Last Updated Aug 5, 2011 12:34 PM EDT
It's also a pain to manage, partly because the Google platform makes spending money so easy. Easy is one thing; making that spending work is the real challenge.
Take the average small business owner. Selecting a few keywords and setting up his first AdWords campaign takes minutes. So he adds more keywords. Then he decides to run multiple campaigns so he can do a little A/B testing. Then he adds long-tail keywords, tweaks the text in a few ads, applies a few different bidding strategies...and suddenly what was simple is now complicated and overwhelming.
And overwhelming usually means opportunities are missed and money is wasted.
Here's an easy way to add some clarity to the confusion. WordStream just launched its free AdWords Performance Grader tool. The tool ranks your AdWords account performance against thousands of campaigns WordStream has analyzed, narrowing the results down to advertisers with similar monthly spending to make it more relevant. You not only get a "grade" but you also get specific advice on how to improve performance and cut costs.
You can check out your:
- Quality Score (how Google perceives your ads; higher Quality Scores mean higher rankings and lower costs)
- Click-through rates
- Impression share (how often your ads appear for relevant searches)
- Use of long-tail keywords
- Use of landing pages
- Wasted spending
Give it a try. (It's free -- why not?) I'm willing to bet you will learn something you can use -- either to improve a campaign or to reduce the amount of money you're wasting. Either way, you win.