Best Ad Ever? Plus “Pee-Pee” Keywords

Best Ad Ever? ;)

Check out the ad appeared at the top of my gmail this morning:

Headline, line 1, line 2, Wow! The copywriting!

I admit – I couldn’t resist, and I clicked through. What could this company possibly be offering that would be appealing to curious AdWords rubber-neckers? Must be completely universal in appeal – PediPaws maybe, or weight loss, or stop snoring.

Turns out makes stuff I can’t begin to comprehend. I quote from their home page:

"SITE is a 25-year-old company dedicated to designing, building and selling high-quality track systems for photoresist coating, developing, baking, cleaning and other specialty applications."

I felt bad for costing them money by clicking, so I made a sympathy purchase of a SpinBall™ Single-wafer Spin Station, "a small, manually-loaded tool designed for the spin deposition of photoresist, developer, polymer and other materials common to integrated circuit photolithography." I’m hoping it won’t set me back more than a few hundred grand. But hey, there’s always eBay…

OK, so I’m picking on them. But let’s turn our attention from the mote in our neighbor’s eye to the beam in our own.

Do you have ads that attract the wrong people to your site? Almost certainly. If you’re not using conversion tracking of some sort, I guarantee that you’re giving Google more money than you need to.

Remember that AdWords includes FREE conversion tracking – just generate the code and place it on your thank-you page, and Google will start telling you which keywords and ads are working well, and which are bombing. A client of mine saved $14,000/month just by installing conversion tracking and deleting stuff that wasn’t working. And the best part is, you don’t need to be clever or creative – just point and shoot.

See below for a free video tutorial (3 minutes and 35 seconds) that shows you exactly how to generate the tracking code that instantly turns you into an AdWords genius :)

Pee-Pee and Commercial Intent

When my kids were younger, we often had a conversation that went like this:

Me (noticing their gentle jiggling): "Do you have to go to the bathroom?"

Kid (engrossed in something fun): "No."

Me (2 minutes later, noticing a more intense jiggling and some muscle intensification): "Why don’t you just go to the bathroom?"

Kid (annoyed now): "I told you, I don’t have to."

Me (shrugging): "OK."

Me (2 minutes later, observing a kind of frantic spasmodic dance and a facial tic): "Are you sure you don’t have to go to the bathroom?"

Kid: "Aba (what they call me), stop it! I don’t have to go!"

Kid (30 seconds later, hopping to the bathroom with legs clenched and struggling to remove enough clothing to succeed): "Unnnnnhh…"

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, my children were teaching me about high commercial intent keywords.

High Commercial Intent

When we begin searching, we generally are in the "not so urgent" stage. Poking around, satisfying curiosity, comparing, assessing credibility, etc. Our keyword reflect this:

digital cameras

I wouldn’t bid a lot for that keyword, because it’s so broad. Someone who doesn’t even have a brand preference or zoom preference or feature preference. Heck, they even phrased it in the plural, which is a strong clue that they don’t have a particular purchase in mind.

After checking out some online stores and review sites, they may decide that they want a Canon. So they search for

canon digital camera

Now they’re looking to decide on which Canon model. They compare features at B&H photo, and decide on the PowerShot SX1 IS. So now they search for

Canon PowerShot SX1 IS

Now they’re looking for the best deal: price, shipping, guarantee, usability of website, etc. That’s the money keyword. The one you want to bid on. Because now the searcher is at the "hopping to the bathroom with legs clenched" stage of the search continuum. High commercial intent.

Commercial Intent Tool

Microsoft offers a free commercial intent tool at

It’s not perfect (in fact, it doesn’t really work for the digital camera example, and I’m not willing to rewrite this post to find an example more sympatico with the tool), but it can be helpful in figuring out which are the "Neediest" keywords in your AdWords account.

When you find them, here are three strategies to test:

1. Go for high position on the SERP

Ordinarily, top position in the SERP (search engine results page) is a waste of money. But when the click represents a "ready to pull the trigger" visitor, it’s often worth it.

2. Differentiate your ad

Look at the other ads and ask yourself, "What would make someone choose me over them?"

Empathize and emphasize: what does the searcher want, and how can I highlight that in a four-line ad?

3. Create three ad groups for that "Needy" keyword

First ad group: exact match only
Second ad group: phrase match, negative exact match
Third ad group: broad match, negative phrase match

Pay close attention to conversion tracking for each ad group, and run the search query report weekly to find negative keywords and additional variations of the positive keywords that you haven’t thought of.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I don’t have to go to the bathroom. No, really.

The Free Conversion Tracking Video Tutorial

This video is one of the 35+ short, to the point "Look Over My Shoulder" (LOMS) AdWords Videos that you get when you purchase LOMS. To get you to give LOMS a try, I’m making the conversion tracking video available as a free stand-alone. You can watch it here. If it’s helpful, you can learn more about LOMS and even purchase it from that same page. Never let it be said that I don’t try to make things easy for you :)

Bonus Quotes (to reward you for reading this far)

Always go to the bathroom when you have a chance.
~ King George V

I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance – waiting for the bathroom.
~ Bob Hope

A hungry dog hunts best.
~ Lee Trevino

I tried to walk into Target, but I missed.
~ Mitch Hedberg

My friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said "No, but I want a regular banana later, so… yeah."
~ Mitch Hedberg

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8 Comments. Leave a comment or send a Trackback.
  1. #1 • Alex Newell said on April 8 2009:

    Gives a whole new meaning to Pee Pee click!

    Thanks for the lesson

    All The Best


  2. #2 • David Jacoby said on April 8 2009:

    Who the heck is Mitch Hedberg and how can I get more of his one-liners?

  3. #3 • David Jacoby said on April 8 2009:

    Okay – all dialed in on Mitch Hedberg. Thanks for the connect, Howie!

  4. #4 • David Jacoby said on April 8 2009:

    Okay – all dialed in on Mitch Hedberg in six minutes flat. Thanks for the connect, Howie!

  5. #5 • Pete said on April 8 2009:

    Hi Howie,

    Thanks for the tips! I don’t use Adwords yet, but I will in the near future. When I do, you’ll be my “go to” guy!

    Wishing you healthy and happiness,


  6. #6 • Samuel said on April 8 2009:

    They actually call you ‘Abba’? That’s classic Jewish, very cool indeed. Soon, your kids will be asking you for MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, & during dinner, it’s MAMMA MIA ;)

  7. #7 • Vickey said on April 9 2009:

    Ahhh…that’s what I am doing wrong. I put my headlines in the MS tool and it come back EVERY time with a high percentage noncommercial intent. No wonder I am spending twice what I am making in adwords.

  8. #8 • Howie Jacobson said on April 9 2009:

    Alex, I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! Great pun! :)