Refine Keywords to Save Ad Dollars

 In keyword analysis, keyword optimizing, keyword selection, pay per click, ppc

As advertisers increase spending on search ads and social formats, investment in digital media is expected to exceed traditional formats in the very near future. Fueled in part by the dollars flowing away from TV ads, the rapid growth of digital ad spend reflects advertisers’ expectations to achieve more cost-efficient, targeted campaigns. For businesses seeking to maximize the results of their PPC spend in Google AdWords, refining keywords on an ongoing basis can reduce the amount of money wasted on under-performing ads.

A solid paid search effort begins with keyword research that is aligned with your overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. While the majority of paid search ads are based on keywords that you select, dynamic search ads use the content on your website as the basis for when they show. When a user submits a query, the search engine decides whether your products and services are relevant. One of the main disadvantages to using dynamic search ads is the lack of customization that they offer, but there are websites for which they may be a good option. Businesses that offer an extensive line of products and services may find it highly time-consuming to optimize numerous individual ads. Dynamic search ads allow them to reach users with more relevant content that is customized to their query.

Whether you opt for manual or automatic keyword selection, once your account is up and running, the way your terms and ad groups are being matched to queries requires ongoing maintenance. A highly effective way to address matches between poor search queries and your ads is to add negative keywords. These terms exclude unqualified traffic that can increase your ad spend without delivering results.

In order to explore which searches triggered your ads and to begin determining their value, review the search terms report provided in AdWords. Navigate to Campaigns > Keywords> Search terms. Here you will see how your keywords are matched to specific user searches. Certain terms that should be negative keywords are easy to identify. If you don’t offer specific services such as free shipping, eliminating this phrase will prevent your ad from appearing on searches for your keywords when they appear in conjunction with this phrase. Excluding words such as jobs and careers will prevent your ad from appearing on searches for employment in your field.

If you are not sure what constitutes a poor search term, review the clicks, impressions, and CTR for the keyword-query matches in the report. This can help you understand the connection between users’ initial searches, which specific ads they were served, and how often this led to a conversion. If a search term is matched to multiple ad groups, review how it performs in each of these groups to maximize its performance. A term that performs well in one ad group may drive down CTR in another, making it a candidate for that group’s negative keywords list.

Refining keywords is an ongoing process that can help you to avoid wasting ad dollars and cultivate more effective paid search ads. While the process can be time-consuming, frequent adjustments and monitoring can turn around lagging campaigns and boost successful ones even higher. If you need help refining your key words, contact the experts at Premiere Creative or give us a call at (973) 346-8100.

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