IBM’s AdWords Advice: Don’t Compete Against Yourself

When it comes to Google AdWords, there's a lot of advice out there about how to get ahead of the competition in your bids for keywords that will capture your audience. But Zach Wallis, paid search strategist at IBM, would caution everyone working in this area to be mindful of another possibility: You could be competing against your own business.

How does this happen? Wallis explains that some organizations (notably multinational technology companies, colleges and universities, e-commerce companies, etc.) have multiple business segments or service offerings interested in the same keyword/traffic.

Here's an example scenario:

  • Two business units of a technology manufacturer set up their own, distinct AdWords accounts and launch campaigns going after the same keyword
  • One business unit makes desktop computers and buys the keyword "computer" and serves a prospect desktop computer ad copy
  • The other business unit makes laptop computers and also buys the keyword "computer" and serves a prospect laptop computer ad copy

If multiple groups in the organization are targeting the same set of keywords, says Wallis, it increases costs and leads to a poor user experience for its target audience.

Don't miss Zach Wallis' further advice on AdWords at PR News' Bootcamp: Google for Communicators, Aug. 9 in San Francisco. Presenters from Yelp, Google, Macy's, Vanguard and more will also be giving the audience valuable best practices.

The Solution?

Consolidate planning and budget to accommodate the single instance of a purchased keyword (so in the example above, the keyword "computer" is bought in one AdWords account) with multiple audiences layered on as well as distinct ad messaging for each respective audience. 

Follow Ian at @ianwright0101