The keyword phrases to use for your PPC account aren't always obvious.  A key to great ROI and customer loyalty is to have customers think that you're the only viable solution to their problem at a given time.  Therefore, the challenge in keyword research is not coming up with keywords.  That's the easy part.  You just scan the website and use the product names and there you go...a keyword list.

The challenge is in exploiting markets that become successful that competitors may not have thought of.  That's why it's important to always be practicing keyword discovery and exploring phrases that might work well by always testing.

This comes by developing correlations between what you're offering and phrases that searchers may be typing.  This brainstorming may be one of the best investments of your time.  Although search is about delivering the right solution at the precise time that a searcher is looking, there are keywords markets out there where you may be able to distract a searcher from the information they thought they wanted.  After all, people don't always know what they're looking for.

If you continue to add new groups of experimental words, you will discover less expensive markets that will work for you.  Once you've identified your target markets, the game becomes a strategic brainstorming exercise of imagining their online search behavior.  Whatever your field, make it your goal to double your click volume, targeting extremely targeted searchers, on keywords that should be priced at rock-bottom levels (due to other advertisers being too lazy to do this).  In most cases, your ROI will improve substantially.

For example, let's say you have a site that sells iphone apps.  Many of your keyword choices will be obvious - "best iphone apps, cool iphone apps, must have iphone apps, etc."  But, what about markets that aren't quite what people are looking for, but you may be able to turn into a profitable market for your business?  How about how to unlock iphone?  Take a look at your competition here -

how to unlock iphone competition.png

Look at this cheap real estate!  You could write an ad like "Unlock Your iphone - Then load it here with the best apps on the market."  Now, I'm not saying that the majority of your business will come this way, or even that this specific keyword phrase would actually reach this advertiser's marketing goals, but the prices of your clicks here will be way lower than on any "iphone app" keywords and if you can pull a good enough CTR and conversion rate, you're in business.

The one thing I do know about your results here is that if you don't try it, it won't work.


September 20, 2010





Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.






Comments(5)

Not a bad suggestion, but what about the idea of CTR playing a role in quality score - which ultimately helps determine how much you'll pay for clicks? Your idea sounds good in theory, but without concrete numbers (discovered in testing, perhaps) I'd caution against going too far with this idea. If someone is definitely looking for how to unlock their iphone (to use your example), an apps site is going to be of much less relevancy to them...regardless of how you position said site in your ad. True it could get you SOME additional clicks - but, especially for small business owners, isn't ROI a major factor in all decisions (not doubling click volume)? I feel like these loosely connected terms ('unlock iphone' for an apps site) would drive up your CPC and therefore decrease overall ROI. Thoughts?

Some good points here Mike. Yes, PPC is all about testing. A very good understanding of the niche market you're in would be most helpful in performing effective tests.

I doubt this would work, for one the quality score for these keywords would be low and CPCs high. You would probably end up with bad results and not even close to doubling anything...

Yes, I regret that I have to support the point of view expressed by those that have already commented on this post.

Choosing keywords for an AdWords campaign is about getting inside the head of your prospects and understanding what they are actually thinking when they perform a search for your product.

If the conversation going on in someones head is about unlocking an iphone, it is unlikely that they are going to click on an ad about iphone apps.

I've been using PPC for about a month and have had more traffic to my website on my own through searches than my ad. I've also noticed if I raise my budget google charges me more per click using my funds faster. Thanks for the article.

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