Unloved Rooms: A Keyword Worth Paying For?

'Unloved rooms' is the latest keyword campaign from B&Q, but it's left me wondering, what's the point?

I might be biased - I hate adverts that say "for more information, search for..." and then tell you which keyword you should be using.

That's not really the way SEO and search marketing should work - it's the televisual equivalent of a paid link, which by rights, Google should slam B&Q for.

But there are more reasons to be annoyed by it - such as B&Q's already dominant position in the DIY market.

OK, there's Homebase, but B&Q are the clear market leaders, and several of their competitors have been among the retail casualties of recent years.

Beyond that, the fact is that searching for 'unloved rooms', as instructed by B&Q, gets you less good results than if you search for 'B&Q'.

Search for 'B&Q' on Google, and you get local results, with directions to your nearest store - these are absent if you search for 'unloved rooms'.

In my case - and this may vary depending on your personal Google settings - I get an organic B&Q result at the top of page one when I search for 'B&Q', linking me to their homepage at www.diy.com.

Search for 'unloved rooms' and I get a top organic result linking me to their Unloved Rooms microsite, which starts by telling you how to landscape your garden - not a room! - and annoyingly includes 'marketing' in its URL, which makes me feel like I'm being sold to. Which, of course, I am.

But even worse than that, B&Q have actually lost some ranking by having me search for 'unloved rooms' rather than 'B&Q', and that's because there are now sponsored links (AKA pay per click ads) at the top of page one.

In my case, even more bizarrely, the sponsored ad also linked to the B&Q Unloved Rooms microsite, meaning they're instructing you to search for something that's more likely to cost them money on a clickthrough than if you just googled their brand name.

There are so many reasons to be mildly annoyed by being told how to search for things, particularly if it's what you do for a living.

Perhaps I'm overreacting though - so instead I'll just find comfort in the fact that B&Q are probably shelling out a small fortune on PPC ads, thanks to directing Google users away from their never-in-doubt first-place organic ranking, and shoving an unnecessary sponsored link under their noses instead.

Seriously guys, when it comes to web marketing, don't try to DIY.

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