Some Keyword Insights
First in a series responding to readers requests (if you have any requests/suggestions for discussion topics, please say so), lets talk about keywords.
First off, my philosophy on keywords is that anything can be valid as long as it converts at an appropriate rate to be profitable. So test even things that are just tangentially related to your field, who knows there might be a goldmine you have not yet discovered. If you are not tracking to the keyword level, then you are not paying very close attention. Tracking should be a major focus.
Second - match types. I start just about everything on broad match and then move the stuff that works to [Exact] match. I dont use “phrase” matching at all. I used to, but found it typically did not add incremental revenues. I set-up a report in Google to be sent at the first day of every month to show me all the match types from the previous month. I typically take the top 20-50 (depending on click volume) and make those exact match keywords.
Third - Number of keywords - I dont really care about many more than my top 30-50 keywords. Over time that number has grown steadily but it still relatively small. With spreadsheets and Adwords Editor there is almost no incremental cost to have 10,000 keywords vs just a few dozen. Keep the ones that work and kill the ones that do not work.
Fourth - negative keywords - use the monthly report from above to filter out things you dont want or that do not convert. I cannot sell my product anywhere other than the US. So searches for UK or Canadian or Austrailian “keyword” are wasted and I dont want to pay for them. Same thing with credit cards - you have to have one for me to get paid, so I negative match keywords like “no credit card” etc. Lastly there are some search terms that just will not ever convert regularly like “customer service” and “scam”. Get rid of what does not work for your over time. Save just a few dollars a day and that will add up to money in your pocket.
Five - iterations - dont forget plurals, misspellings, competitors brand names, URL’s and other things that will have lots of different ways to be searched for. (think www keyword com vs keyword.com vs keyword com and about 20 other URL variations some are obvious some will be seen through the monthly report)
Six - new keywords - I no longer pay for any keyword tools, they all pretty much were some variant of the overture tool or otherwise flawed in data provided. The overture tool is no longer anywhere as near as useful as it used to be. lately, the way I get keywords is to type in the premium keywords in a vertical and see the top 5-10 URL’s. I then go into the Google keyword suggestion tool and click on site-related keywords. Type in the URL’s of the big guys and be sure to check the box Include other pages linked from this site. Then just scroll to the bottom select all, rinse and repeat and save into a CSV. then wash against the keywords I already have in Adwords Editor and then hand check to make sure to eliminate the obviously wrong keywords. I can usually add 500-1000 keywords every time I do this. As Google’s tool learns it produces better results, so be sure to come back once a month. One account earns $500 a day from my Google Suggestions AdGroup and that excludes the keywords I have graduated out of there into other adgroups. Ignore Google’s volume, CPC and position guesses they are not even close both high and low.
Seven - Organization - I have Campaigns for broad match, exact match, misspelling, and Misc (google suggestions etc). In this way I can easily locate what I am looking for. Content always goes into its own Campaign. I dont mind putting related words in the same ad group, but anything getting any traction in the way of clicks gets put into a 1 keyword adgroup.
Eight - Match ad copy and landing pages to key ad groups - you can make subtle changes to landing pages that will barely touch conversion but that might significantly improve quality score and thus CPC. Try putting the keyword in the landing page title (not dynamically) or in the URL (either subdomains or interior URLs), or work it into the ad copy, even paying attention to plurals can make huge differences. Anymore, the little details are becoming more and more important.
That is everything I can think of in relation to keywords - a lot of rehashing and my personal opinion - your results may vary.