Here is how it works:
You work hard to build your brand.
You pay money to an advertiser to build your brand even more.
They steal the traffic you have already built for your brand.
They show you data that demonstrates they are sending you traffic.
They ask for money for the traffic.
You pay them.
Confused? Maybe you’re asking yourself: How the hell does this happen?
The answer is a tactic that I’m seeing more and more from advertisers who are struggling to generate their own traffic for their clients. It’s a sneaky way to capitalizes on your natural brand strength but is a complete misallocation of your marketing dollars.
Don’t think it’s happening to you? Let’s do a test.
Type in your company name into Google in quotes.
Does your company name appear on the page? It should. The question is: What spots on the page does your company occupy?
You see, there are two different ways to get your name on the first page of a search engine. One is through organic ranking and the other is through paid advertising. Typically, if you’ve done your due diligence while building your business, a Google search for your own company name will spit back your company name several times on that first page. The problem comes if your company name is also appearing in one of the first four advertising spots on the page, which are paid and marked with the small square “Ad” icon.
If you see a Google Ad above the organic listing of your name, you are a victim. Basically, your advertiser is bidding on your own company name. Thus, bringing traffic to your website that you’d be getting through organic search, but now you’re paying for it. The users are already searching your name and already eager to click to get to your website. Your advertising partner is taking advantage of this knowledge by paying for your name to appear in a place where links to your website are already naturally occurring.
People click the first listing they see.
Now the advertiser is getting your organic traffic.
And they are charging you for it.
Now, this isn’t all bad, this technique does have some good uses. For instance, you may want to develop a Google Ad with your company name as the keyword because a competitor is also bidding on it (i.e. Your competitors are showing up in the paid spots after Google searching your name). By doing so you can knock your competitors out of these top 3 paid spots and claim them for yourself.
You may also want to control where the search engine traffic is going by creating an ad with certain site links that direct traffic to different strategically selected pages (organic search engine listings are determined by the search engine algorithms, so you have less control over the search result’s destination than you do with paid search). If there’s a specific page you want people navigating to over others, paid search gives you the opportunity to ensure that this option is appearing in the top results of a search for your name.
You may even have a certain message or special you want to tell your audience about that you don’t want to put on your homepage. For organic results, the search engine will pull a predetermined snippet of words into the page description. Paid search lets you update and control what that message is.
However, the instances I am speaking about above have none of these values. They are ads that serve no other purpose than to inflate the appearance of ROI for your advertisers’ efforts without producing any real results.
Know your numbers
As an owner in your company or the company you work for, it is important to know your numbers. Be aware of the marketing and advertising your vendors are doing and make sure you understand the data they are providing and how it impacts your bottom line.
As a marketing agency who is hyper-focused on results, Timmermann Group lives to report back on the efforts we are providing for our clients. There is nothing that gets us more fired up than marketing or advertising vendors that don’t provide data on the work they performed because they are aware they are not delivering results. A vendor knows they cannot deliver results so they revert to deceptive practices like stealing traffic is at the bottom of the barrel.
Through marketing analytics which is performed by our Data Strategists, we can show you if your marketing and advertising efforts are paying off This way you know what marketing efforts to stop spending on, and also where you should increase your budgets.
Contact us today for a review of your current marketing and advertising efforts.