I’ve thought about what I want out of AdWords in 2014 and how I can help my fellow AdWords managers become better.
Instead of going on about how you need to know match types or write better ad copy, I would like to go a different route for today’s post.
Heavily inspired by the great book “Mastery” written by Robert Greene, I have been looking into how I became good at AdWords and how I can continue to improve my skill set in 2014.
1) Master More Fields
Did you know that by learning other fields you could become even better at the field that you want to master? This honestly came as a surprise to me as I’ve always believed in specialization.
However, you can only specialize so much. When you’re close to mastering a certain field, the progress you make will start to stall and you will eventually stop chasing new knowledge.
By always being in the learning mindset and always breaking into new fields, you will never feel that you “know too much” to go back to school. In an industry as innovative as ours, we need to constantly be ready to learn new things and rewrite the rulebook. If we are not ready to do this, we will fall behind.
So, if you want to be better at AdWords in 2014, start studying new fields. As a business owner, I believe the following skills and their further development are key to succeed in AdWords:
- Sales Techniques – I love HubSpot’s sales blog
- Business 101
- Landing Page Optimization – Unbounce.com is an amazing resource
- Conversion Rate Optimization: Read the 2nd Edition of Steve Krug’s ‘Don’t Make Me Think’
- SEO – Moz.com and Distilled.net has great resources
- Social Media
Noticed how I put business 101 and sales techniques on the list? I believe these to be universal skills that everyone should master, especially agency consultants can benefit a lot from the added view of being a business owner.
2) Go For The Details
Once you’ve mastered the basics and more advanced AdWords techniques, AdWords turns into something else. It’s no longer about finding the right keywords or writing the best ads. It’s about being able to keep working with the details again and again.
If one thing sums up AdWords management for me it’s repetition. You tend to do the same thing over and over. Knowing how to keep focusing on the details and maximizing your returns is key to mastering AdWords.
Put it as a goal for 2014 to keep working hard on the details and you will be rewarded for it.
3) Educate Yourself in Banner Psychology
This is a personal goal; I’m tired of not knowing about the exact differences between what makes a successful banner and a successful text ad.
If you’re already doing great work with AdWords Search campaigns, the natural next step is to branch into Display campaigns. This field is radically different and most people who start out in AdWords don’t pick up Display advertising as easily as they did Search. The reason for this is mainly the change from being in a situation of fulfilling a need to creating the need. It’s a small, but distinct change in psychology that you need to be aware of.
4) Master PLA Management
Product Listing Ads in the search results are here to stay and will continue to take up more virtual real estate.
As RKG mentioned in their report, PLA is starting to outdo regular text ads and I don’t see this going down. Google has found a way to provide better search results to users. As long as users keep clicking on the Product Listing Ads, we will see Google favoring them over the old text ads.
Knowing how to optimize a PLA feed and creating the best PLA campaign structure will be key for all e-commerce advertisers in 2014. It’s already of the utmost importance, but if you haven’t mastered PLA yet (aka if your campaign only consists of a single All Products target), you should grab some of the reading material and start today.
Commit to Providing Excellence
If you really want to become a better AdWords consultant in 2014, the single most important aspect is committing to become better.
I never truly understood the notion that you should always strive to make today a little bit better than yesterday. In the end, how can you keep making something better? That’s when it hit me. You will always fall down. You will always meet challenges and setbacks, and you will inevitably have bad days. But by making the effort to do one thing better or learning one new thing every day, you can end the year at a higher level than when you started.