Ruckus Juice, White Lightning, Mule Kick, Panther’s Breath: these are names we civilized folks who earn our keep at Google partner agencies know nothing of. But for those shoe-less filthy mountain men who stalk Ned Beatty lookin’ for some “brotherly love” down by the river (insert banjo sounds here), them thar brush apes know these names as moonshine!
Did you know moonshine, PPC, and Google AdWords have quite a bit in common? Well, they do. You see, moonshine is prized by those crazy crackers in West Virginia the way smart AdWords driven PPC campaigns are valued by the best paid search managers that keep them up and running. And back in the day when good old Popcorn Sutton was trying to turn tater water into “likker”, he didn’t know that his kin folk would start walking upright, attend school, and move out to the Devil’s pasture aka California to enter the search marketing industry and high-proof some fiery PPC campaigns.
High-Proof Your PPC Campaign Quality Score, and Shine
Your keyword groupings, ads, and landing pages work together to formulate a quality score–something Google takes into account when determining which ad to place when an auction ensues. It is important to only use the keywords that your target audience uses in their search queries, exclude negative keywords, run a high-quality advert that mirrors your keyword grouping, and have a landing page that proudly boasts the sweet elixir of a high-proof, optimized page that does his pappy proud.
Here is an example: Let’s say you own a pet store and you want to run an ad promoting a sale on pet food, specifically dried organic food for older kitties. Your campaign could have a keyword grouping that includes:
- “Organic senior cat food”
- “Blue Buffalo senior cat food”
- “Sale on organic senior cat food”
- “Healthy food for older cats”
- “Best Nutrition for senior cats”
- “Holistic senior cat food”
- “Natural Balance senior cat food”
- “Where to buy organic senior cat food”
Note these keywords are the phrases people type into Google–they are part of a long-tail query that might be:
- “Organic senior cat food for cats with kidney problems”
- “Holistic senior cat food for indoor cats”
- “Blue Buffalo senior cat food for Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers”
- “Where to buy organic senior cat food in Seattle”
In other words, these keywords are part of a query, but not all of it, and in order to prevent your ad from appearing in front of people who don’t want your product, you need to exclude certain singular keywords with a negative keyword list:
This is called phrase matching and in order to get your ad on page one of Google, the keywords must make sense, comply with the ad, and form a close match to the landing page content. The better you tweak your AdWords recipe, the better the quality score. Just look at those moonshiners–they competed during prohibition and even to this day to make the best Skull Cracker in them thar hills. When old Popcorn Sutton made his take on “Mountain Dew” he knew exactly what the local yokels wanted–an 88 proof small batch recipe made from grain and sugar, as clear as ice. People looking for whiskey could keep on walking, as moonshine is not aged, hence why whiskey is darker. Popcorn had no intention of flashing his Cocke County Tennessee moonshine before the crowds of people looking for barrel aged brews–he knew what the cornfed select wanted, and he had his finances down. In AdWords speak we call this a “broad match”–allowing every word to show, and the ad to appear before all groups, most of whom wouldn’t want it, this lowering the quality score.
Popcorn said F*ck You, and Sometimes Business Owners do too
“Popcorn said F*ck You”–this is what the legendary moonshiner had engraved on his headstone (without the asterix) before his passing, and instructed to be placed on his grave before he committed suicide in 2009 in order to avoid going to jail for moonshining. His family ignored his last request. Sometimes paid search managers get the middle finger from their client when they request an increase budget for a campaign they know will likely offer an ROI. Often, the business owners don’t see it that way. This is were a lot of search marketers drop the ball–they fail to adequately explain the process to the client: max bid + quality score = ad rank and position.
Instead of taking that offensive middle finger at face value, look back to the example of Popcorn Sutton. Just look into those eyes; this was not a man out for a Sunday drive to piss people off. There is sincerity mixed with rebellion in those eyes. Popcorn embodies the white-trash country cousin of PPC–he aimed to show his product only to those who wanted it, pocket a healthy ROI, and stay true to his craft. AdWords allows paid search agencies to do the same thing for their clients–be winning PPC management pros using advanced knowledge of what works, and what doesn’t work. Someone should have reminded Popcorn’s family who he was, and what he was all about just as paid search experts need to educate their clients. Popcorn kept his coffin in his living room using it as a footrest until he offed himself. Rather than allowing a client to commit paid search suicide, educate him on the essence of a smart campaign, help him see the light, and then you can both be on the same page. If this happens, the only bird your client will give you is a Tweet with high praise.
Now Let’s High-Proof them PPC Campaigns
When Popcorn Sutton self-published his book, ‘Me and My Likker’, he had no idea that his redneck legacy could possibly inspire a bunch of Yankees to do hoity-toity marketing on thar computer. But oh, he did, and here’s why: many perfidious moonshiners would add extra bank to their fire water, like embalming fluid, bleach, and paint thinner to increase the delivered kick. As a result locals went from being toothless to also succumbing to blindness and paralysis. In some cases the juice they pumped into old Billy Bob’s wife-cousin down at the mortuary was the same thing that killed him. These “black hat moonshining tactics” can kill, just as initiating scrupulous paid search strategies like multiple account serving (when a business has two distinct lines that overlap on keywords thus resulting in you appearing twice) can raise red flags and give Google cause to boot your campaign and keep your client’s investment.
Let’s high-proof them thar campaigns with some good ole’ boy paid search shine–crystal clear, all natural PPC that offers a distinct air of complexity in its notes as being a managed strategy built on years of experience, and mastery of a skilled science.