When setting up a new PPC advertising campaign—whether it’s Search or Contextual Advertising—choosing the right keywords is crucial to your success. It’s important to find not only the kinds of audiences most interested in your products or services, but also enough of them to grow your business successfully.
Conversely, a poorly designed keyword list can make your online advertising campaigns extremely unprofitable. For instance, according to a WordStream study, a typical small business advertiser spends around $1,200 per month on pay per click ads. But what’s shocking is that around 25% of that is wasted because of irrelevant keywords and user clicks. Now consider this loss for advertisers who spend 10x,100x, and even 1,000x as much on PPC advertising every month. It’s not pretty.
So here are a few tips on building the right keyword list that is both comprehensive and tailored for profitability in your business.
Build a Seed Keyword List Using Brand Knowledge
To get started with your keyword list, consider the ways your potential customers would classify your business. Use your brand knowledge to establish a seed list of keywords, which will help you build an exhaustive list later on. To put together this list, think of search terms related to your product or service offerings, applications of those offerings, or even keywords that might otherwise point squarely at your competitors.
Research Keywords Options and Variations
Plenty of free tools are available to help you build a more complete list of keyword options. Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to research tons of keyword options (with relative info about search volume and advertiser competition) by simply inputting information about your business or providing broadly defined keywords. SEMrush is also a useful tool to analyze how your competitors are leveraging keywords for organic and advertising purposes.
Set Appropriate Match Types
Once you establish a list of 50-100 relevant, high traffic keywords, you can account for more variability even further with keyword matching options. When setting up your ad groups, set certain keywords as Phrase Match or Exact Match to get more specific with how users look for your services. You should also use Negative Keywords to reduce wasted ad spend by excluding your ad from irrelevant placements.
Remember to Use Relevant Long-Tail Keywords
One of the most underutilized types of keywords is the Long-Tail Keyword. Although volume is typically less based on user searches and content matches, long-tail keywords will also have less advertiser competition—meaning lower CPCs—and far more relevant user responses. And all that can lead to a lower Cost Per Acquisition.
Test and Measure Your Keyword Choices
Keyword research is typically seen as an early-phase activity when managing an ad campaign, but it really is an ongoing process. Continually check your ad performance to make sure they are drawing in quality clicks and conversions that help your bottom line. And as you roll out new products, services, and promotions, be sure to repeat this process to account for new potential keywords and audiences.
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