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How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

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# 1
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How do I learn to compete with all the irrelevant Adwords ads that have tons of cash to purchase and pay for keywords and landing pages that have little or nothing to do with what I try to advertise.


I provide lawn mowing services in the Seattle Metro areas.


When I place Adwords ads GIANT corporations like the Yellow Pages, Dexknows, TaskEasy, and many others eat up the ad space on Google search results for the keyword word search terms for things like "lawn mowing Maryville" or "lawn mowing Marysville WA" or "lawn mowing Marysville Washington".


Most of if not all the Adwords ad space is dedicated to GIANT corporations with landing pages that more often than not have nothing to do with lawn mowing in Marysville Washington or any other city in the Seattle area.


Most of the ads for lawn mowing in Marysville are from multi national corporateadvertisers that provider further advertising like the Yellowpages, and many others and their pages have no local information.  They are generic pages that say things like their service might be able to connect people that might do lawn mowing in the places I provide services.


I have targeted my ads to the cities and regions where I provide lawn mowing.  I have negative keywords for things like "lawn mowers", "supplies", fertilizing" etc etc


How do "normies" on Main Street USA compete for Adwords space with massive corporations that eat up by paying with deeeeeeeep pockets for keywords when they don't actually provide a service in a local market.





1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by Shanea K (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor Alumni
# 2
Top Contributor Alumni

Good morning.


I have a number of clients who run smaller, local businesses and who have campaigns with ads that compete against larger corporations.


I would say that, in my experience, it's not the GIANT corporation part of the equation you have to worry or care about. No matter how large the company, each can only have one ad triggered at a time. 


Performance is key, good performance is everything when it comes to competing for positioning. Small, tightly themed Ad Groups, attractive ads, high quality landing pages, and a solid performance history. This may be what those campaigns have that your campaign is not yet offering. Improving performance can be a slow, painstaking process--there is no overnight magic.


However, I would also add that for a very local business like a lawn mowing service, AdWords Express can be your biggest ally. It's specifically designed to help local businesses get seen online. I would encourage you to check it out--you have less 'control' over elements of an AdWords Express campaign but I have clients who have gotten amazing results from it.





P.S. I would add that the examples you mention are not "irrelevant" ads. Large directory sites that offer a variety of options to answer a search query are quite relevant.

Google AdWords Top Contributor

Re: How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

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# 3
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Thanks for the great reply regarding my concern as a micro service business using Adwords.

Once again I live and I mow lawns in the greater Seattle metro areas.

My Adwords ads are "eligible" and have and will never show up in Adwords in Google Search. It's been almost two weeks and several calls to Adwords.

Anyone can do a search for "lawn mowing Marysville Wa" and see there are few if any local gardeners or providers. In some cases there are ads for gardeners providing lawn mowing in New York or other areas.

Sears, Walmart and other corporations don't do lawn mowing and they don't do lawn mowing in Marysville.

My landing page at:
can't get anymore relevant.

From my experience I conclude there is ZERO reason for most or any people, places and things on Main Street USA to use Adwords.

In fact I will go as far as to say between Google search, Adwords, Amazon and other Internet stuff there will be few if any buy local businesses left in the USA. There is a tsunami on its way from online what will not only destroy local service providers and brick and mortar but local economies, local tax bases.

That's because the Internet has destroyed local classified advertising.

From my view there is NO future for micro entrepreneurial businesses at the local level.

There is and will be no way to advertise for the average Bob or Betty Boring or for Bob or Betty to find much of anything for sale in the way of services or products.

Re: How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

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# 4
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AdWords is unfortunately pay to play, and the people who can pay more typically play more, but there's a few ways to compete with them.

Probably the best way would be to dial back the number of keywords & campaigns you are running until you can afford to pay a competitive bid. Make sure you have a good ad. A good CTR will give you a high quality score & a lower CPC anyway.

Another way to compete is to ad extensions to your Ad-location extensions, call extensions, review extensions. Those are things that giants like YP & etc. can't do.

Hope this helps!

