Does Google Promote What They Preach? Critiquing the AdWords Login Images

Anyone who’s ever used AdWords knows that Google has decided to put a few case study-esque images on the login page. For the longest time it was just an ad for Romi’s Boutique, but lately Google seems to have expanded their coverage to a few other industries. Great pictures, and they seem like great businesses. But, are they great ads...?

Strava is built for cyclists. Awesome, I like to ride my bike and wear stretchy pants too! I can compete and share and ride – those are fun things. I can try it for free, that’s good too! But… can someone do me a favor and tell me exactly what Strava is?? I’d be willing to bet Mark from Strava is getting a whole bunch of irrelevant clicks from curious cyclists just trying to figure out what the product does.

As it turns out, Strava develops some pretty advanced ride tracking software and it looks really cool. Too bad you have to click and read around the site to find that out.

Eclecdish. That’s a darn clever name! And I’m all about organic cooking too – nobody likes eating pesticides. But senor Ecledish, are you really bidding on the keyword organic? What happens with someone who’s looking for organic apples. Or pants. Or blueberries. Or anything that’s not related to catering…

Also, take a close look at the ad. The ad is focused on organic wedding catering, but the word “wedding” isn’t in bold. That means that Eclecdish is either bidding on the word catering alone, or some other non-wedding catering keyword. If I’m searching for graduation caterers and this ad for Eclecdish comes up, I’m very unlikely to click, much less call Jeff for a quote. Oh, and that better be a tracked phone number.

When developing your own campaigns, always make sure to stop and think if the keywords/ads are hitting the audience that's most likely to use your service rather than just going after words that might represent your business.

I didn’t know there ever was a standard for wallets. After taking a gander at the site, it looks like Dynomighty is actually doing some pretty cool stuff. Batman wallets, fundraising for Japan, free shipping; all awesome things. Why not mention that in the ad and make it pop a bit?

It's important to make your business stand out in the ad copy, whether it's through price, special offers and promotions, or any other unique value proposition. After all, there are more than just a few advertisers offering “new” wallets.

Patana from Friache needs to hang out with Jeff from Eclecdish. He bids on the “catering,” she bids on “yogurt.” Sigh… at least they’re both organic, right?

Adam, it’s awesome that you’re growing LiveWire online using AdWords. It’s a great, marketing tool, completely accountable and you know exactly where all of your money is going. But… shouldn’t you try a few other channels too? What happens if a Google-bomb explodes or if you get banned for selling illegal black market circuit breakers? If your entire business depends on another entity over which you have no control… well. Just don’t do that.

Oh, and is no part of LiveWire’s ad bolded? Always make sure to have at least the high volume keywords of an ad group in your ad to increase relevance quality score and overall ad relevance.

Ahh Romi. For the longest time, Romi’s Boutique was the only ad shown on the AdWords login page. That gave me quite a bit of time to develop critiques. Rather than be witty and paragraph-y, I’ll just bullet out feedback here: • What happened to sales when you doubled site traffic? • I looked at Romi’s site – there’s nothing about gifts there… • Nobody makes money from customers “checking out” the wares. • Can I order from the site or not? I’m confused. • Wait a second… is Romi bidding on “boutique?!?”

All joking aside, these images all represent real businesses and real people - I applaud them for using Paid Search! It's a great advertising medium for just about any business, whether you’re a small clothing boutique, an organic caterer, a wallet manufacturer or a developer. However, just about everyone else is utilizing Paid Search too. It’s important to follow best practices and make your business stand out from the competition.

Always remember kids; keep your keywords relevant, your ad copy fresh & unique and drive quality clicks!

We love helping marketers like you.

Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and more: