When Pay-Per-Click Becomes Pay-Per-Search

We have a lot of clients who like to periodically search for their business on Google. Understandably, they’re curious as to how their campaign is performing and, if they’re pay-per-click clients, they want to see how their sponsored ads look on the search results page. But here’s the thing: Frequently googling your company can actually sabotage your campaign. This is especially true for companies enrolled in any type of pay-per-click advertising, particularly one using Google AdWords. Here’s why.

Impressions, Clicks, and Quality Scores

The performance of your ad largely depends on the ratio of passive views to active clicks. An inflated number of views means an inflated cost per click. But why? As we’ve discussed previously, AdWords uses a Quality Score system to ultimately determine the cost that a given account will have to pay per click of ads and keywords. Since Google only wants to endorse “quality” content, a low Quality Score means you’ll have to pay a much higher cost per click if you want your ads to be displayed. An account’s overall Quality Score is highly influenced by click-through rate (CTR) and relevance. A low CTR or lack of relevance will significantly decrease your overall Quality Score. While it’s easy to achieve relevance—simply target ads by keyword and location—it’s a little more challenging to boost an ad’s CTR. CTR is calculated by comparing the number of “impressions” (how many times the ad appears) versus the number of “clicks” (how many times a viewer actually clicks on the ad). So when you’re continually googling your company’s name and search terms to check out your sponsored advertisement, you’re spiking the number of impressions without adding to the number of clicks. In effect, you’re lowering the CTR of your own ad. Unfortunately, this effect doesn’t stay exclusive to the particular ad or ad group in question. If you have multiple cases of low CTRs, then your whole AdWords account will ultimately be downgraded. 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.” And, as we’ve covered, a low overall Quality Score means higher costs for you. In a nutshell: By frequently googling your company, you’re driving up your own PPC costs.

Don’t Learn the Hard Way

Case in point: We’ve had numerous clients in the past who did serious damage to their PPC campaigns just by searching Google for their company’s ads too frequently. One client in particular actually spiked their cost per click from $22 to $31! We understand the temptation to see how your campaign is performing, but you’re actively holding it back by constantly turning to Google’s search bar. Don’t make the same mistake that our client made. Don’t be an active participant in the downfall of your own PPC campaign.

Seek an Alternative to Googling

We wouldn’t tell you to stop googling yourself without having a viable solution for you. If the reason that you’re always typing your name into Google’s search bar is that you want to track your campaign’s performance, the solution is simple: Find an online advertising company that offers tracking features as part of their program. At Prospect Genius, all of our clients have unfettered access to all of their account’s call logs, leads, and other reports so they can view their campaign’s progress right from the Client Portal—without having to resort to Google. If you already have access to these types of features but can’t seem to kick the habit in moments of weakness, just remind yourself of all the damage you’re doing with every search. It won’t be easy at first, especially when boredom or curiosity takes over, but it will be well worth the sacrifice. For further guidance, call Prospect Genius today!