the peel and stick MYTH in adwords

When you’ve got a keyword with low CTR in an adgroup, you should probably either delete it, or “peel and stick” it to a NEW group right?

But did you know 99% of Adwords users don’t really know HOW to peel and stick? In fact, 99% of pay per click advertisers don’t even know how to properly DELETE poorly performing keywords from Adwords!

That’s because you’ve got to take the word you deleted (or “peeled and stuck” into another group) and ADD IT AS A NEGATIVE KEYWORD to the group it originated from.

Here’s why.

Take the following keywords in a simple group for my page (ad has headline “All About Pet Rabbits”)

rabbit –> CTR 1.7%
rabbit care –> 1.9%
rabbit recipes –> 0.27%
rabbit hutch –> 1.0%

I guess there aren’t too many rabbit recipe searchers out there we need to delete the keyword. (Note: don’t eat bunny rabbits … it’s just wrong!)

Also, the rabbit hutch searchers will respond better to a headline about rabbit hutches, right? So I should “peel and stick” rabbit hutch to another ad group, right?

Well, here’s what most people would do.

First they’d delete the rabbit recipe keyword:

rabbit –> CTR 1.7%
rabbit care –> 1.9%
rabbit hutch –> 1.0%
rabbit recipes –> 0.27% DELETED

But would this really suppress all the impressions on rabbit recipes and improveme Click Through Rates?

I contend NO! … especially not by today’s Adwords rules.

The rabbit keyword by itself is a broad match. That means Google can expand it to include rabbit recipes whenever it thinks it might be relevant. And if you run a Search Query Report (you DO run them regularly, right?) … you might be surprised to see how wide Google casts it’s net.

ALWAYS ADD KEYWORDS YOU HAVE DELETED FROM AN ADGROUP AS A NEGATIVE … otherwise you didn’t really suppress impressions on the keyword you intended to delete!

This is also important when your goal is enhanced CTR and CONVERSION via the peel and stick method.

In the example above, if we peel and stick rabbit hutch we want ALL the rabbit hutch traffic go through the NEW group right? But Google can STILL send rabbit hutch keywords through the old adgroup on the broad or phrase match for the keyword rabbit unless you add rabbit hutch as a NEGATIVE.

One might think Google will eventually see the enhanced click through rate in the new rabbit hutch group and funnel rabbit hutch traffic there regardless of how the original group was set up … this is about 85% true in my experience.

But there are situations where it just doesn’t work like this… and if your goal is to take control of the new adgroup traffic, then take control. It’s easier to test, optimize, and figure out what’s really going on with CLEAR BOUNDARIES between adwords groups.

When you delete a keyword from your adgroups, add it back as a NEGATIVE KEYWORD to the same group.