For the last week, I’ve been humbled by the flu. I’m honestly not sure what was worse, having the flu or subjecting myself to 5 days of cable TV while I lay on the couch. (I feel very close to Bob Villa now.)
While I sat on couch, cheering my white blood cells on, I did a search for "flu symptoms." I noticed a common search problem—a case of one advertiser knowing who they are talking to and others who are clearly not sure.
Search marketing like other forms of marketing, need to focus on "the who." Not the stellar British rock band of the 60s and 70s, but those who are searching. You must know who you are talking to in order for the brand message to break through the clutter. The keywords you bid on tell you "the who" and what their intent is.
This PPC ad is perfect.
It’s to the point and addresses exactly what anyone searching for information on flu symptoms needs.
Tylenol, on the other hand, is wasting money (and a consumer’s time) because they don’t know who they are talking to.
Simply, I don’t have a "common cold," I have the flu. Based on my search—flu symptoms—what
I want is pretty clear. Their PPC ad does not begin to address my intent for searching.
Next, I did a search for "flu treatments" and found the same issue. A few very good PPC ads that spoke to and leads to information about how to treat the flu. But again, Tylenol misses:
Once again, I’m not trying to treat a cold. I’m dealing with nausea, a flu symptom not a cold symptom. But, alas, Tylenol is not alone. Vicks also uses off-target copy.
PPC ads must address the intent of the searcher in order to convince them that your site has information they can use. That is why a consumer will click. For some keywords, this can be tricky to judge. Multiple ads can help you test your way into figuring out what ads speak to the consumer the best.
But in some cases, such as with flu symptoms and treatment, the intent is clear. And failing to address the consumer’s need will send them clicking somewhere else.