When I’m setting up a campaign for a new client, I often get a request that sounds something like this:
“And make sure I show up when people are searching for [insert arch-nemesis competitor name here]. I want to target my ads at those people.”
I get why this is appealing. It sounds like a good idea when you say it.
After testing this strategy extensively, I figured out a while back that it’s a no-no.
Not because it’s unethical or anything shady like that, but because it’s unprofitable (and REALLY annoying for the poor saps answering your phone).
Here’s what’s up: When someone is searching for a business by name, they are either…
A) Already a customer.
B) Ready to become a customer. Like, REALLY ready. They saw a commercial or got referred by a friend or something. They’re already ready to go.
The chance of you stealing that customer is small. There’s a chance, but it gets outweighed by a much bigger issue…
People are still getting used to this whole internet thing, and how it works.
There is a shockingly large number of people who will search for the name of a business, click on the first thing they see, and call the first number they see.
It doesn’t matter if the name of your business is in your ad in 12 different places.
It doesn’t even matter if they go to your website first and call the number they see there.
All that matters to them is barging ahead in line and calling the first number they see.
And when they do, you’ll get calls intended for a different business. Sometimes they’ll realize right away they called the wrong number. Sometimes they’ll start asking questions about an appointment they recently had, or about a warranty…questions you can’t help them with because they were trying to call a different flippin’ business.
Confusion, confusion, confusion.
Don’t fall into this trap. Just stay away from your competitors.
Don’t bid on their names.
This is just one of the many fine things I teach in my AdWords For Local Businesses course. Enrollment is closed, but you can get on the waiting list now to make sure you don’t miss it next time.