“It’s All Relevant” – Revisited

While talking with a new client recently about keyword selection, I was reminded of a blog post I wrote back in March 2006, entitled, It’s All Relevant.

The post described an exercise I undertook to identify paid search ads so irrelevant as to be laughable. Searching on “rocket fuel” produced an eBay ad. Wait a second, there was no way I could buy space shuttle rocket booster fuel on eBay. Yes, you guessed it, model rocket fuel is what was listed on eBay. Had I typed in “buy space shuttle rocket booster fuel,” I’m sure I’d have seen different paid search results.

For a present day example, search “spaceship fuel” in Google and a Target.com ad is served. However, the landing page for that ad doesn’t exactly feature spaceship fuel. Again, relevance is the key to paid search success.

Back to the new client – new clients are typically excited to help in the creation of paid search campaigns. Thankfully, they’re more than willing to suggest keywords and ad creative. Many of their suggestions miss the mark, however. Had they tried to create and manage a paid search campaign on their own, they may have wasted thousands of dollars on irrelevant and unqualified clicks. It warms my heart that they reached out to Oneupweb for help. Many who are new to paid search lack a clear understanding of the dynamics of paid search and what it takes to make the most of this marketing channel. Ya gotta be relevant!

An example is in order. Let’s say you’re in the business of designing navigation systems for mega yachts. A relevant keyword phrase might be “marine navigation systems”. Selecting “GPS”, though related, is not as relevant to your business as the more targeted “marine navigation systems” phrase.

You may argue that yacht owners may be looking for your product when they search on GPS. OK, but you also have searchers who are shopping for car GPS, GPS coordinates, hacks for GPS systems, etc.

You may also argue that in your paid search ad you’ll be very specific about what you sell and eliminate bad clicks. Experience has shown that’s not enough to avoid wasting precious marketing dollars. I have to believe there are people whose idea of recreation is clicking on paid search ads with no intent of buying the product advertised.

Think of paid search relevancy as a chain. Links in the chain are:

  • The Product You’re Selling
  • Keyword Selection
  • Ad Creative
  • and Landing Page

The old saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link certainly applies here. Maximize relevancy along the chain and reap the rewards of high ROI and low CPA.