Google search isn’t perfect. Sure, it dominates the market with its best in class engine and advertising model, but it still delivers some wacky results and can’t overcome human error. Its imperfections are especially noticeable when you pay for its mistakes.
Many Internet-based businesses like registration software provider ABC Signup use Google as a nationwide “Yellow Pages” to help customers find their virtual storefront, the website. We use Google Adwords’ paid search to ensure our name is front and center when folks search for terms (or “keywords”) that describe our business, such as “online registration software.” When someone clicks on our name in the paid search results (top three results plus the right column in Google), we actually pay Google for the placement that resulted in a click.
Unfortunately, not all clicks are on target. Over our eight-plus years on the Internet, we’ve paid for searches for “Regis and Kelly” simply because of the “ABC” in our name. The keyword “registration” draws PPC (price per click)-eating surfers to our site to try to register everything from a Makita drill to a Sony playstation. They also come from every state to register to vote, drive or be eligible for the selective service.
Sadly, too many of these lost searchers not only get directed to the wrong site, but they click through to a contact us page and actually fill out a form that has nothing to do with tool registrations and even says so. Bad searches can be good for an occasional laugh, but otherwise are a waste of everyone’s time.
On the plus side, Google Adwords does have ways to tightly define keywords, and better yet, it offers a keyword search tool that details every search term used to reach your site over a given period of time. By reviewing that list frequently and checking those that you DON’T want directing traffic to your site (the “negative keywords”), you can actually block terms from directing the wrong searches to your site. Today, our negative keywords list is longer than our keywords list.
The takeaway here is to frequently search the keywords that generated clicks in your Google Adwords account and act accordingly. If you aren’t a Google Adwords user, but use Google to search, thanks in advance for clicking wisely.
If you have any tips to share, or would like a little more information – such as getting started with Google Adwords – feel free to post below or contact us.