Starting From The Top Down
O.K. A new online advertising campaign is underway. Objectives have been established, geo-target locations are specified, ad copy is directing users to relevant landing pages ____ and keywords have been identified to unite with search queries related to the business theme.
One accepted practice from this point is to begin with broad match keywords. Data is amassed and then time is invested into search term research looking for other valuable search phrases that align with the core business theme. At the root of this search query analysis is the discovery of negative keywords that will filter and restrict incoming searches so as to match queries as closely as possible with the select target audience. This is not a bad idea. However it may involve a more costly approach considering the sheer number of irrelevant clicks that tend to combine with a broad reach and the extra management time required to sift through all the junk and apply negative keywords to the appropriate ad groups. Often these misaligned matches are a one time event that cost more to discover and implement as negatives than the unwanted click itself.
Don’t get hung up on the number of clicks the campaign is generating
until you establish a well configured keyword range most of what you pay for are queries that spend a few moments on your site.
Lets consider another approach. What if the beginning keyword selection consist of [exact] “phrase” and +broad +match +modifiers. This of course will limit the initial search scope but it also acts as a filter by narrowing the incoming searches to the specific marketing theme. This in turn saves a lot of ad spend from striking irrelevant searches and saves time on the management side not sifting through an exhaustive search term report looking for un-related phrases. Depending on how anemic initial impression results are this strategy can either slowly or quickly expand its reach by graduating to broader and more liberated keyword match types. While a slower but more deliberate exploration into the search query vertical may miss out on some initial opportunities the savings resulting from a (corralled budget into highly relevant keyword match types) can off-set this slower beginning. Further more it gives an immediate indication into how populated search phrases are relative to the core advertising objectives.
With due diligence a set of highly relevant keywords will evolve exercising the appropriate reach targeting the correct audience. The number of relevant and intended visits to your web site is not just a matter of AdWords proficiency and keywords but is even more dictated by “what is the real market for your brand”. The whole point of PPC advertising is to ideally connect your product/services with only these consumers.