4 Reasons to do a board year!

By Jasper Wolff

1. Developing yourself
It may sound like a cliche, but well cliches are based on some truth. Of course your book knowledge is important, gaining a degree in a specific subject or direction is the base of your career. But really managing and coordinating people is not what you can learn out of a book. These are skills that you will learn during your board year and this will benefit you the rest of your life. Thereby comes that you learn how to deal with responsibilities, deadlines and working in groups. You do not only learn particular skills but most importantly you learn about yourself. How do you function in a group, what role do you take and what are your own qualities.

2. Broadening your network
Yes it is said to be important very often. A network is key to get a job, because your network can always tip you on good job offers or put in a good word for you. But also, networking can be time consuming, difficult and sometimes a little bit awkward. When doing a board year you just overcome all these difficulties. While being the board of the MAA you attend many events, drinks and are in contact with all the committees and members. You get close with your fellow board members, find new friends within the MAA members and committees and even broaden your network with companies that you meet at the events. Networking does not have to be awkward when it is basically socializing with friends that have the same interests and ambitions as you have.

3. Boosting your resume
You can be very proud of your bachelor or masters degree. Yes you have been working hard for it and you do have a lot of knowledge now about a certain topic. However, so do all your fellow students. Standing out of the crowd means that you need something extra that is also relevant. Nothing better boosts your resume than a board year! Being able to say that you have coordinated a company with over 800 members, coordinated committees and set up some incredible events, is not something that everybody has got on their resume. If you want to be one step, or five steps, ahead of the other applicants a board year is just perfect.

4. Lots of fun
Besides all the serious stuff of developing yourself, networking and preparing for the adult livelihood, doing a board year also consists of a lot of fun activities. Every month the MAA organizes drinks at our favorite pub, Bar Jones. The board also attends the Career Beyond Borders event, where you will fly to a European country with around 15 members and visit some aMAAzing companies, do some sightseeing and party the whole night for five days. And of course the board needs some rest sometimes so a great tradition is the board holiday trip. A trip for just the board members, with which you have been working really hard. A well deserved relaxing trip with your close board members.

Why you should not miss the opportunity to go to Dublin with the MAA.

Dublin, named Europe’s “friendliest city” twice by Tripadvisor, will be this years’ Careers Beyond Borders destination! If that, and the opportunity to meet various companies abroad during a 5-day stay is not convincing enough already, here are 7 highlights of aMAAzing Dublin;

1. You cannot call yourself a real student if you don’t indulge in a couple of beers every now and then. Well, when it comes to beer, the Irish really challenge you with their famous Guinness, which originally comes from… yes you guessed it DUBLIN! You can visit Arthur Guinness brewery at St. James’s Gate yourself!

2. While you are enjoying your beer, do not forget to look around, or perhaps walk around, as Dublin is known for its beautiful scenery; mountains, forests, lakes and parks, you name it. Dublin has it!

3. After finishing your beer and walk, you can enjoy Dublin’s great music scene, they are well known for having many live music options! You can find most of these bars at the always lively area “Temple Bar”.

4. For those who’ve enjoyed their beer a bit to much, no need to worry! You can always ask for god’s forgiveness when visiting one of the two gorgeous cathedrals; St. Patricks and Christ Church.

5. And of course you will be craving some good food, which luckily Dublin is well known for too! it is known for its contemporary dining. As there are said to be about 70 million Irish people all over the world, many of them have returned to Dublin with their new discovered flavours, and they are not afraid to be innovative and creative with their menus! Resulting in a very cutting-edge and constantly evolving food scene.

6. Dublin is even a great place to get some much needed study motivation, as they have one of the most magical libraries in Europe, which you can visit at Trinity College.

7. To add some spice to your trip and to make sure you will stay on track; make sure to visit the abandoned prison “Kilmainham Gaol”. You will be informed of the very interesting history of this prison during your tour.

If this made you excited, go to here and apply now.

Creating a new Google AdWords campaign is a thrilling experience—a mix of the excitement of building something new, the anxiety of its outcome, a fear of failure, and a hope for success. You really want to be sure everything is right before clicking the “Enable” button on a new campaign.

In this guide, our friends at Whello give the most important tips to keep in mind before launching an AdWords campaign.

