If you have any real experience working with PPC, you’ll already know that there are two ways to “do well” in Google AdWords.
The first way is to simply throw money recklessly at your bids. Hint: bad idea.
The second way is to work the Google AdWords system to your advantage.
Guess which is the more common strategy?
Admittedly the above is overly basic. While there are no shortage of people working or hurling money at their accounts, the biggest group are those who think that they’re working their accounts well, but are in fact wasting most of their daily budgets.
It’s a sad fact of life that one noisy household in your street can upset a great many people with their awful music. And one reckless AdWords account holder can adversely affect a lot of their competition, whether intentionally or otherwise.
Taking the analogy one step further, if the person in your street plays loud music but doesn’t even realise it, all the dirty looks from the other households will be wasted, and he won’t even hear any muttered comments.
So what can you do if your AdWords positions and performance are being pushed down by one or more clueless competitors?
Sadly, not a great deal.
On a basic level, the position of an ad is determined by two factors: the bid and the quality score.
If one of your clueless competitors has a quality score of 2, but is bidding $0.99 per click, s/he’ll have a “position score” of 198.
You, Google AdWords genius that you are, have a quality score of 9, but are only bidding $0.10; a “position score” of 90.
Clueless will be displayed above genius. Sad but true.
So what options do you have?
Firstly you can raise your bids. To be above the clueless competitor, you’ll only have to bid $0.23. While this is annoying, at least you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that s/he is paying almost five times more to be below you.
The second thing you can do, of course, is improve your quality score. Weed out your lower-performing ads, purge the poorly-performing keywords and tweak the landing pages to make them even more successful.
And know that eventually, sooner or later, the clueless budget may run out. Eventually.