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How Small Businesses Can Keep Up with Big Brands in AdWords

For plenty of small businesses, Google AdWords has been a wonderful way to bring in customers at the perfect moment: When the customer is trying to find a place to buy what the store is selling. For others, it’s been confusing, time-consuming and unproductive. While two cases are hardly ever alike, one of the biggest problems small businesses face is that AdWords demands constant supervision. To be good, you can’t just spend several hours getting your campaign up and running, you’ve got to monitor your spending every day.

AdWords is like a silent auction in which the winning bids are changing at a rapid pace, similar to airfares and the stock market. One day the bid you’ve set to put your ad in position 3 might only be good enough for position 8, and unless you’re really keeping on top of your maximum CPC’s, your number of clicks could drastically fall.

Search engine marketing professionals know that you can’t “set and forget” when it comes to choosing your maximum bid, but small business owners don’t always have the time or desire to manage several advertising campaigns on top of running a company.  This, more than keyword choice and ad text, is what leads to the failure of most SMB AdWords campaigns.

As we live in a world where advertising agencies typically charge a percentage of your ad spend as a commission, SMBs are usually too small to even get the time of day from an agency. This is where bid automation software comes in.

There are several options to consider when choosing bid management software. Of course, you can use Google automated bidding on your campaigns but if you were at an in-person auction, would you feel comfortable giving your money to the auctioneer and letting that person spend as they see fit? Probably not. Now, I’m not trying to insinuate that Google is just out to take your money, but it’s in their best interest for you to spend as much money as you can so that they can grow. Their automated bidding options also pale in comparison to the third party software available on the market.

Third party bid automation software (such as WordWatch, the company I work for) exists to help advertisers save on their overall CPC while driving traffic to their website. With the option to strategize for the most clicks or most conversions, small business advertisers are able to rest assured that the campaigns they’ve worked so hard to set up are being optimized to make the most of the budgets they set, not what Google wants you to spend.

An added benefit to using bid automation software, as opposed to giving your campaign to an agency is that you still have control of your account. You can raise or lower your budget at any time, add new keywords to a campaign or add group and write fresh text ads when you feel. While you’re also free to change your CPCs, it’s recommended that you leave that to your software, because bid management software works incrementally, using historical data. Abrupt manual changes to CPC bids tend to have an adverse effect on the performance of your overall campaign.

If your AdWords account isn’t performing as well as you’d like, it might not be your keywords or text that needs updating. Looking into your bid management options could be just the trick to get you back on track.

This is a guest post written by Trace Ronning.

Trace Ronning is the Media Coordinator for WordWatch. They specialize in AdWords management for small businesses. To find out how you can get up to 30% more clicks with your advertising, check them out at