In this episode of the Pest Control Internet Marketing Podcast, Andy talks about Google Ads and specifically, about keyword insertion ads.
Google Ads is a pretty broad and in-depth topic, as there are different types of ads, different requirements for ad copy, ad extensions, responsive ads, etc. So, there’s a lot of things to be discussed. However today, Andy is going to focus on keyword insertion ads, which is a little bit more of a high level ad strategy.
If you are not familiar with this term, keep on reading and you will understand it fully towards the end as Andy explains it perfectly, with examples.
For instance, let’s assume there is a lady by the name of Susan who lives in Los Angeles and your company’s name is ABC pest control. As a company (ABC pest control) you have identified certain keywords to use in your Google Ads campaign. Some of those keywords are “pest control” or “pest control services” or “pest control near me”.
Now, let’s assume that Susan types “LA pest control” into Google search box. Your ad may or may not be triggered based off of the keywords that you’ve specified. If you have the broad match, or broad match modifier, or phrase match as “pest control”, you’re clearly going to show up in the search results. This is a great keyword and you definitely want to show up for that.
You can obviously specify the titles and descriptions of your ads. However, keyword insertion ads is a piece of code that you insert in your ad title, and you can dynamically and automatically change the title of the ad to match exactly what Susan typed in the Google search. So, if Susan typed in “LA pest control”, then your ad will literally say “LA pest control”. Alternatively, if Susan typed in “pest control 90210”, then the ad would say just that.
Keyword insertion ads is a strategy that is a little bit advanced in terms of the syntax, but not too hard to learn on your own.
So now that you understand what keyword insertion ads are it’s time to answer the question whether this is a good or bad practice to use. Andy believes that for pest control companies and most home service companies, it is a good thing.
However, the majority of marketing specialists do not like implementing keyword insertion ads. They insist that you are starting to treat the potential customer (such as Susan in our example) as robots, and you’re missing the human element.
Andy understands and respects this point of view. But in his opinion, it would only make sense when you’re marketing, for example for a law firm or a boutique store, where you really want to get the message out for your brand.
Most of the time, if somebody has a bedbug issue, they just want to search, click, glance through everything, check if the website looks professional, and then they decide whether to call or not.
Andy admits that in his experience, keyword insertion ads work extremely well for pest control companies.
Taking our example again, if Susan typed in “LA pest control near me 24 hour emergency” , this search term would be too long to be inserted into the ad title. This is because the maximum number of characters is 30 and it would produce a default title in your code of the keyword insertion ad. In other words, if the title of the search term is more than 30 characters, it would automatically default to the title that you’ve inserted.
Let’s go back to our initial scenario to explain it further. If you own ABC pest control, you typed in ABC pest control in Google, and one of the ads says ABC pest control. Even though it clearly says ABC pest control but it goes to your competitor, XYZ pest control.
You know that the other company is doing this on purpose and you get frustrated. Andy says that it’s a very common topic and he gets calls about this at least once or twice a month from his clients. However, 9 times out of 10, your competitor is not purposely bidding on your brand name.
But it can happen that some dishonest marketers run competitor strategies. Andy thinks that this kind of strategy doesn’t work well. It’s because that if somebody is searching for a specific company, it’s usually for a reason. They might be calling to complain, to pay a bill, or to confirm an appointment.
According to Google, it’s not illegal to bid for your competitor’s names. And that makes sense as Google is aiming to get as many clicks as possible, which is a part of their business. So if this scenario happens to you, then one thing you can do is to look at your auction insights. In essence, auction insights show your ad or your placement based off of where you are with your competitors.
By looking at data and auction insights, and doing some reverse engineering, you can determine if your competitor is purposely bidding for your name. And if that’s the case, then you probably want to take it to the next level, e.g find a lawyer, etc.
But 9 times out of 10, here is a situation that plays out:
XYZ pest control company is bidding for the keyword “pest control”, perhaps as a broad match, or broad match modifier, or even a phrase match. Susan types in “ABC pest control”, or you type in “ABC pest control your own name”. XYZ pest control is in the same territory and the ad schedule matches up. The keyword broad match “pest control” is in the search term, so naturally, XYZ is going to show up. Now, if you’re surprised that your name is in the title, the reason might be that they probably have a keyword insertion ad.
All in all, this is a strategy that works well. Know that if your competitors are doing it, it may negatively show up on your own brand name. So, before you get annoyed, do a little bit of research first, especially with the auction insights.
Listen to the latest PCIM podcast episode on Keyword Insertion Ads here.