There are many moving parts in a successful paid search ad campaign. Check this out: Firestone shows how it’s done right; Meineke not so much.

If I search for “car tires” I see these ads for Meineke and Firestone:

Firestone and Meineke AdWords ads







Although I was searching on “car tires” the Meineke ad headline is about “car care”. That isn’t what I was looking for. Generally ads will perform better if they say exactly what the person was searching for. The Firestone headline is all about new tires.

If I click on the ads these are the landing pages I am taken to. First the Meineke landing page:


Meineke AdWords landing page


And this from Firestone:


Firestone AdWords landing page

Leaving aside the difference in what the two companies are selling, the Firestone landing page is likely to generate far more leads and sales.

  • The Meineke page is very dense with text and is trying to sell a variety of different services. It doesn’t highlight new tires, although Meineke does sell them. Critically it doesn’t let me do anything more than put in my zip code to find a local store (see below).
  • The Firestone landing page is far superior. It prominently offers a $100 off deal. It promises me an easy process for finding tires (“Let us find your tires in three easy steps”). I can fill out a form right on that page to move this process forward – a form with the headline “Get the right tires” and the promise, on the button, to “Get tire pricing”.

If I do fill out the Meineke field with my zip code I go to this dealer locator page:

Meineke dealer locator page


On this page there are bright “Schedule Appointment” buttons.

Clicking on one produces a pop-up with all of their services; it didn’t remember that I am specifically interested in car tires and show me that. To find anything about tires on this form I actually need to scroll down.

Meineke schedule a service page


Then there are still two more steps to booking an appointment. Many people will bail out before doing all that. Good thing that at least they have their phone number at the top of the page.

The superiority of the Firestone approach is even more apparent when you look at the two on mobile, where the same two ads appear when you search for “car tires”. Here are the tops of the mobile landing pages that they take you to:


Firestone and Meineke mobile ad landing pages


Firestone displays its $100 off deal right at the top, where you’re most likely to see it on a phone, while Meineke wants you to download their app. Firestone also has a dealer locator and their “Get the Right Tires” form on the first two screens.

Meineke has none of that: you see a video and all of that text and have to scroll WAY down to find a box to give your zip code and start the dealer locator process. Very few people are going to get all the way down there.

Meineke makes virtually every mistake possible.

  • Their ad is not solely focused on the search phrase
  • They don’t have a clear offer
  • Their landing page talks about many subjects; on mobile it’s especially long.
  • Their landing page only has a single form field for zip code; it doesn’t convert
  • People need to go several clicks deep to accomplish anything.
  • Etc.

Remember: people get to these landing pages from paid AdWords ads. In this case every click costs $2.50-3.00. Companies should be making the most of what they spend for those clicks.

And apparently neither company is using remarketing ads to people who clicked on their search ads, although remarketing often can improve search campaign results by as much as 50% or more.

That Meineke campaign is the kind of program that leads companies to say, “We tried search advertising; it didn’t work for us,” when the real problem is how the campaign is being executed.

Firestone, on the other hand, rocks it.

This is an excerpt from my upcoming book on the Bullseye Marketing Framework.