Google Adwords. A Massive Warning.

marketshreThe current search engine market share continues to be a battle between the three major giants – Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. These pie charts show the overall share for each company. These figures were produced by the research provider StatCounter in December 2015.

The first this that springs to mind when I look at these figures is that any online company requires a presence on Google. It’s a no-brainer.

Getting into Google’s natural rankings takes a little bit of time. If you want an immediate presence on their search engine, Google offers its trademark Adwords system.

Google AdWords is a service that places your advertisement next to the list of search results Google displays for a particular search query. The choice and placement of the ads is based in part on a proprietary determination of the relevance of the search query to the advertising copy and part on a cost per click.

Even when you become ranked within Google’s natural index any good marketing campaign should still consider marketing within the Adwords program.

On to the warnings.

Warning 1. Under any circumstances do not allow the nice people at Google create your account. Do not let them choose your keywords and do not let them create your adverts.

We have seen this time and time again. It’s heartbreaking as it will cost you a lot of money. You will receive a lot of irrelevant traffic and we have seen losses of thousands of pounds on more than one occasion.

It is very easy for someone in Googles call centre to add keywords to your account when they are not aware of how the adult industry works. We have seen horrific examples of lazy, porn related, and very broad search terms added on a clients behalf which will never bring quality shopping traffic to the site but will cost you huge sums of money.

Here are some examples of broad and phrase match keywords added by a Google employee of a recent account we were asked to analyse.


These keyword has been added as broad term and phrase matches. A broad term keyword will trigger your advert if some one searches with a misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations. Since you sell in the adult industry what inevitably happens is you receive people searching on porn related terms. This is poor quality traffic that will not convert.




The keyword “lingerie” is a catastrophic error added by someone who has very little understanding of the industry.
It has been added as a broad match term.

Google estimates it will cost between £318.57 and £389.36 a day.

Since its broad match it will show for anything and everything. “Sexy porn pictures with men in lingerie” You guessed it. Its broad match and your advert will show.




God forbid what the “erotic” keyword would bring in.

This leads us to:-

Warning 2.

Do not set your keywords to phrase or broad match. It will bring in masses of unrelated traffic. The key is to obtain quality shopping traffic. You need to be very specific with the adult industry unless your brand is exceptionally strong.

Warning 3.

Do things slowly. Do not try too many campaigns at once. They key is to grow your Google campaign slowly. If you add 15 campaigns related to different product ranges and only 11 of them work. You will have spent money on 4 that didn’t.

Add a few at a time and as your Adwords account grows so will your orders. If you then make a mistake and try something that doesn’t work at least you have orders building your cash flow and the losses are not quite as painful.

Warning 4. Make sure you have the Adwords conversion tracking code on your checkout page. Please contact us if you want us to do this for you. If you do not have this in place you will not know what is working and what is not.

Warning 5. Make sure you check your account every day. If you have made a mistake with a keyword it could potentially spend a lot of money over the course of a day. If you don’t log back in to monitor things it could be painful.

Warning 6. And probably the most important.

Forget the obvious. Do not use keywords like “sex toys”, “sex shop”, “vibrator” or dildo. You may as well just throw your money out of the window at an early stage of building a campaign. Unless you have a fully converting account with all the campaigns optimised and are spending in the region of £500 a day do not entertain anything this generic.

Build your Adwords account with more specific terms. Research long tail keywords. Look into niche areas. Product names and categories.

Once you have built up a good converting campaign you can revisit adding broader and more generic adverts. They will convert to sales but at a much higher cost. If you have a good converting Adwords campaign overall then the good balances out the not so good.

Here is an example. Click to enlarge.






Warning 7.

You can easily pull in porn terms using phrase or broad match keywords, make sure you have an extensive negative keywords list on a campaign level for anything you set up within Adwords.


We do not offer any ongoing account management facilities for Adwords but we know all the pitfalls. What to avoid and what not to do. You can hire an Adwords account management company. In our experience, these can sometimes be quite poor. So be careful. Please ask the correct questions and don’t give them free reign. Make sure you monitor what they do for you on a daily basis and don’t be afraid to question their actions.

If you would like us to analyse your account or have a chat with your Adwords management team to ensure they do not make mistakes with your money please get in touch on 01462 454012 or