Advertisers looking to promote their products or services through Google AdWords often face a difficult challenge when deciding which keywords to target. Some keywords will naturally be more relevant than other keywords, so where do you draw the line? When researching keywords in which to show your ads, how do you decide which keywords to use and which to avoid?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive rule on the types of keywords which are relevant (which you should show your ads), and which are not relevant (which you should avoid). After all, what’s relevant to a large advertiser may be irrelevant to a small niche advertiser. This lack of a boundary can make it extremely difficult to decide where to draw the line when researching possible keywords.
But as long as you consider the principle of keyword qualification, everything will be fine! If you understand how different keywords in your AdWords account naturally have different levels of qualification, keyword research and ad group organisation become a whole lot more effective.
Let’s see how.
Suppose you want to sell your luxury apartment in Melbourne. What keywords should you target? Perhaps you might want to show ads for the phrase ‘luxury apartments in Melbourne’? But people making this search might be looking for luxury rental apartments in Melbourne, and you’re obviously only concerned with apartment sales.
So you might want to instead target the phrase ‘luxury apartments for sale in Melbourne’. This would no doubt be a highly-relevant keyword, and surely deliver ideal visitors to your site. And you’d be right – the keyword is qualified on four separate counts:
But highly-relevant as this keyword may be, search volume may be very limited. If you only target keywords which are fully-qualified by description, type, purchase intention, and location, you might as well give up hope of ever selling your luxury Melbourne apartment. Only 38 people searched for ‘luxury apartments for sale Melbourne’ in March 2011, so even with a strong click through rate (CTR) of 10%, you would only receive a handful of visitors to your site each month. There just isn’t the search volume to focus only on the most highly-qualified keywords.
So let’s get more visitors!
In order to open up your property to a greater visitor base, you need to be less strict with your keyword qualification. While it is of course great to have only highly-qualified visitors clicking through to your site, to increase the reach of your property, you will also need to target slightly less-qualified keywords.
But while targeting these less-qualified keywords may increase your risk of getting irrelevant visitors to your site, this can be minimised by intelligent separation of different types of keywords.
To see how your keyword can be separated, let’s once again consider the multiple ways in which a property keyword can be qualified:
Your most highly-qualified keywords would contain all four qualifiers, such as:
But to increase the reach of your website, you might also want to target keywords which do not include a description qualifier, such as:
Or keywords which don’t mention the words ‘for sale’:
Heck, why not even target keywords which don’t mention a location. You could always geo-target your ads:
But why stop there. We could also target even less-qualified keywords:
And if we really wanted traffic, we could take it even further:
As you can see, as we select keywords which are slightly less qualified, they become vaguer, and it becomes more difficult to determine the searcher’s requirements.
So where do you stop?
I would suggest somewhere before you start broad-matching to ‘apartments’, but it is entirely up to you. However far you decide to take your keyword research, what’s important is to keep different types of keywords separate.
Your keyword ‘waterfront Melbourne apartments for sale’ will no doubt perform extremely differently to your keyword ‘apartments for sale’ or ‘Melbourne apartments’. Of course it would! So why should you mix different types of keywords together?
Keep your different types of keywords separate, and tag your ads group names based on their amount of qualification:
By keeping your different qualified keywords separate, you can:
Since your highly-qualified keywords will no doubt perform very differently to your less-qualified keywords, it makes complete sense to keep them separate. Try researching and organising your keywords based on the amount of qualification they contain, and you see if your campaigns don’t improve.
How do you like to organise your keywords and ad groups? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.