1. Let’s do some keyword research!
The most important component of a successful campaign is understanding the customer and what they want. If you advertise a product or service that your customers aren’t interested in, your campaign will not be successful no  matter how much money you spend on it. Therefore, it’s very important to understand the psychology of your customers and desirability of your product or service before constructing your first campaign.

Customer volume is also an important factor to consider. You need to analyze whether your investment can bring a high enough volume of customers to cover the amount of money you’ll spend to attract them.

You can use Google’s AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool to figure out the search volume and competition level of the keywords you have in mind. All you need to do is get into your customers’ mindset and type in a phrase using your keywords. However, before you begin using the tool, ensure that the “Advanced Options” are set. Select the desired location, choose the language, and set the default device type as “Laptops/Desktops,” unless you’re exclusively targeting mobile devices. To get a sense of phrases relevant to your keyword, choose the “Phrase” match in the keyword “Match Type” setting.

While looking for keywords specific to your business or product, take into account the following:

● Invest in keywords that have high search volumes.
● Invest in keywords that indicate an intent to buy, rather than someone just searching for information.
● As explained further below, consider the affordability of each keyword. This is especially important if you’re looking at high-volume, high-competition keywords.

2. Do the math: comparing costs to budget
While you don’t need to know complex trigonometry, you will need to do basic math before investing your time and money to begin an AdWords campaign.

The first question to ask yourself is, “Can I afford this keyword?” Take a look at the following example to help you find the answer:

First of all, set a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) you think you can afford (let’s say €5 as an example). Now, use the Keyword Tool to compare your maximum CPC with the estimated CPC you get in the tool. Suppose the Keyword Tool places the cost of the keyword at €4, so you know you have a window of €1. That sounds like a good deal, so let’s look at the next step.

Your maximum cost-per-click depends on the conversion rate of your website, profit per customer, and your profit margin. If you don’t know the precise figures yet, you need to come up with estimate figures for each and do a little guess work. You’ll be tracking your campaign, so you’ll have more accurate figures soon to make better calculations.
In the meantime, here’s the formula you should use:

Max CPC = [(profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)]/100

Suppose your profit per customer is €200, with a profit margin of 50 percent and a conversion rate of 10 percent. By using the above formula, you can easily calculate the Max CPC:

Max CPC = [€200 x (1 – 0.5) x 10]/100 = €10
The maximum cost-per-click you’ve set should be close to the estimated CPC that is shown in the Keyword Tool. However, if your max CPC is way less than the estimated CPC, you’ll need to either decrease your profit margin or increase either the profit per customer or your website’s conversion rate.

3. Check out your competitors
Simply put, include competitor intelligence in your arsenal. Successful AdWords marketers identify the landing pages, keywords, and ads that perform best and those that do not. In other words, they sort and optimize their AdWords campaigns effectively. At Whello we use Keyword Planner, to see which keywords competitors bid on and what the average search volumes are.

4. Find your Unique Selling Point
You need to have a unique selling proposition (USP) that makes you stand apart from your competition. Customers consider why they should choose you and not your competitor. The key to your success lies in how you answer this for them.

Every marketing strategy is backed by a strong USP, and AdWords is no exception. There are three reasons why you need a powerful USP:

● It will generate more traffic while keeping unwanted leads at bay.
● It will boost your conversion rates.
● It’s a potential game changer that can eliminate price comparison shopping. If you’re offering something nobody else does, customers won’t think of you as a commodity, but as an opportunity.

The best way to create a powerful USP is to pay heed to your customers. Analyze their shopping patterns, see what they like, and find out what they don’t like about your industry. After that, take a look at your competitors’ ads, websites, keywords, and everything else, then come up with a unique selling proposition that nobody else offers.

5. Make it irresistible
You should offer something so amazing in your AdWords campaign that a potential buyer feels compelled to use your services, without even realizing it. This is called an irresistible offer and it has the following four components:

● Value:​ Your potential buyers should feel they’re getting more for their money. Your offer should sound like a great deal.
● Believable:​ The price should look reasonable, and not drastically less, or they’ll feel like something fishy is going on behind the scenes.
● Reduce​ ​Risk:​ Consumers are afraid of losing money to some cheap product or poor service, especially on the internet. Offering a money-back guarantee can reduce this risk to help new customers feel more comfortable shopping or doing business with you.
● Call​ ​to​ ​Action​ ​(CTA):​ Create a clear and simple CTA—the next step you want people to take. If you want your customers to call you, don’t make them dig around your website for your number. If you want them to fill out a form, put it front and center. It’s as simple as that.

