About a month and a half into my paid search internship with Harmelin Media this summer, I was surprised with the exciting news that our team would be taking a trip to visit our Google reps in New York City. Two weeks later the dozen-or-so of us met up outside the office (at 6:30 am, the only downside of the trip) and headed up the interstate and into NYC’s Meat Packing District.
For those unfamiliar with the term, ‘Paid Search’ is a form of online advertising hosted on search engines—primarily Google and Yahoo/Bing!—and intuitively displays all-copy ads relevant to a user’s search. In fact, intuitively may not be the best choice of words because in reality it’s a behind the scene orchestration of analytics, budget dispersal, and keyword optimization. As an intern, much of my time was spent compiling campaign builds consisting of two major parts: first, the standard ad text (with 35 characters allowed for each of two lines); second, the ad groups, categorized groups of keyword lists predicting user searches relevant to a client’s particular product or service.
We reached Google’s offices shortly before 9 o’clock, and after grabbing some warm drinks and light snacks from Starbucks, headed around the corner and up the elevator to Google NYC. After being cheerfully welcomed by our rep, Martha, we slowly walked through the hallways of their offices to the conference room where we’d be having our meeting. Their offices were exactly how you’d imagine them, bright, crisp, and decked to the brim with tech and Google memorabilia. A workplace that would make Wonka proud. The particular wing we’d be working in was “Back to the Future”-themed, the walls mocked with blueprints of the Delorean.
Martha went into detail with us about new changes coming in Google’s paid search operating system, as well as giving us specific strategies we could use to gain more impressions for our ads, and improve their click-through rates. Click-through rates are perhaps the sole-most accurate measurement of a paid search campaign’s success, comparing the total number of impressions to the number of clicks made on a client’s ad. New features allowed us to display necessary up-front information on the search results page, a value added given it was completely free ad space for vital client information.
We discussed many topics throughout the day, and I was surprised with how involved I could be in the discussion, even with only a month-and-a-half of interning under my belt. After enjoying a fantastic, delicious (and free!) lunch from Google’s expansive cafeteria, we wrapped up our discussion from earlier and discussed practical strategy to plan to utilize the new features. My experience at Google was both rewarding and memorable, and surely opened my eyes to the appeal of the advertising industry.