AdWords is not a dirty word, depending how you use it.

Well it’s been about 2 months since my journey began, into the murky water crystal clear oceans of the “digital” industry. My mouse arm has strengthened, and I’ve now progressed to googling ‘trapezius stretches’ – because it turns out I have a bad habit of slouching onto my left arm, while doing all the heavy lifting with my magic mouse in my right arm.

On the flip side, having identified that I’ve been inadvertently sedating myself for 11 years now, by treating chronic hay-fever with an antihistamine that I assured many pharmacists DIDN’T make me drowsy… It did! It’s just that I never had a reason to sit still AND try to stay awake all day. (For what it’s worth – no it’s NOT the job putting me to sleep!)

So, aside from blogging about my health issues – I’ve been learning stuff! Lots and lots of stuff. I do need to sit down and make a list of all that stuff one day, but today’s stuff has been inspired by a morning session of in-house training from Téa, on the concept behind SEO content planning, keyword research for content strategy, and… AdWords.

Now, before I head into sharing a ‘user’ experience from a few years ago now, which explains why the term ‘AdWords’ leaves a dirty taste in my mouth (a memory triggered by this morning’s discussion & training), I digress…

Having come to know Téa through social media (we think about 8 years ago), I’ve read a loooooot of stuff she’s written about. I’m not sure if she wants me to say this or not, but it’s actually very inspiring to sit and have her teach me even a tiny bit of the knowledge she has on this stuff. Each time Téa gets those whiteboard markers out, I know my mind is about to expand. Yeah, I’m brave enough now to make a joke along the lines of “we’re gonna need a bigger whiteboard!” – but honestly… even though I can’t read her scribble later, while she’s explaining this stuff to me, it just all makes sense.

‘Workshops’ has been mentioned a few times lately, and it’s something I really hope Kintsugi pursues. We’ll just make slides, and spare you all the whiteboard extravaganza!

Anyway, back to AdWords. We’ve all had those emails or cold-calls before… “Hi. We noticed your website needs some work…” …

I’m going to pause here for a second, just to pay homage to all those ballsy telemarketers that have called me as a small business owner and said exactly that… when we didn’t have a website!

Ok. continue… “We noticed your website needs some work and we can guarantee you Page One on a Google Search…”… everyone needs a job, right? One unfortunate day, I didn’t hang up on them.

Who’s heard of Dotcom Chrome? I have. It turns out they consisted of two pommy lads holed up in an empty warehouse somewhere in Manchester, using a computer and phone to scam small business owners out of thousands of Dollars/Pounds/probably even Yen! They were very convincing salesmen, talking us into believing that our tradie industry business was going to benefit ten-fold, by appearing on Page One of Google Search…

For a week, we did. That was exciting. It only linked to a yellow pages online entry (because we didn’t have a website…), but there it was – our business name, top of Page One Google. For about a week.

We figured something was broken, but soon found contacting them was useless. We were busy and forgot about it for a few months. The credit card got lost and cancelled… that’s when the phone calls, abuse, harassment and threats of law suits started. It personally caused me so much stress, that I ended up in Freo ER, worried I was having a stroke. Thankfully, it was just stress.

And people wonder why small businesses are a bit hesitant to take a swim in the murky waters of the digital industry…

But the good news is that today, thanks to the guidance and teaching from these two (linking to this, just because I can!) not only have I finally understood what and how those pommy fuckers (after two months in this office, I know that’s NOT a dirty word, depending on how you use it…) managed to scam us – but I also have a whole new appreciation for how and what a legitimate and GOOD digital agency can and should be doing, for your business and SEO strategy.

Coming soon from the Kintsugi digital sanctuary: a blog series on what to look for in a digital agency, offering a sanity check on your current services… just as soon as we can squeeze the content out of a couple of talented minds – last spotted somewhere between a couple of hilarious Jib Jabs…