Ooops- Website Changes Can Affect Search Engine Marketing

Katherine Bennett - June 14, 2011

What happens when someone locks their keys in their car? They have to figure out how to get their keys out of their locked car and it delays them from getting to their destination. Although, it wasn’t intentional, their schedule has been altered. It’s the same way in the internet world.  Companies make changes to their website, move pages, delete pages, but don’t make the corresponding adjustments to their search engine marketing campaigns. It’s an honest mistake, but one that can be costly.

What many companies don’t realize is that they are wasting money when they change their website pages and don’t adjust their search engine marketing campaigns.  Their ads are showing and they are incurring cpc costs, even though their ads are going to an error page.
Think about it. It’s like a restaurant paying for a billboard on a busy interstate that says exit here for food. However, when people exit they end up at an empty building, with no sign that says we’ve moved to a new location. It’s a waste of money. Why pay for a billboard that directs people to the wrong location? 

Another cost factor is losing trust and relevancy among searchers. Searchers don’t enjoy clicking on ads that lead them to an error page. It has no benefit for them. Some companies may remember to put in redirects on their websites that send searchers to the home page of their site, but it’s better to send searchers to a page on your website that is directly related to their keyword search. Although some searchers are persistent, a company can lose credibility if their ads consistently lead to error pages.

Error pages not only leave a bad taste in the searchers mouth, but also in the mouth of search engines. A company’s keywords and ads within their search engine marketing campaign can be disapproved by engines.  This can be hurtful to the quality score and drive up a company’s cpc cost for keywords, which causes the company to incur unnecessary costs.

The solution to avoid costly mistakes is simple.  If there are changes made to your website, especially in the naming of the web page, make sure the corresponding changes are made to your search engine marketing campaign. It is better to pause your campaigns temporarily to confirm that they match your website; than to run them with uncertainty, hoping that everything matches.

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