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Twisting Your Keywords in the Wind

on 25 Jul  Posted by Admin  Category: Site Promotion  
While studying the creatives of competitors throughout my years in the paid search industry, as any self-respecting SEM should, too often have I witnessed the same thing: It seems as though countless search engine advertisers use the same title and description to appear for all of their keywords. Of course that makes my job considerably easier. However this never ceases to leave me more surprised than a person trying to find a half-decent slice of pizza in Connecticut for two reasons. Firstly, when applied to a generous search advertising budget, this practice of lumping a massive amount of keywords together with a limited number of creatives basically translates into non-converting clicks that number in the thousands of wasted ad-dollars. Secondly, creatives that do not appropriately match the keywords they represent often fail to interest visitors who would otherwise visit the site. Here are a few thoughts on how to advertise for keywords that do not precisely correspond to your company's product or services:

Step 1: Grouping Your Keywords into Campaigns and Adgroups

An ancient Buddhist story tells of a master who orders his overly-eager student to clean up the breakfast table, before moving onto philosophical discussion and meditation. The story goes that the key to enlightenment lies in the small details of life. The same applies to search marketing. Before envisioning creatives that stand out amongst those of your competitors, how much money to bid on a keyword, and what landing pages to design; it is necessary to be organized first.

There are several factors that determine why some keywords convert better than others. Some keywords are expensive while others are cheap. Some are synonyms of your company's product while some only evoke a vague connection to what you're selling. Grouping keywords together will allow you to write the appropriate creatives for each cluster of search terms. This will also allow you to initially make a rough estimate of the ROI that each of these search term clusters will yield.

The terminology adopted by Google for this purpose is a good and simple guide for a two step division of your keywords. Start by dividing your keyword list into general campaigns. Then divide each of these campaigns into Adgroups. All of the keywords that accurately describe your products or services should be presented in the same campaign or campaigns. In addition, all of the keywords that correspond to complementary or competing products that have not been sold but may still have marketing power should be bunched together into entirely separate campaigns. When dividing these Campaigns into Adgroups, remember that you will have to write separate creatives for each Adgroup. Finally, any keywords that contain the names of competing companies should also be contained into a single campaign named, for example, 'Competitors'.

Although, Yahoo!Search only has one designated 'category' column in its account management interface and insert sheets, it is always a good idea to carry over this distinction into your Yahoo!Search account. For example if you're in the business of selling widgets, then a portion of your Adwords and Yahoo!Search account should look like the following:

In Adwords:
Campaign: Widgets
Adgroup: Widget_Accessories

In Yahoo!Search
Category: Widgets_Accessories

Step 2: Finding That Proper Balance in Your Creatives

The above title is a self-evident truth. Creatives that are to appear for Adgroups that contain keywords directly related to your products or services should generally be as clear and precise in both title and description. A good idea could also be to include pricing information in the description. Such Adgroups will generally receive the highest click through rates and subsequently conversion rates, as they accurately represent what the search engine user is looking for. This assumption depends on the quality of your creatives, landing pages, and, of course, products.

Now for the interesting part: Keywords that do not directly correspond to what your company is offering by nature tend to convert more poorly, hence lowering your overall cost per acquisition, conversion rate, and many more interesting indicators that serve to either impress your boss or secure that down payment on that car you've been wanting for a long time, depending what your life situation is. In any case, securing a low cost per acquisition rate and a high c