If you have a PPC account, as you read this you are paying for wasted clicks. Visitors that aren't really interested in what you offer are coming to your website and you're paying for them. Isn't that frustrating to know? The bad news is that the nature of PPC won't enable you to ever totally eliminate this from happening.

Why? One reason is because you can't control searcher behavior. You could write the perfect ad for your most targeted keyword on exact match so that it cannot be mistaken what it is you're offering. But, searchers that are not at all candidates for purchasing will still click through for many reasons. Maybe they thought you were in their price range, but aren't. Or maybe their query failed to return the kind of results they were looking for but your ad piqued their curiosity so they clicked through in exploration mode just to make sure.

Or how about when you are running keywords on broad match? In exchange for larger keyword volume, you're giving a search engine the right to decide what search queries match the search intent as your chosen keyword and show your ads there. And at this point in time, to put it lightly; that's not an exact science.

For example, consider what I found this month. I'm advertising on a keyword phrase that starts with the adjective "best." The query with the most impressions and clicks for that ad group? Google decided that the word "cheap" matched the search intent of "best." Now, when has the best of anything ever been cheap? (No smart aleck answers please) :)

Needless to say that I didn't receive a high click-through rate and not one conversion on that keyword phrase. In fact, with "cheap" as a negative keyword, my click-through rate goes up by 18%. Not only does this save money by not paying for wasted clicks, the improvement in click-through rate factors into Quality Score and improves ranking in ad auctions. So, it saves money two ways.

The good news is you can get rid of many of these wasted clicks. How? Simply run a Search Query Report for your ad groups and it tells you what keyword queries Google decided to show your ads on. You can then use the data to tell Google not to show your ads on certain keywords anymore. And another little tip: you can also use keyword phrases that are performing rather well to give you intelligence into how you might communicate in your ads.

The result
= paying for less visitors that aren't interested in specifically what you offer, a happy boss, and a reason to ask for more money! :)
May 5, 2010

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.


The nature of inverse search and pay per response is that it's immune to unwanted clicks and click fraud.

This entire article ca be summed up in three words:


I would like more information on this subject, since I am barely starting up and am not quite sure if it is best to use PPC as a marketing campaign. I understand the value, but the effectiveness of seeing leads translate to sales seems to be a costly lesson.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Fleming > Stop Wasting PPC Clicks and Start Saving $$$ Now