Strategic Stages to Account Development: AdWords in the Curriculum Wrap-Up

Thursday, July 22, 2010 | 4:39 PM

As the fall school year approaches, AdWords in the Curriculum wrapped up its spring semester at Michigan State University. A class of 13 students working under Professor Clay Vorhees was paired with Michigan-based non profits including West Michigan Land Conservancy, Piast Institute, Michigan Weimaraner Rescue, and the National Leiomysarcoma Foundation.

AdWords in the Curriculum students highlighted the strategic aspects of AdWords campaigns which can make campaign builds and optimization an engaging and appealing project to work on.

After an initial meeting, the MSU student teams took a systematic approach to stages for optimizing.

Professor Vorhees explained, “During the optimization efforts, the students adopted a strategic approach to improve the campaigns by conducting AB tests that demonstrated the benefits of dynamic keyword insertion, developing rational appeals, and calls to action in their ad text. Leveraging these research findings, the student teams re-developed their campaigns after 5 weeks of testing and noticed substantial improvements in account performance.”

Allowing 5 weeks for data gathering and testing can ultimately improve campaign results. Making snap decisions about areas to change after just a week of performance can be risky, since there may be only a handful of impressions and clicks. On the other hand, it is critical to make adjustments to a campaign based on data once trends develop.

When the campaigns were set up and in a position to be optimized, the training began.

“Once optimization was underway, the students turned to teachers and worked with their non-profits virtually, on-site, and via the phone to train the non-profits in the process of monitoring, editing, and optimizing their campaigns. This extended training time with the non-profits proved to be a great success.”

After the semester with AdWords in the Curriculum concluded, all four non-profits are continuing to run campaigns with more than 12,000 visitors driven to the sites on a monthly basis.