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5 Tips for Selecting PPC Keywords

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Keywords are the nerve center of every paid search campaign, big and small. Keyword selection drives the consumers that will see your ads and starts to set the expectations around the services you offer or the goods you sell.

Your keyword list is similar to a garden, where you’re the gardener. Plant the right keywords at the right time, and you’ll have wonderful results. However, if you choose incorrectly or don’t watch your list carefully, you will fail and your garden will be full of weeds that need to be pulled.

To help ensure you get a more flowers than weeds, here are five things to keep in mind when selecting your paid search keywords.

1. Do Your Homework

Keywords are critical to your search campaign, so you can’t take selection lightly. Things to factor into your choices include:

  • Seasonality
  • Competition
  • Geographic variance

These factors help you understand how you may be able to take advantage of keywords you want to target. For example, Google Insights is a free tool that helps you understand what new keywords are being searched on. This can give you a good sense of new variants to add into your list, hopefully ahead of your competition.

Google Insights Rising Searches Toyota

2. Leverage Match Types to Control Experience and Also Gain Insight

Exact match is a great way to control exactly what consumers see when they search for your products. You never have to guess what their experience is, which makes marketers feel very comfortable.

However, the other match types provide insight into what other keyword variations consumers are using that you may not have thought of. Sometimes those are keywords you will want to negative match, and sometimes they will be great new keywords that will add incremental volume to your account. Using the search query report to help comb through other keyword variations will drive additional consumer insights for your business.

3. Don’t Forget About the Customer’s Search Experience Across Devices

Mobile, and tablet devices are accounting for roughly 10 to 15 percent of search volume, and growing every day. This makes it especially important to remember how consumers search differently when using these devices.

Keyword length by device type is different. Mobile users search queries contain more misspellings, and local searches than desktop. It’s important to do keyword research around these specific experiences.

Mobile Average Keyword Search QuerySource: Rosetta Google data – 2011

4. Try New Google Betas

Change is the only thing that is constant within search. Within the past year, Google has released some keyword targeting enhancements that have given additional controls to users. Advertisers should test these in a controlled way to better understand the potential impact for your business.

One such example is broad match modifier. This provides better control over where your ads are shown vs. broad match, but with wider distribution than phrase match.

5. You’re Never Done

Consumers and algorithms are always changing. You can’t just set and forget your keyword list.

Too often, people are afraid to pause a keyword even though performance is poor. They go on their original research and ignore the current data from their campaigns. Stay on top of trends, and understand that your keyword list will ebb and flow over time.

Conclusion

Keyword research seems simple, but can’t be taken lightly. Following some simple steps to stay on top of your keyword list will help give you a stronger, more focused target that will help you exceed your business goals.


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