Sometimes you put up an ad but the words you are targeting aren’t words many people are searching for. You can still make them customers but it might take a little more work. Political campaigns and non-profit organizations frequently encounter this problem. They want to get their message out, but not many people google “end hunger in Africa.” So what do they do? They get creative.
Al Franken’s 2008 campaign for Senate in Minnesota did this expertly. They looked at every issue, news story, and good video and considered who might pay attention. Then they looked at what that person would search. Franken’s consultant, Josh Koster, describes what happened: “Minnesotans who were searching for cheap gas or researching fuel-efficient cars saw ads about Franken’s plan to lower gas prices.” People searching for “farm supply” or “large animal veterinarian”, likely farmers, saw ads about agriculture. In an incredibly close election, Al Franken won, thanks to these tactics.
You can do the same thing. If you run a restaurant near an airport, you might want to buy advertisements on the airport’s name, or even individual flight numbers. If someone is looking up the flight, they are probably either taking it or picking someone up from the airport and might be heading by the restaurant. Afterschool programs and summer camps might want to buy ads on keywords that parents do search for. The options are limitless.
Just because people aren’t seeing your ad doesn’t mean no one is interested; it just means you need to think about what other things they search for in order to advertise to them.
For more tips on running AdWords campaigns, check out AdWords University: The Complete Guide to AdWords.