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May 15, 2007

Choosing PPC Keywords

Imagine you had to describe your company in just three words. Now write those three words down and ask your clients the same question. The likelihood is that the words and phrases used will be different.

An existing or potential client will get straight to the point, keeping phrasing simple and using popular brand names rather than trade monikers or actual product descriptions. As an expert in the field, technical terms and trade references will feature heavily in the company list. Choosing appropriate keywords for your pay per click campaign should be a seamless blend of these two points of view.
Along with good advert text, keyword selection is the cornerstone of any successful online advertising campaign. As a rule of thumb, keywords contained with the account should be revisited on a regular basis. Afterall, what is popular one week may not be popular the next. Seasonal changes, market saturation and competitor activities will all take their toll. When this happens, keywords will need to be paused, added to or amended depending on client and sales figure feedback.
The first step towards a concise collection of words and phrases is to review web site content and draw up a list of words and phrases which best describe the business. Include products, services and any brand names which you supply. This brainstorming process can be complemented by a customer survey. How do they describe their recent purchases?
Unfortunately, most of these hard won phrases should be disregarded as you proceed to step two. Why waste valuable pay per click pennies on phrases that don’t do your web site justice? Being ruthless and activating only the most relevant keywords will help to prolong a small pay per click budget and is an important traffic targeting technique.
Once satisfied with the list, group the words and phrases into small collections. Not only does this make it easier to monitor performance and quickly see which keywords aren’t pulling their weight, it contributes towards a strong Google quality score.

If the search portal sees large groups of unrelated offerings, some of which perform well and others poorly, it will penalise the campaign as a whole. Get it right and you’ll get Google quality score points, leading to a lower cost per click and a better search position.
Having created a slew of words and phrases most relevant to the site being advertised, play around with the category of keyword. Google allows you to use either broad, exact, phrase or negative matches.

When your keyword is broad-matched, it will trigger your ad whenever that keyword or similar term appears in a user’s query. This means that your ad will still appear even if other words are included in the query. Broad matched keywords also don’t distinguish between plural and singular search terms so your ad will be shown regardless of the syntax used by the searcher. If for example your broad match keyword is book, users typing in terms such as used book or latest books will be shown your advert.

For precise keyword targeting, it’s worth using an exact match or phrase match. Use exact matches when you want your ad to appear only on a query that precisely matches the keyword you have chosen. With an exact match, your ad won’t appear for search queries that include extra words or letters or for queries that don’t match the sequence of terms specified in your campaign.

A phrase match works in a similar vein, triggering your ad for any search query that includes your keyword or phrase in the exact sequence and form that you specify.

Even after you’ve selected your keywords, set up ad groups and introduced keyword matching, the job still isn’t done. Good pay per click campaigns need constant care and attention to perform at their best. That means assessing keyword performance and acting accordingly at regular intervals. If time constraints rear their head but you still want to have a pay per click presence, consider enlisting professional help or downsizing the campaign until more man power is available.

Author:  Daniel Jupp is the founder and managing director of pay per click consultancy, Top Position. For more information and to request a free 30 day management trial, visit www.topposition.co.uk

2 Responses to “Choosing PPC Keywords

    Good points, if you are reading this pay attention, this author Daniel Jupp knows what he is talking about (I am a PPC Expert) He’s on the money with broad better is to try starting with phrase keywords or broad match modifiers first to check the market. Steve Smith from PPC Professionals in Fort Lauderdale, FL. (USA competitor of Daniel’s).

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