Avoiding job-seekers via search advertising

 Hi everyone,

Alhan and I just got back to the office after three days at the Search Engine Strategies New York Conference and Expo. We’ll be writing more about the takeaways from that experience a little later. But first I wanted to point out something I noticed this morning:



One technique to avoid unwanted clicks and the charges associated with them is to write ad copy which will “filter” unqualified users by discouraging them from clicking. Above, on our own AdWords creative, we use the filter “$5K+”, which gives users a clue about the level of our services.

Another New York firm, Avatar, has been doing the same thing (“$20,000 and up”), but now they’ve added a second filter on the same ad: “Currently NOT Hiring”.

When used properly, filters can be effective at reducing your overall pay-per-click cost. However, they can’t be your only strategy for targeting. First of all, they rely on users reading beyond the ad headline, which is sometimes a tall order. Secondly, they can lower your click-through rate, which lowers your AdWords Quality Score, which drives up your minimum cost-per-click. (Basically, if your ad shows a lot but doesn’t get clicked on, Google will see it as a low-quality ad; since they want to provide a quality experience for users, they discourage low-quality ads by making them more expensive.)

One way to reduce the number of unqualified impressions before you start filtering clicks is through negative keywords. If we’re bidding on the keyword phrase “new york web design”, but don’t want users to click our ad searching for “new york web design jobs”, we could just add “jobs” as a negative keyword.

Fortunately, we don’t have that problem; we are hiring.