The traditional way to use AdWords in advertising is to bid on keywords in an effort to make the ad appear near the top of Google’s search results. This is a pay-per-click model of advertising where the keywords with the highest commercial intent are the most expensive. While it is a proven form of advertising, competing with others for the same keywords can substantially increase the price. There are some unconventional ways to use the ads effectively without spending as much money.

Rather than focusing and bidding on the most expensive keywords, consider the names of well-known company competitors. Many consumers do research before purchasing an item, and then it can include searches for multiple companies that offer the product or service. Using a competitor’s name as a keyword allows a company ad to appear along with the competitor’s search results. For consumers who have yet to decide which vendor to choose, inserting a company ad into their research provides an opportunity to attract their purchase.

The misspelled variations of competitor’s brand names offer another unconventional approach to AdWords. Inaccurately spelling a brand name during a search is not an unusual phenomenon. It is estimated that over 10% of people searching for a brand name will not spell it correctly. Although a suggested correct spelling of the brand name may appear in this type of search, it is also an opportunity for companies to use the misspelling as a keyword. This allows the ad to appear in the search results of a consumer looking for a particular brand with less expense for keywords.

Search engine ads, such as those from Google, have a value that can be interpreted in different ways. Many advertisers see the ads as a type of conversion engine that compels consumers to perform specific functions, including making a purchase, signing up for an email list, or installing a mobile app. This interpretation lends the most value to high buyer-intent keywords. Interpreting a non-conversion, particularly on the first visit, as an opportunity rather than a loss can place more value on less expensive keywords. Proper funnels that catch and foster leads can become a conversion in the future. The result is potential customers for less advertising cost. Using competitors’ company names or misspellings of brand names is a non-traditional use of ads that can be helpful in situations where the industry keywords are outside the advertising budget.