Re: How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 5
Top Contributor Alumni

I would strongly encourage you to look into advertising via AdWords Express. It's specifically designed to produce local business results for searches for local products and services.


Google does, in fact, give a "boost" to local ads when the system can tell that a user is searching for something very local. The key is in advertising so that the program can really identify that your business is the type being searched for. Maps listings, ad extensions, there are a lot of ways to "trigger" your ad for local searches.




And, again, for what it's worth? I still have some hyper-local clients on my client list. They are advertising successfully, even against national chains. Searches for their services are local and their AdWords Express ads help searchers see that this business, unlike the 'big guys' is one that exists in their neighborhood.

Google AdWords Top Contributor

Re: How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

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# 6
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Thanks to everyone with the great answers to my question regarding "How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?"


I'm not sure if anyone really understood my question since maybe I can't write it all that well?


I do "lawn mowing"  This is an action word.   A verb.   I don't sell nouns like "lawn mowers".


So I can't compete in Adwords advertising because according to the Adwords phone line anyone in Timbuktu with any add can use the term "lawn mowing".


When I see places like Walmart, Sears and all the others out MOWING LAWNS in Marysville WA I will believe it.


So, I did check out Adwords Express.  From what I can tell that might be a wonderful place to advertise for something like $136 or so a month.


That is if I wanted to sit around and answer the phone.   I'm a digital person.  I have a website and don't answer ther phone all day talking wasting time with dead callers.  


People that go to my website fill out a form.  I get all their information, like their name and ADDRESS.


I can look up the address in Google Maps and give them an estimate online. Plus all the billing is automated online with a mowing account.  Trying to get someone the street, walk ups, and blabber mouths on the phone to fill in the form is a hopeless case.  I don't do paper bills.  I email them.  It's the 21st century, I think.  


That way I don't have to quit working and answer the phone and save TONS of time and TONS money driving around looking at lawns.   

I think back in the 1950s or whenever it might have paid off to chat and try to figure out what callers are calling about, what their name, address etc is.   Listening to them and deciphering can eat a good part of the day.  Sometimes it can take 20 - 30 minutes trying to figure out their message, especailly since I'm sorry to say only speak english.


I have no clue when or where the Adwords Express ads would appear?   Pay a minimum of $4.49 a day for ???   And then work for free answering the phone.


Sorry, but I use email.   


Plus you see, "they" the crowd that claims they are looking for lawn mowing, I have a RECORD in writing what they typed rather than the old he said she said phone rap.


Oh, then how many more crank calls will I get from all the Timbuktu callers trying to sell X, Y or Z.


Would be kewl if Google figured out people use the Internet and not just phones.


Thanks again.  It was really appreciated.  Oh and by the way my voice mail more or less says to hang up and contact me via email at the lawn mowing website.



Re: How to compete with irrelevant Adwords ads?

Top Contributor Alumni
# 7
Top Contributor Alumni

Okay, I have to say I'm not sure I have any ideas that will help you.


While it is true that anyone, anywhere, can add the keyword "lawn mowing" to an AdWords account, it does not follow that the keyword will trigger any ads. AdWords is much more sophisticated than that. 


I would agree that large advertisers can be sloppy with keywords--letting "lawn mowing" trigger their ads when they don't actually offer that service. However, since it's really the quality of your own advertising that will determine how competitve your ads are, it's not at all impossible to get your own be displayed in preference to theirs.


On the other hand, if a prospective click cost of $136/month is more than you can afford to pay for advertising, you may be quite right and PPC ads may not be possible for you. (Note that I have not investigated the cost of clicks for your industry on AdWords Express.)


This is especially true since, by your own admission, anyone who calls you to discuss hiring you reaches a voicemail message that essentially tells them you don't want to talk to them. (In my experience, most people looking to hire professional services for their homes or business are going to want to talk to a human being before making a decison. If you don't want to talk to them, the odds are pretty good that your competition will be happy to take the business.)


I'm sorry I was unable to come up with any ideas for you.

Google AdWords Top Contributor