What being a dog owner has taught me about Google Ad campaigns

Let me tell you about Pawley: my loveable chocolate lab. She is the sweetest, craziest, cuddliest dog around. Life with Pawley has been an adventure the past few years but so too has my experience with Google Ads. In many ways life with Pawley has taught me valuable lessons on how to better manage Google Ads accounts.

Sound crazy? You'd be surprised.

Tip #1 – Fix little problems before they cause big damage

Trim your dog’s nails regularly, before they get so long they scratch the floor, furniture or you.

By performing constant maintenance you can mitigate issues before they are able to spiral out of control. For instance, if you sell bluetooth or other voice-enabled devices and notice that there is a sudden spike in organic searches for “voice” but not an increase in clicks it is worth investigating further to see what could be happening. Upon further investigation you would see that Season 15 of “The Voice” is premiering soon and thus your negative keywords list needs tweaking to curtail any wasted spend advertising to people searching for the latest on Blake and Adam’s bromance instead of your voice-enabled products.


Tip #2 – Take advice with a grain of salt 

Some pet owners find the need to give out pet advice for other people’s pets. Well, nothing works for every dog. As a pet parent it’s your responsibility to know your dog enough to know what he/she will be receptive to and what they won’t.

In that same vein, you should also know your Google Ads accounts and understand that not every Google-mandated recommendation will work for your specific situation. As part of the new Google Ads experience, the Optimization (formerly Recommendations) tab has become increasingly less about specially-tailored recommendations and more about how well your account is utilizing all of Google’s offerings, i.e., you may receive Google Ads suggestions that are not necessarily always in line with your stated campaign objectives. Consider the suggestions, but only apply what works for your campaign’s goals.


Tip #3: Keep a watchful eye over your growth targets

I got Pawley as a tiny 3 lb. puppy and watched her become the full-grown diva she is now. When she was younger, I could rattle off her exact age and weight and I knew if she was hitting her growth targets before visiting the vet.

As an account manager, you should set goals for your account and monitor your performance with respect to your goals on a regular basis. That includes noting important milestones or any outlier activity such as sudden peaks or dips in performance, changes in fundamental account structure or notable events that may have rocked the competitive landscape. Just as you would be sure to note even the smallest difference —good or bad—in your dog, you would also want to do so with your accounts. 


Tip #4: Accept what you can’t change

You can pour hundreds of dollars into obedience training, but that doesn’t mean you will have a well-trained dog. If your dog, like Pawley, is hyper by nature, that’s OK! Adapt as needed.

In a similar fashion, be reasonable in your tempering expectations towards your Google Ads campaigns. We all want to see epic growth and become the reigning Google Ads Champion of the World – but being realistic is important. A number of factors play into an account’s performance, including budget, competition, and quality of the site/landing pages. Understanding your limitations can lend insight into how you can better position yourself in the Google Ads playing field. Review your account’s Ads performance on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis