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Choosing Keywords That Work Best for Your Business

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Keywords for a pay-per-click ad have an important basic function-getting potential customers to enter your website in order to purchase the products and services that you sell.

As an advertiser, you bid on keywords that describe your business, product, or service. This allows you to secure a ranking within the PPC ad section on the results page for that keyword when it is typed into the search box on the search engine.

Thus, keyword selection is vital to the process of attracting qualified prospects.

The first step in creating a list of keywords for your pay-per-click ad campaign is to brainstorming on what terms you think people are searching under when looking for what you sell.

Keep in mind that the more keywords you have, the more traffic and conversions you’ll be able to attract.

It is almost always best to choose keywords that are specific to your business rather than more general keywords.

Remember that the goal is not to simply attract visitors, but to attract prospects interested in what you are selling.

Otherwise, you will end up paying for clicks from people who are looking for products or services that you do not offer.

For example, if you were a local shop selling computer software, you would not want to bid on the keyword “computers,” because it would also attract people looking for computer service, personal computers, computer advice, and a myriad of other things that have nothing to do with software and what you sell.

In addition, the cost of general keywords is usually quite high. For example, on Yahoo!, the number-one position for the word computers is $2.99 per click.

In other words, by selecting more specific keywords, you attract higher-quality prospects at a lower cost.

Of course, keep in mind that cheaper keywords tend to get less traffic than general ones, but you can make up for that by creating a large number of keywords.

Search engines offer you a lot of control over your campaign, especially as far as keywords are concerned.

Many also offer you the opportunity to set the level or degree of matching your keywords to a visitor’s search query.

Using a technique like this, you can influence the degree of targeting to find the best balance of general and specific keywords for your business.

Common misspellings (such as “ocassion” instead of “occasion”) or other variations on your keyword (e.g. mottensive slang, acronyms, or a shortened version of the word that is commonly used) may cost a great deal less than your regular keywords, but still have a great deal of utility.

Keep in mind, however, that major search engines have been implementing systems that correct the searcher if he or she makes a spelling mistake.

Once such actions are taken by every search engine, the value of adding low-cost options such as common misspellings will be significantly reduced.

Keyword Selection Tools

There are tools that can help you generate keywords with case. Such tools arc found both within search engines themselves and from third-party companies.

Probably the most popular third-party keyword generation tool can be found at WordTracker.com, which will bring up keywords similar to one you enter.

You can then see how often the alternate keywords have appeared; WordTracker’s database contains over 300 million words that have appeared in searches during the previous 60 days.

Using this type of information, you can experiment with different keywords on the search engine and see what the cost per click of different variations would be to ensure they Fit into your budget and look like good choices.

There is one difference between the keyword-generating tools found within the major search engines like Google and Yahoo! and third-party tools that should be considered.

If you run tests of these two keyword tools, plus WordTracker and another niche engine keyword tool, you will find that totally different lists of keywords come up.

This reinforces our position that selecting the most appropriate keywords for your PPC ad requires looking at more than one keyword generation tool.

If your time is limited, at least look at one search engine tool and one third-party product to improve your chances of getting the best results.

Virtually the same argument is true when you talk about tracking keyword performance.  Let’s just say that the rule of using a backup tracking system in the form of a third-party product is always a good idea.

The reports you receive from the search engine are sometimes put together using certain assumptions, and the use of a third-party product to double-check your results can highlight discrepancies in keyword performance.

You then can discuss these discrepancies with your account representatives in order to discover the reasons behind the differences.

When it comes to deciding which keywords to use, we cannot stress the importance of experimentation enough.

Even with a relatively small ad campaign budget, you can still run week-long campaigns using different keywords on different search engines and see what works best for you.

The more combinations of search engines and key-words you try, the more effective, and least costly, your ad campaign will ultimately be.


Keywords: Keywords, pay-per-click ad, ppc.


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