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Viewing your advertising the wrong way round

The way in which search advertising leads you to view your advertising the wrong way round has led to several very interesting conversations with new and existing clients of ours recently. It’s a subject which is worth investigating further.

I do remember from my magazine editing days being bemused by advertisers who chose the magazine and the size of advert they were going to buy in it before they’d decided what to advertise. I’m sure that they wouldn’t point to a bus shelter and say: “I’d like a poster there” without knowing what they were going to do with it.

Yet time after time, we’d call an advertiser who’d booked a page to request the advert, and they’d say they were still deciding what to advertise. Why choose us if you didn’t even know that? Why specify the advert size before knowing what was going in it?

In search advertising, the search results page is just the venue for the advert. You shouldn’t start off by saying: “I want my advert against this specific result, and this one, and this one”, any more than you should point to a magazine or bus shelter before any other consideration. Yet that’s exactly how Google walks you through things …in the wrong direction. You’re told to choose your keywords, then write your advert, then select the page where you’re going to send visitors.

We say no to this.

I’ll discuss how things should be done tomorrow, but spoiler alert: the better way of doing things is really obvious.

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