Learning everything there is to know about online marketing is not easy without the practical application of these theoretical concepts. Such is the objective behind The Google Online Marketing Challenge. This competition, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students only, aims to teach participants how to achieve effective online marketing through a meticulous marketing analysis.
The Google Online Marketing Challenge essentially requires participants to optimize, manage, and update their own Google AdWords campaign. Participants are given $200 to spend on a Google AdWords online advertising campaign for the website of a particular small-to-medium business that they choose to partner with. During the competition’s three-week duration, the teams optimize their campaigns as they see fit. Two reports, one detailing the initial campaign plans and one indicating how the campaign ended, are submitted as output.
The Challenge is open to students from any higher education institution. Student teams can have their professors serve as advisers for the contest. Professors using the competition as a supplementary class activity are expected to use sufficient class time to cover essential online marketing concepts and introduce Google AdWords technology.
What is Google AdWords?
When Google search results relevant to the user’s query are displayed, relevant AdWords are displayed on the page as well. These ads are separated from the search results and are labeled as “Sponsored Links.” These ads can be seen on the top and the right side of the Google search results page.
AdWords is a great online marketing strategy. Advertisers are challenged to design their own ads for their business using keywords that they feel users will commonly search for. AdWords makes online marketing easier for advertisers, as they only have to supply keywords to promote their businesses and product or service offerings.
Teams are judged based on five different criteria for their AdWords Campaign. The five criteria are as follows: account structure, optimization techniques, account and activity reporting, performance and budget, and lastly, relevance. Using these criteria, teams are divided into 7 categories based on how they and their ads fared under the deliberation of the panel of judges.
Designing effective AdWords campaigns may initially seem like an easy task. However, it requires more than just writing a good ad campaign for AdWords to be of any significance. This is because, in the world of online marketing, different strategies must be employed to be able to design effective ads.
One useful technique in designing an AdWords campaign is using keywords that will potentially match users’ phrases exactly. The more an ad’s keywords match the phrase searched by Internet users, the more likely the particular ad will be a top Sponsored Link.
A great hands-on experience for students
The Google Online Marketing Challenge provides students with a great opportunity to acquire real-world online marketing experience. The Challenge is a great venue for students to apply theoretical concepts learned in class. Additionally, it is a great way for students to possibly help local businesses improve their marketing effectiveness.