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Googling Yourself

Don't Let Pay-Per-Click Turn Into Pay-Per-Search

Curious about how your PPC ads look? Googling yourself to check on your pay-per-click campaigns is understandable. However, it’s also ill-advised. That’s because frequently googling your company can sabotage your AdWords campaign. Don’t believe us? Keep reading.

How Googling Yourself Tanks Your CTR

Your cost per click is substantially related to your ad’s click through rate (CTR). This is the ratio of passive ad views (impressions) to active ad clicks. If your ad gets lots of views but few clicks, you can end up with a low CTR—and paying a greater cost per click. Why a greater cost? Because your CTR affects your AdWords Quality Score, and your Quality Score controls how much you pay per click. Google wants to show ads that are interesting to its users: otherwise users may get fed up and choose a different search engine altogether. To make certain ads are as high quality as possible, it relies on Quality Score.

Quality Score and Cost

Your Quality Score is heavily impacted by two factors: CTR and relevance. If either metric is low, it will drive down your Quality Score (and drive up your price per click). Relevance can be addressed by targeting ads using both keyword and location. Click through rate is a bit trickier to fix, though. Under normal circumstances, your marketing agency will test different ad versions to get your CTR as high as possible. However, you work against your marketing agency’s efforts when you frequently google your company’s name or other search terms to check your ads. This is because frequent searches increase the number of impressions. And since you know that clicking on your ads raises costs, you probably never click. As a result, you’re driving up impressions but not clicks. This leads to a lower CTR for your ad. No amount of testing by your marketing agency can fix it as long as you continue to depress your CTR by googling yourself. This is where the domino effect starts. Once CTRs are low, your Quality Score follows. As PPCHero explains, “If you have a lot of low CTR ads in your ad groups, they could be contributing to a low Quality Score since AdWords considers all of your ads when calculating your scores.” Unfortunately, a low Quality Score ultimately results in higher costs for you. The short version of the story is that if you frequently google your company, you’re spiking your own PPC bill! This isn’t just a theoretical problem. At Prospect Genius, we’ve seen it firsthand. In fact, we had one client snowball their cost per click from $22 to $31! We don’t want the same thing to happen to you. So if you’re thinking about checking your PPC ads by googling yourself, just don’t!

Stop Tanking Successful Ads

This issue goes beyond cost. When you continually google yourself, it’s not just that you end up paying more money per click for no good reason. You also single-handedly undermine your own advertising. If that doesn’t frustrate you, it should! You see, PPC, by nature, targets a motivated audience. The searcher is already looking for your product or services, so they are more likely to click when they see your ad. So, when you go the extra mile and actually target your ads to a specific service in a specific area, you get maximum results for minimum cost. Except when you search for your own ads. When you’re searching for your own products or services just to “check” on your ad, you can end up substantially warping your results. The more specific an ad, the smaller the number of impressions it’s going to get. Usually, this isn’t a problem because you’re offsetting the low impressions by reaching an audience that’s more likely to click. But that’s what makes these types of ads especially vulnerable to sudden dips in CTR. Because impressions are already low, you’re relying on a high number of clicks to keep your CTR up. So when you google these ads, look at them, and don’t click, you’re preventing the CTR from growing. And if an ad’s CTR is low because you’ve been looking at the ad and not clicking, it could spell major trouble. If you’re working with a reputable PPC provider, they monitor your ad performance regularly. So when they see a surprisingly low CTR, they will try tweaking the ad to improve performance. However, nothing is wrong with that ad: the CTR is just low because you’ve been googling without clicking. Ultimately, you’ll be spurring your PPC agency to change an ad that otherwise could have been successful for you!

Safe Ways to Monitor Your PPC Ads

Please note: we’re not saying don’t check on your PPC campaigns. On the contrary. It’s very important to stay updated on how your ads are doing, so you can make informed decisions about your return on investment. But unlike googling yourself, there are ways to check your AdWords campaign without also inflating your costs! Your best bet is to work with a professional pay-per-click advertising agency that provides clear tracking features. At Prospect Genius, our clients have unlimited access to their account’s call logs, leads, and other reports right in the Client Portal—letting you see your campaign’s performance without having to resort to Google. If you’re not sure what metrics are the most relevant for assessing your campaign, check out this analysis. Or, if you’re a staunch do-it-yourselfer, you can use the AdWords dashboard to look up your ads’ performance, preview appearance, and more. At the end of the day, we hope you now recognize that googling yourself can be harmful to your PPC campaign. Do yourself a favor and opt for alternative methods of checking performance instead. Keep your costs down by NOT googling yourself.