Frontgate Catalog Case Study: How Not To Do PPC


Perhaps you recall my epic post – Spitzer, Emperors Club VIP & Local SEO – where I uncovered that the notorious escort service was still running a ppc campaign despite the fact that their site was down?  Well today I uncovered another gem. And sometimes it’s worth repeating something over and over just to make sure the guy snoozing in the back of the class gets it.

Today I was searching Google for “rug hangers” to hang up my Thai rugs.  I came across these ads and clicked on Frontgate.com

Which linked to the following page:

ATTENTION ALL MARKETERSif you are running an ad campaign make sure you have inventory in stock before you advertise a product.

Frontgate just paid around $1.76 (according the Adwords tool) for me to get nothing but a bad experience and an excuse to criticize them in public – and I clicked it twice to make sure, so now they are down $3.52 (plus whatever they are paying their SEM guy).  I wonder how many other keywords this is the case for?

Keeping a PPC campaign in sync with inventory is no easy task, but if I were an aggressive PPC company I would be dialing Frontgate’s head of marketing right now to explain why I could do it a lot better than whomever is managing their current campaign.

Tags: Local Advertising

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marketing Guy // Aug 31, 2008 at 10:12 am

    This is bad but it can be worse…like having your server down while people click on your ads. 😉

  • 2 Samuel Hovi // Sep 7, 2008 at 6:10 am

    There was one big SEM company here in Finland advertising with keyword “hakukoneoptimointi” (search engine optimization) witch is absolutely the most competive keyword here. CPC is from 7 to 12 euros ($10-17) and the ad led to 404 page. IMO pretty amazing, especially if you are SEM company.