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Google Adwords Tutorial - Table of Contents

<< How to Prepare for the Launch of Your AdWords Campaign How to Write an Ad Copy for Adwords that Converts>>

Adwords Keyword Research

Keyword selection might look like an easy step but this is just an illusion. Yes, you can throw 5, 10, 100, or 500 keywords you deem fit but this will only drain your pocket, even if some of the keywords by chance bring some cash. Needless to say, this is not the right approach.

1. Keyword Tool

What you must do instead, is use some keyword research tools. Google AdWords offers two such tools – Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator. In your AdWords account, open the Tools & Analysis menu and there you will find them both, together with some other tools we'll be discussing later.

For now, take the description we made in Chapter 3 and go to the Keyword Tool. Type in some keywords you suppose your customers will be searching for. For instance, for the natural cosmetics example from the previous chapter, try with the very broad "natural cosmetics" first.

In the Keyword Tool, under Category, pick Beauty & Personal Care, or All Categories. Just pay attention you have selected an appropriate category because otherwise the results you will get will be kind of misleading. Also, check if you are searching the locations, languages, and devices you want.

With such a broad term as “natural cosmetics”, you will likely get hundreds of keywords and keyword groups. Get your client description and pick only the keywords that you think fit it best. Of course, this is very subjective but use your sound judgment. If a keyword suggestion seems somehow relevant, don't include it for now – stick with the very relevant only.

If you managed to limit your list to 20-30 very relevant keywords, this is fine. For each keyword, Google gives you some traffic estimates for global and local monthly searches and these are fine for now to get an idea if it's a high-volume search word or not.

2. Traffic Estimator

If you are interested in how much traffic you could expect for a particular bid amount, use the Traffic Estimator (accessible from the Tools & Analysis menu) to get an idea. This tool shows how many clicks and impressions you can get for your target bid amount.

The rule here is simple – the highest the bid, the more profitable the keyword. You might be tempted to start with the cheapest keywords first, so that you don't lose money but the winning approach is just the opposite. The keywords with the highest bid bring more money per click and this is why they are priced so high.

Of course, don't forget about keyword relevance. Combine both criteria and pick keywords that have high max bids and are relevant. For now this is the best you can do. Your keyword list should be 5 to 10 words but since its quality, not quantity, if you have more or fewer than this, there is nothing to worry about.

3. Create the Right Ad Groups

While ad groups aren't directly related to keyword selection, they are related to keywords and this is why we need to make some clarifications about them.

Ad groups are units that consist of multiple keywords. The way you group these keywords can make or break your campaign. The basic rule to follow is that in each group you need to focus on one type of product or service.

For instance, if you want to promote natural skincare products and natural makeup products, these are two separate groups and you shouldn't be mixing them into one.

Both natural skincare and makeup are of interest to a client who loves natural cosmetics but basically these products serve a different need. If you mix skincare with makeup offers, people who are looking for skincare and don't use makeup, won't buy natural makeup from you, even if you kindly take them to your landing makeup page. Instead, you need to have two ad groups that use different keywords and lead to two different pages – one for skincare products and one for makeup.

For skincare products, you could use keywords, such as “natural skincare products", "organic skincare", "best natural skincare", etc. but don't use "natural lipstick" for example because it doesn't have much to do with skincare.

4. Get Rid of Negative Keywords

While you are still looking for which keywords to use, think about the keywords you wouldn't like to use. The so-called negative keywords are keywords that are very similar to your keywords but that you want to exclude because they bring only clicks but no conversions.

The most common negative keywords are "free" and "cheap" but there are many others. So, if you are not selling cheap natural skincare and don't want to get visitors who are looking for cheap stuff, add "free" and "cheap" to the list of negative keywords.

If you are selling only ladies stuff, you might want to add "kid", "men", and "baby" to the list of negative keywords. You get the idea – any keyword that doesn't fit your products must go.

5. The Peel & Stick Strategy

The Peel & Stick Strategy is one of the most brilliant approaches to maximizing CTR. The principle is simple: look at how your ad groups are performing, pick a high traffic keyword, take it out (or peel it out) of the group and put it (or stick it) into a new ad group. When you move the keyword to a new group, use the keyword in the headline and just watch how your CTR goes up.

The Peel & Stick strategy works because ads with the keyword in the headline tend to get more clicks. When the high traffic keyword is mixed with other keywords in the same group, this influences it badly. So, if you find a keyword with a lot of views but clicks below what you think it has a potential for, most likely this keyword is a candidate for the peel & stick approach.

For instance, if our keywords for our skincare products are "natural skincare products", "organic skincare", "best natural skincare", "aloe vera skincare" and you notice that "aloe vera skincare" gets lots of views but doesn't have a good CTR, you should try peeling it out of the group and sticking it to a new ad group where you have "aloe vera skincare" in the title.

6. Broad Match vs Phrase Match vs Exact Match

When you pick keywords, you have the options to use either broad match, or phrase match, or exact match. Obviously, exact match is best because this means that the user has searched for exactly the term you have bid on. For instance, if we continue the natural skincare example, if you bid on "natural skincare", only users searching for "natural skincare" (or very small variations of it) will be shown the ad.

With broad match you will get more clicks but these are less targeted. Broad match includes not only the keyword itself but also synonyms, related searches, misspellings, etc., not all of which are relevant. For instance, a possible broad match for "natural skincare" is "men skincare products", which is everything but relevant, if you are selling ladies' skincare only.

Phrase match falls somewhere in between broad match and exact match. With phrase match, the exact phrase plus some variations are matched. Example: "natural skincare" could be matched with "natural skincare products" or "natural skincare teens" because they all have "natural skincare" but use variations which aren't necessarily useful – if you don't sell teen skincare, getting clicks for "natural skincare teens" is next to useless.

7. Use Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords might not get many searches but this is not a reason to ignore them. Long tail keywords are more targeted, which means that even if you get just a couple of searches, these searches are far more relevant than general high-volume searches.

In other words, if you use keywords, such as "aloe vera skincare", "organic skincare", "best natural skincare", don't forget about less popular keywords, such as "aloe vera skincare night cream", "organic skincare teen acne", etc.

8. No Generic Keywords

Probably you have figured it on your own by now but since this is way to important to skip, let's warn you explicitly that generic keywords are to be avoided.

As a rule, generic keywords rarely convert well – i.e. if you are selling organic skincare, don't bid on 'skincare', or even worse, on 'cosmetics' because they are not closely related to your products. As a result, you will get tons of clicks (and spend tons of money on them) and make little to no profit.

9. Perform Regular Audits

If you think that once you set you keywords, you are done, this isn't so. In fact, audits on how keywords perform take much more time and effort than coming with a keyword list.

You've got to do it, though, because even keywords that once used to perform well could bring no more clicks and conversions and you have to remove them. You also need to watch for keywords that get a good amount of traffic but haven't reached their click potential and once you identify such keywords, apply the Peel & Stick strategy to them.

The purpose of this chapter was to teach you how to deal with keywords. I can't stress how important keywords are. If you choose the wrong keywords, or the wrong bid amounts on the right keywords, this will take you nowhere, even if your ad copy rocks. So, do your keyword research and only after that move to writing the copy that sells.

<< How to Prepare for the Launch of Your AdWords Campaign How to Write an Ad Copy for Adwords that Converts>>
 
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