Wednesday: Using Your Best Keyword Source—Your Intuition, and Reports

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Intuition and reports are two of your best sources for keywords. In fact, they may be the two best! Intuition gives you the framework for your keywords based on personas, creativity, and drawing from real-world sources of keyword information. Reports enable you to maximize your CTRs by serving up exactly the ads to exactly the people who are making very specific queries.

Let’s return to the discussion of personas from Monday. These exercises are themselves intuition-based keyword-generation exercises. You try to imagine the words that your personas would use, and you bid on those words. Your work on these personas is a labor of imagination, but in a sense it’s limited by what potential customers you can imagine or what kinds of people you know your existing customers to be. You can expand the breadth of your intuition—and your effective keywords—by bringing in more people’s intuitions to help you create additional personas, or to imagine more ways those personas would search. This is an exercise that some professional search engine marketers perform with their clients. If you work at an agency with clients, it is something that you can try. If you work in-house at a business, try asking for help from your coworkers, especially those who are not marketers.

Present the product or service to your clients and coworkers. Tell them what it does. Now ask them to describe the product—what the product does, what problem the product solves, and what kind of a solution it is to what people—in three or more words. The words they give you don’t have to make a lot of grammatical sense. It is probably best if they give you predominantly nouns and adjectives. Why? Because a lot of the time, this is how people search.

Your prospects won’t always search by using beautifully structured language, anticipated modifiers, and so on. Sometimes they will query fastest way to lose 10 lbs and other times lose weight fast or perhaps fast weight loss. These queries express similar desires: The searcher wants information on how to lose weight quickly. Weight-loss advertisers may report queries for lose weight in a week or lose weight in one week, while numerous keyword tools will suggest they target rapid weight loss.

Note that the broad match, two-word keyword weight loss will theoretically match to all of these potential queries. Why, then, would you want to expand your keyword lists (at least potentially) to embrace the various phrasings? Here are some reasons:

Ad relevance and differentiation: Weight loss is a perfect example of a niche that has hundreds, if not thousands, of advertisers. All of these competitors are selling weight-loss solutions, so if you want to speak to the person making one
of the weight-loss-related search queries we previously mentioned, you want to speak to the speed with which you can guarantee that weight loss. Better yet, you can use that searcher’s own language. If you describe losing weight within
just one week to someone looking to lose weight in one week, you will typically have a higher CTR than if you were to present a generic weight-loss ad. Similarly, if someone wants to lose specifically 10 pounds, you can speak to that, and address the searcher’s specific request. If your competitors are not going the extra distance in their ads, your ads will look that much more uniquely distinctive as well as appropriate.

Decreased costs: When you present more-relevant ads, you will generate higher CTR, and earn higher quality scores. With a higher quality score, your cost per click (CPC) can decrease at the same time your ad position improves.

Customized landing page copy: Just as customizing ad copy can increase CTRs, customizing landing page copy (especially benefit statements) can help increase the chances of conversion (to whatever post-click activity you are going for, such as sales, opt-ins, qualified leads, and so on), sometimes up to 100 percent.

In addition to expanding keywords via your (and your associates’) intuitions, you can create more-precise ad groups via ideas from the Search Query Performance report or, alternately, Google Analytics if you have it set up.

One of the most powerful tools available from the AdWords interface is the Search Query Performance report. This report tells you exactly what the prospect typed in rather than only what keyword triggered the appearance of one of your ads.
Here’s how you request one:

  1. Navigate to the Reports tab in AdWords and click Create a New Report.
  2. Select Search Query Performance as the Report Type, as illustrated in Figure 4.13.

The Search Query Performance report is one of many reporting options.

Because of the nature of broad match and phrase match, your ads may be displaying for search queries that are not currently in your campaign. The Search Query Performance report will give you the actual search query that was matched to your keyword. With this information, you can add new keywords to your campaign, and the best thing is that these new keywords are already being searched on by your target audience.

The Search Query Performance report is also a superb source of negative-match keywords. You might not be able to imagine every variation of a keyword you don’t want to match to at the beginning of the process, but after you’ve seen some unprofitable clicks, you will surely know which negative-match keywords to add.