Should You Use AdWords If You Rank Organically?

A reader wonders:

How can I stop my Google ad from appearing in cases where my website comes up #1 "organically" with a particular keyword phrase? I’m paying for clicks that I would otherwise get for free. My cunundrum is that I need to use all the words in those keyword phrases in other keyword combinations and I can’t use the negative word tool as you describe in the bat house example in your book.

My response:

My Non-Answer

First, you may not want to stop your Google ad from running. Yes, you’re cannibalizing your free listings – maybe – but let me pose a hypothetical question:

If the only thing your prospect saw on the Google SERP (search engine results page, yes I know it sounds like a rude bodily noise, but that’s what happens when you put geeks in charge of acronyms) was your listings (organic and paid), would that be a good thing?

Having the top spot on both organic and ppc "brands" you in the eyes of searchers. I’ve even seen websites advertising "#1 on Google" – as if that said anything about the quality of their products and services. But just like "as seen on TV" lends credibility, so now does a "thumbs up" from Google – because that’s how ordinary people interpret a first-page listing (and especially a #1 rank).

You might try an ad that says, "See our #1 Google rank on this page" – not sure if Google would go for it, but it might be worth a try. (Just don’t do anything that ticks Google off and loses your organic position.

My Answer

Now, if you want to keep your ad from running for a particular keyword, here’s how to do it.

Let’s say the keyword you’re ranked #1 for is get smart movie poster

Add the keyword in embedded match type: -[get smart movie poster]

Now your ad will show for

get smart movie posters
movie poster get smart
steve carrell get smart poster
anne hathaway poster agent 99

but not for the exact keyword you want to eliminate.


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