MSc in Digital Marketing – Google Ad Grants Challenge
Niamh O’Byrne of the MSc Digital Marketing ran a 4 month AdWords campaign as part of her programme. Here she gives us an insight into what that entailed.
Can you tell us a little bit about the AdWords Challenge?
Myself and three of my classmates ran the Google Ads account for an Irish charity for four months as part of the Digital Advertising and Communications module. This project consisted of two parts. In semester one we completed a pre-campaign report, setting out the proposed Google Ads strategy that we would implement to help the charity achieve its key goals and ensure that they got the most out of their Google Ads grant. In semester two we took full control of their account for four months. During this time, we launched seven new campaigns, implemented different keyword strategies and trialled targeting options to increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to the website.
It sounds as though this was a very immersive experience in running an AdWords campaign. What were the main things you learned?
This project was a great learning experience and was one of my favourite projects that I completed during the course. As Google Ads is so widely used in digital marketing it was incredibly valuable to have the opportunity to run an account for four months with such a large budget. Google Ad Grants provides charities with a $10,000 budget each month. This allowed us to run many experiments and trial different strategies to see what worked best for the charity. Although we completed the Google Ads Certifications and covered the material in class, I found that it wasn’t until I got into the account and started running campaigns that I really became familiar with the platform and gained an in-depth understanding of what in involved in setting up, running and optimising Google Ads campaigns.
The main things that I learned throughout the project was the importance of keyword strategies, bidding strategies and audience targeting. The keyword strategies used have a large impact on the success of each campaign, and the more keyword research we conducted, and time spend on trialling new strategies, the more successful our campaigns were. Audience targeting was also very important to ensure that we were reaching the right people at the right time.
What advice would you give charities looking to deploy Google Ad campaigns either to increase donations or drive traffic to their websites?
Google Ad Grants provides charities with a generous budget of $10,000 a month. Charities should use this to experiment and trial different keyword strategies, bidding methods and audience targeting to identify what works best for them and drives key results.
Each campaign should have a specific objective and the recommendations provided by the Google Ads platform should be applied to ensure the campaign is fully optimised. Campaigns should be reviewed regularly, and if they are not performing well a new strategy should be applied. It is also very important that conversion tracking is set up correctly to ensure that you can accurately measure the success of your campaigns.
What impact did your project make on the charity you worked with?
The charity that we partnered with do not accept donations on the website, their main objectives are to increase brand awareness, educate the public on disabilities in Ireland and drive traffic to the website. Throughout the four months that we ran the account we launched seven new campaigns. These campaigns resulted in more than a 50% increase in traffic on the website during the project in comparison to previous months. As well as an increase in traffic on the website, there was also a larger number of views on key pages on the website that provided educational information for the public. Additionally, the charities website became the number one result on Google’s search engine results page when related keywords were searched. This allowed the charity to reach a larger audience and ensure that the public could easily access any information that they needed in relation to disability in Ireland.
Find out more about the MSc in Digital Marketing: https://business.dcu.ie/course/msc-in-digital-marketing/