The New York Times has just published an article that provides a decent overview, tips and case study of four small business and their experience with Google Adwords, even though it glossed over some issues a bit incorrectly (but mostly corrected at the very end of the piece). The biggest error suggests one owner had huge runaway costs before realizing it. That’s just flat wrong as you have to set a budget, which isn’t confusing or misleading, and Google doesn’t exceed it. Otherwise, it shows one business that likely isn’t appropriate for Adwords, one that did well after analyzing and adjusting the keywords being bid upon, one that modified a campaign to just target potential customers near his two brick & mortar stores and finally one small business that hired a professional.
There are several great lessons in this article, especially around geographic ‘local’ targeting and using specific keyword and negative keywords.
A few quotes from the article:
“… Monitoring an AdWords campaign requires a lot of effort. That’s why some entrepreneurs, like Rick Smith, prefer to outsource the management of their campaigns. … After attending an S.E.O. trade show … Mr. Smith hired a firm to run his campaigns for him. … They update or change the ads on pretty much a weekly basis, adding in seasonal or holiday hooks when appropriate, and they monitor the results… “I’m spending less than I did when I did it myself,” said Mr. Smith, “and I’m getting more sales as a result.”