Google is civilisation’s foremost information channel. It is the first place most people go for direction or verification, and is only increasing in size and influence. As such, Google Ads have become a necessary piece of advertising.
This fact is understood by millions of businesses. Competition is fierce, and every optimisation needs to be recruited if your ad is going to stand out. Chief among these are keyword optimisations. Keywords are words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms people search for. Here are a few ways to maximise their quality and utility.
Keyword grouping is the process of clustering keywords into closely related ad groups. It is very relevant to Adwords optimisation as it helps improve your account’s relevance, which raises your quality score and lowers your CPC. It also has the ancillary benefit of better organising your Google advertising account.
Keyword grouping has the effect of raising account relevance because it allows you to craft a specific message that is targeted at your consumer’s interests. If the keywords within an ad group are cast with too wide a net, then your ads are likely to get diluted by others. It also has the additional consequence of showing your ads to customers who are likely to be disinterested. You are in effect increasing your competition, while marketing to apathetic customers.
Ad groups should be distributed in the formation of a tree diagram. You start with overarching top-level ad groups, and you further divide into subgroups and keywords. To know what should constitute your top-level ad-groups, look to the keywords driving the most traffic and conversions to your site. These should be terms that relate to your business offerings, so products (e.g. shoes or cars) or services (e.g. repair or physiotherapy).
After your top-level groups have been established, you need to segment them into subgroups. Subgroups further detail what your top-level group represents. For instance, the top-level group “shoes” would have the subgroup “men’s” and “women’s.” You shouldn’t stop at one subgroup either, as the more specific your keyword groups are the better. For example, the “women’s” subgroup would be further divided into “boots” and “heels” subgroups in order to increase specificity.
After you have created this ad group layer cake, you begin to list the keywords. Since these are keywords tailored to a third or fourth level subgroup, they are going to be extraordinarily specific, and therefore very relevant to the customer. There is no hard and fast rule as to how many keywords should be used for each subgroup. Number is not important here, only relevancy is.
Search Term Report
Your initial list of keywords for your Google Ad should be treated like a software beta. It’s not the final product, and it’s going to be subject to update after update for the entirety of its existence. Even if your list of keywords were perfectly constructed from the outset, the environment surrounding them will change, and they won’t remain perfect.
In order to keep up to date on what your audience is actually searching for, you should be using Search Term Report in Adwords. Search term report lists the terms that people have used which result in your ad getting clicked. So for instance, let’s say you run a car dealership, and have used the broad match keyword “cheap cars.” Search term report will list all of the actual words the customer typed into Google alongside this keyword. It will also rank these search terms by their performance.
With this information in hand, you will want to add high-performing search terms to your ad group as keywords. You will also want to dedicate a greater amount of your bids to these successful terms. Furthermore, any search terms that are obviously irrelevant to your product should be added to negative keywords. Google Ads works on a PPC basis, so clicks from disinterested customers will needlessly spend money.
It needs to be emphasised that this process is continuous. You should perform a search term report every few weeks, incorporate new keywords and excise the bad. This will help to keep your ads on the cutting edge of relevancy, and near the top of the front page of search results.
Diversifying Keyword Matching
Like a good investment portfolio, your keyword match types should be diversified. As such, you shouldn’t sink all of your bidding money into exact match, broad match and phrase match. Instead, you should utilise all three, even for the same word. But you only have a limited amount of bidding money, so how can you know what the right distribution of funds between these categories are? Don’t distribute your funds evenly, but rather use the following allocation method.
The lion’s share of your funds should be allocated towards exact matches. These are by far the most precise match type, and are consequently also the most expensive. Its preciseness is followed by phrase match, in which you should allocate 75% of the amount you spent for the exact match of the same word. What’s left is broad match, in which you should spend 25% of its exact match corollary.
The result all of this has is that your ad appears first for the best keyword searches (i.e. exact match). Your ad will still appear for the less precise – and responsive – keyword searches, but only if it can do so at a lower cost. So you get the most juice out of the most effective keyword match, whilst still squeezing some value out of the less responsive match categories.
Behind The Curtain
Ironically, much of what keeps a Google Ad on the front page is what the customer doesn’t see. It’s biddings, ad groups and keywords that make an ad visible, more so than it’s actual title and copy. Keywords need to be optimised before the actual ad content is even considered. Otherwise, your ad is likely to be lost in the thousands upon thousands of advertisements that are placed on Google each day.