The Difference Between Success and Failure in AdWords

The difference between a successful AdWords campaign and one that’s unprofitable might not what be you think.

I was thinking about this while watching my daughter’s 2nd grade soccer team which got off to a DREADFUL start this season.

Not only did they lose their first 3 games… they didn’t score a SINGLE goal in those games. Probably coulda played on half the field and it wouldn’t have made a difference because they barely got past midfield.

Now it’s 2nd grade soccer so the stakes ain’t really high here. The aim is for the girls to have fun and improve their soccer skills.

That said, losing like that is tough. Even though no official score was kept the girls knew what was going on. They knew they hadn’t scored any goals and by the end of the 2nd and 3rd games of the season, you could hear some grumbling about not scoring and could see many of them were feeling a bit dejected.

Then, at the practice following the third game the coach made ONE little tweak that changed EVERYTHING.

What did he change?

After the goalie would get the ball, he simply had her run up to the edge of the goalie box and throw the ball up the field as hard as she could.

That’s it.

The effect has been STARTLING…

Since making that one tweak, the team hasn’t lost a game. They’ve even BEATEN a few of the teams that trounced them earlier in the season.

What the coach had noticed in the first few games was our goalies were throwing the ball from close to the goal. And, more often than not, the other team would get the ball and not have far to go to score. If our team got it, however, they had to go the length of the field through the opposing team to even have a chance at a goal.

Throwing the ball down the field opened the game up and gave our players a chance to get the ball into the opponent’s zone and score.

Little tweak. HUGE difference.

And that’s often the case in AdWords too where one little tweak can make all the difference…

  • A change on a landing page.
  • New ad copy.
  • Making a bid adjustment to favor mobile traffic over desktop traffic (or vice versa).
  • Pausing certain keywords or ad groups.

I’ve seen changes like these be the difference between a campaign that loses money vs. one that’s profitable.

Yes, there are times where big overhauls are required to fix something that’s broken (whether it be an AdWords campaign, a soccer team, etc.). In fact, our tendency is usually to assume that a fix will require some Herculean Effort.

The shame of thinking like that is so many people give up when they are oh so close to success. Because they assume something is so broken that it can’t be fixed or isn’t worth fixing, they stop at the 1 yard line just before they score.

If you can stop and look more deeply at what’s going on, however, we can often spot those small tweaks that make a huge difference in outcomes.

For my daughter’s soccer team all it took was changing where the goalie threw the ball from.

Is there a similarly simple tweak that can make a huge difference in your AdWords campaign?

If you’d like to have an expert assess your Google AdWords campaign and see if there is, please email me to set up a free AdWords Strategy Session.