6. And now make it efficient.
When you’re using AdWords search advertising, you pay only when your advertisements get clicks. With this in mind, your ads need to perform two important jobs for you:

● Attract relevant customers to your ads.
● Keep irrelevant customers at bay.

A successful campaign doesn’t simply bring in more traffic; it means more relevant traffic that brings in more sales, and less unqualified traffic eating into your advertising budget.

7. Landing pages matter
You shouldn’t direct every customer to your homepage, unless it’s the only page you’ve got (which isn’t a good idea for an online business).

A homepage tells a potential customer a lot about your business, but it probably doesn’t hone in on what was highlighted in your ad. A landing page should be focused only on what you advertised, providing all the information a potential customer needs to motivate them to take action.

Every ad should have a congruent landing page. If you’re offering deals on shoes, land your potential customers on a webpage that shows shoes, not on your homepage where they’ll need to figure out how to get to the page with shoes. If you’re offering a discount on a particular item, your ad should take customers to a page where they can buy that item.

8. Conversion tracking is key
It’s essential to analyze keywords and ads that bring you a high return on investment (ROI) and those that don’t. Tracking your conversions will not only help you manage your ads and keywords properly, you’ll also be able to make necessary changes to optimize your campaigns accordingly.

9. Customize what can be customized
What would you prefer: a “one-size-fits-all” hat or a hat that actually fits your head? The same goes for AdWords as well. You can’t run everything on default mode and expect brilliant results. You need to set up the following settings in your AdWords, and quickly:
a)​ ​Search​ ​vs.​ ​Display
Search and display are different types of advertising networks, which need different sets of keywords, ads, and landing pages to be effective. You should set up different campaigns to target these two different kinds of networks.
b)​ ​Device​ ​Bids
If your website is not mobile-friendly, you don’t need to invest in mobile device advertising campaigns. However, if you have a responsive website (one that can adjust automatically to fit any device), you should definitely consider spending money on mobile-specific advertisements.
c)​ ​Keyword​ ​Match​ ​Types
There are three main keyword match types: broad, phrase, and exact. The default match type is set to “Broad.” As a result, Google will show your ad whenever a matching keyword or phrase is used. This match type has a higher chance of driving irrelevant traffic, which also increases your website’s bounce rate. With the “Phrase” match type, Google will display your ad when a user types a search query that matches the phrase you’ve selected. This match type gives you more control over who sees your ad in comparison to the “Broad” setting.
“Exact” match type is like a strict instructor. Google will only show your ad when a user types in the exact keyword in the search bar. While it gives you the most control, you’re also likely to get to less exposure; I suggest that you select “Phrase” match and you’ll be good to go.
d)​ ​Negative​ ​Keywords
These are a great way to block phrases that Google would otherwise use to show your ads. Negative keywords are what differentiate “designer women’s shoes” or “cheap women’s shoes” from the “women’s shoes” you sell on your site. Adding negative keywords saves you from unwanted traffic and less ROI.

10. Last but not least: optimize!
Nothing is perfect from the very beginning, and your AdWords campaigns will likely be no exception—even with careful planning. To make sure your campaigns are proving to be beneficial, you should monitor three important factors:
● Keyword​ ​Bids:​ The moment your website starts generating clicks and sales for you, you should think about optimizing your bids. You may want to raise your bids if your keywords are bringing you good sales but not a higher ranking. On the other hand, if the keywords are not generating profits, you’ll need to lower the bids or use other keywords altogether.
● Click​ ​Through​ ​Rate​ ​(CTR):​ Your website’s quality score, which is determined by Google, depends directly on your ad’s CTR. You need to test different ad campaigns to know which ones bring you the most clicks.
● Landing​ ​Page​ ​Conversion​ ​Rate:​ Remember, your landing page should offer what you promised in the ad, or the customer is likely to leave your website. A landing page that keeps the promise you made in your ad helps ensure higher conversion rates and, as a result, more profit. Test different versions of landing pages to know which version suits your campaign the best.

We hope you can use these 10 tips to start building your own effective AdWords campaigns. If you would like to dive deeper into the world of Online Advertising, you can check out the free courses from Google here.

Whello is always looking for motivated students who are interested in doing an excitingly challenging internship at our Whello office in Amsterdam-Noord! Click here to leave your motivation and contact details.