inclination to learn every nuance of AdWords to be able to get respectable returns on our AdWords spend. I don't have to be an accountant to file my taxes with TurboTax; neither should I have to be an analytics guru to be able to set up an AdWords campaign.
Offering the user a choice of video step-by-step guidance or text guidance should also be a feature of this software.
Re: Would it be possible to develop an AdWords Campaign Wizard that would walk you each step?[ Edited ]
January 2013 - last edited January 2013
Hi EditorialMgr and welcome to the forum. My TC colleague Theresa will probably be along shortly as this is one of her favourite topics. However, in case she's busy I'll do my best.
The simple answer here is that Adwords is not a simple product. It can be operated with little or no IT knowledge or programming ability but to get even remotely decent performance from it requires at least some basic understanding of websites, search and advertising principles. To get the best out of it is going to take a lot of learning and experimentation; in this respect it is no different from any other skilled trade. I have been using Adwords for over 10 years and there are still elements that I learn every day, especially in terms of approaches to advertising and methods for achieving tasks.
It is not for no reason that we often advise here that management of Adwords be handed to a professional manager. You would not expect unskilled, inexperienced staff to take over the servicing of a company car pool, or ask one of your accountants to rewire the third floor of your building, yet it is common for companies to hand the running of their Adwords campaigns - possibly a major source of their business income - to someone with little or no appropriate skills for the work.
This may sound like I'm being harsh - and I am, deliberately so. Your post has started by saying that you've taken control of the Adwords account away from professional IT staff, then gone on to say that you are not skilled enough or experienced enough to operate it, and that you don't have "the time nor the inclination to learn". Operating Adwords is nothing like filing your taxes. Taxes operate under strict rules and regulations laid down in law and if you put $X in one box and $Y in another it is possible to work out $Z should go in a third, that's how these "walk through" programs work. Adwords is as much a creative process as it is a technical one and there are few - if any - rules that apply to the actual settings. If I set a daily budget of $X, that does not necessarily mean that my CPC will be $Y. Yes, rules exist but it is simply not a fair comparison.
On a lighter note, Google do have a very extensive library of help files, including video walkthroughs and complete tutorials. You can start looking here:
I should also add that if you have no time then there is the option of Adwords Express. A version of Adwords that has virtually no settings or controls to worry about. This may be more suitable for you, although this "simple" version does mean a loss of control in more ways than one. You can, if you like, equate it to paying a "flat-rate" of tax as opposed to working out your taxes bit by bit. It's simple but you may end up paying more than you need.
Re: Would it be possible to develop an AdWords Campaign Wizard that would walk you each step?
You may file your personal taxes with TurboTax, EditorialMgr, but I'll bet your company pays a professional to manage their taxes & accounting, don't they?
Similarly, with my first car I used to do my own tune-ups several times a year. Once catalytic converters and computerized components entered the picture, I started paying professionals to do it for me.
A skilled task needs a skilled worker.
I've just run across this thread and am trying to think of something to add that my colleague, Jon, has not already said. Since he's covered the basics pretty well, maybe I should focus on specifics that might be useful to you.
You say that you recently assumed management from your company's IT staff. Was the change made because the IT staff lacked the time to continue management or because the company was not happy with the results and wanted improvement? Because if the company is happy with how the campaign is performing, then (if it were me), I'd go to the IT people and ask for training in what they've been doing, the same way I would if I were handed any skilled project to handle.
Aside from that, let me add that you don't need to know anything about datahbases or computer programming to use AdWords or Analytics. I haven't taken a programming class since I learned Basic (more years ago than I care to admit) and have never found myself handicapped. You just need to learn the software, the same way you'd need to learn any new piece of software you were given to use. The User Interface is very intuitive, once you've worked with it for a while.
Learning to build and/or manage a successful advertising campaign is a little more difficult (Advertising has always been a skilled task. People are misled by how easy Google has made starting your own internet marketing campaign these days. Truly successful advertising has been in the hands of professionals for the last century or more.) but you didn't ask about that, so I won't go into it. As Jon said, Google has done a great job of offering comprehensive help files for the purely technical side of working with AdWords and if you're feeling at a loss, I would strongly encourage you to start reading the material.
And, of course, the forum is always here if you have specific questions!
Google AdWords Top Contributor