Mispelings, err… Misspellings

By David Lamers, Paid Search Coordinator, Advertising Solutions

For all you advertisers who regularly pull search query reports, you’ve probably been amazed by the large number of misspelled queries. I’ve seen brand names chopped up or truncated into so many erroneous forms that it hardly resembles the brand itself. Fortunately, the search engine’s broad match technology is sophisticated enough to capture this traffic. Even though these users may be poor spellers, their intent is to find your product and (possibly) to buy it.

Don’t view misspelled queries as a source of unqualified traffic. Rather, view them as an opportunity for increasing your overall efficiency. For example, at the start of this quarter, I compiled a base list of common brand misspellings for one of my accounts using engine search query reports that spanned a wide date range. Using pivot tables, I was able to determine which misspellings continued to pop up over time. I then bid on these terms directly (phrase match) and kept the bids well below what we were paying for the broad match variant. The incremental lift in efficiency was substantial: the ad group averages 12 cent average CPC’s and 12 dollar ROAS. That’s a huge improvement over the 28 cent average CPC’s we’d be paying for broad match variants!

Moreover, having a guaranteed source of high ROAS week over week allows for more flexibility in other areas of the account. This is crucial in balancing out campaigns that may not be as efficient due to the nature of the keywords (e.g. keywords that are higher up in the purchase funnel). So, next time you misspell your client’s brand, don’t discard your error, embrace it and learn from it!


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