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Are Your Adwords Campaigns Leaking?

Posted in: Google,Keywords,Marketing,PPC,Search Engines,SEM by Richard Hearne on November 14, 2006
Internet Marketing Ireland

I was over at the whoisireland blog earlier reading John McCormac’s post about his latest statistics report. Now I don’t know John personally, but I do know that if I had a question about domains that required a definitive answer, I would shoot off an email in his direction. When it comes to domains and hosting he is quite probably the leading Irish authority on the subject. But back to John in a minute.

Google again…

Now we all know Google. Google has changed the way we interact on a daily basis. We use their Search Engine more than any other. They supply us with lots of great free services. And they act as the ad broker of choice on the Internet.

While some people may find it curious that I don’t block Google ads (it’s relatively easy to do you know), the main reason for not doing so is to see what’s being advertised and to whom.


Adwords is a great way for any site to get noticed. The system is cheap, reliable and trust-worthy. However, Adwords only leads the horse to the water. That’s all you’re paying for.

So what happens when the horse doesn’t drink? Google gets paid and you’re out of pocket. So how often do you check to see what keywords are performing? Not just on clickthroughs, but on conversions? If you don’t check these things your practically throwing away your money. Let me explain by going back to John.

I was reading John’s post and noticed the ad block after his post:

WhoIsIreland Ad

It got me curious. What were they offering and why target John’s site? So as a curious individual I clicked on the ad:

Contact Centre Development

You see I clicked on an ad for

Presentation Skills
Natural, effective and interesting presentations at all levels

I liked the strong copy and was interested in how it related to John’s site. And here’s the big problem. The landing page I hit makes no reference that I can see to ‘Presentation Skills’. In fact, at an Internet glance it seems like the site in question is in the call/contact centre business. There’s no relevance.

When I click on an ad for ‘Presentation Skills’ (assuming that it’s going to be advice or products) and land on your site you have about 5 seconds of my time to give me what I’m looking for.

After those 5 seconds have elapsed I’m back with John again.

And that’s why landing page theme is the most important factor for conversion. You can have the best copy and design in the world, but if it’s off-theme you’ve just lost a prospect.

(As an aside: It seems to me that there could be quite a market for SEM (Adwords etc.) optimisers here in Ireland. For more on this subject see this discussion.)

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  1. I think there was something about this on one of the official Google blogs not so long ago, though I may be imagining it…

    Comment by Michele — November 22, 2006 @ 12:12 am

  2. Could have been the Adwords blog. Keeping up with all those Google blogs is a nightmare, but found this OPML feed that contains all the official Google blogs: link

    Comment by Richard Hearne — November 22, 2006 @ 12:35 am

  3. [...] Jeremy, who I mentioned on last months post as my selling point, gave some good advice on when to make a landing page. Richard also discusses landing page relevance which is extremely important when trying to convert that traffic. [...]

    Pingback by Ireland SEO Marketing :: Converting Traffic Is Like Fishing — March 14, 2007 @ 1:51 am

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