Keyword insertion Gone Bad!

I literally just finished checking ad positioning for a PPC client of mine, on a new campaign we are testing around the topic of “scams.” No, we are not soliciting scams! Instead we realized that in our industry, as unfortunate as it is, there are a ton of scammers out there and therefore a ton of buzz around companies (and therefore search queries) that are frauds, scams, etc. Instead of shying away from this, we wanted to take advantage of the search volume it brings (especially as few people will advertise here). Therefore the ads we are testing highlight our differences from the scammers – Experience, Trusted Business, Money Back Guarantees, Rigorous Screen Processes, etc.

Seems simple enough, right? WRONG. DEAD WRONG.

Instead I found a terrible case of Keyword Insertion Gone Bad, and just had to rant a little! From this first example, on the query “Psychic Scams,” you’ll clearly see my case in point:

3 of the 5 ads are using Keyword Insertion – Promoting “Psychic Scams” for their company. I have a funny feeling this is probably the OPPOSITE of what they were aiming to accomplish. At this point my mind began running – this has to be a mistake, maybe just a coincidence. So, I began thinking of other industries where scams run rampant, hoping NOT to see this again (It makes us PPC marketers look, well, just BAD!). Unfortunately, I found the same sickness occur again and again:

Example 2 – Query: Gold Scams

Example 3 – Query: Car Scams

Example 4 – Query: Dating Site Scams (Are you starting to see my point here?!?)

Example 5 – Query: Psychic Fraud

Example 6 – Query: eBay Scams (Take notice to the similarities in the ad above in example 5)

I think by now you clearly see my point. I see some serious marketing dollars being wasted here!

While I am not frowning upon the use of Keyword Insertion in general, there is an absolute time and place to use it. In fact, smaller, niche ad groups tend to fair well using Keyword Insertion. When used correctly, you can certainly see a lift in your CTR and potentially in your quality score and conversion rate. However, it does require strict management and close monitoring. An article written by RedFlyMarketing (which highlights eBays horrendous use of Keyword Insertion) hits the nail on the head with the ins and outs of using “Keyword Insertion” to your advantage. Additionally, if you are going to use Keyword Insertion, cover your bases and take another step – Be sure that your negative keyword list is built out to avoid any mishaps such as the ones above (Please don’t contribute to making us PPC marketers look bad! )