Avoiding Keyword Pitfalls

Feb 26, 2008 - 8:47 pm 1 by
Filed Under SMX West 2008

When done right, pay-per-click (PPC) search ads can be a company's most valuable marketing channel. But there are common pitfalls that can mean the difference between a campaign that bombs and one that makes you the rock star of your marketing program. Fortunately, many of these are easy to fix, once you know what to look out for. This session will cover danger areas such as match types, content network ads, ego bidding, failure to track properly and more.

Moderator: Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster Q&A Moderator: Anton Konikoff, Founder and CEO, Acronym Media

Speakers: Addie Connor, Director of Search Marketing, Course Advisor, Inc. David Szetela, Owner & CEO, Clix Marketing Amy Konefal, Director of Search Marketing, Closed Loop Marketing

Matt introduces himself and Anton.

Amy Konefal is up first, sharing information on match types. In particular, looking at problems of broad and advanced match types.

How concerned should you be with broad and advanced search match types?

Examples are given (with screen shots) of badly matched broad matches.

Ebay motors was bidding on car parts and it was matched to fish on MSN broad match. Bass is a type of fish, bass is also related to a car speaker which is related to a car part. Google broad matched "Print Cartridge" to "Leopard Print"

A list of several other keywords and their out-of-control broad/advanced match:

"diet" to "when will I die" "digital camera" to "babe cams" "software make" to "make your own windmill". They were showing up for "make your own" everything, including "make your own girl" "create a photo album" to "sexy lady"

Other bad broad matches that we can at least understand where they came from. "wedding album" to "wedding photographer" "Samsung ML-2150" to "Samsung ML-2250 toner" "domain registration" to "domain web hosting"

What are other saying about broad and advanced match? Several blog post titles are shared about how unhappy people are with the broad match type.

As she was researching this, she found a forum moderator states "In the end, how much money has this cost you? Not much." In response, a table from a Google AdWords Search Query Performance Report was shown, where client spent $109,000 on irrelevant queries, plus $642,000 on unknown "other unique" queries. They're bidding on printers and printer supplies, but showing up for computer desks and digital photo albums.

Pitfall #1: Terms can match to queries that are completely unrelated to your company's offering. Keyword of running shoes. A phrase match could show up for running shoes for women, cheap running shoes, trail running shoes. Not all may be appropriate. If you look at expanded broad match (the default), you can see stuff that is way off. This could include running shorts, foot locker, running.

Pitfall #2 Broad match not only expands on a keyword, but will also contract a keyword. Keyword - north fleece jacket. Broadens to: North face blue fleece jacket. Contracts to these with high volume that are not very relevant north face jacket fleece

Pitfall #3 Less relevant traffic can starve the budget from the High Value traffic that you really want. They looked at a client and saw that a lot of their budget was being wasted on very irrelevant broad matches. If you can get rid of the bad broad matches, you can move the budget to the keywords that are appropriate.

Pitfall #4 Local targeting issues when geographic terms are bid on. Examples of "Local Targeting Gone Loco". NYCHotel.com discovered they were showing up for Honolulu Hotel Another advertiser bid on Massachusetts Toyota Dealer and discovered they were showing up for Toyota Dealership Baltimore

Pitfall #5: The invisible cost for free impressions Racking up irrelevant impressions on advanced and broad match can result in - decreased CTR as impression volume inflates disproportionately to clicks... - therefore lower quality scores... - therefore higher CPC for the same or lower rank.

There IS a time and place for broad match, if it is managed properly and cautiously. For this client, exact match has the highest ROI, then phrase match, then broad/advanced match. First thought would be to get rid of broad, but it does account for a large chunk of revenue that is actually within acceptable margins.

How to do things right:

Match Type General Guidelines: 1. Take the time to build a comprehensive keyword list for strategic terms - including all plurals, relevant stems, reversals, relevant synonyms, etc. 2. Avoid broad/advanced matching on general terms. 3. Build out an extensive negative list. The negative list might even be longer than the keyword list. 4. Don't stop here. Monitor and analyze your search query performance and log files to add more negatives and update campaign.

Buy the most valuable traffic first. You're going to have the highest volume in phrase and broad/advanced match. If you have extra dollars, then spend it in phrase and broad/advanced match.

Potential Solution #1: Eliminate Broad and Advanced Match altogether. - Good solution for advertisers who: - Have limited budget - Have low keyword coverage (impression share).

Advertisers who have switched to ONLY phrase/exact match report: - Fewer impressions, but more relevant impressions - Higher CTR - Higher quality scores - Higher rank for less money - More coverage for your most strategic terms

Potential Solution #2 A responsible hybrid of broad, phrase, and exact coupled with aggressive negatives. Good for advertisers who - Have sufficient PPC budget to afford broad/advanced - Have broadmatch traffic that is producing an acceptable ROI - High keyword coverage

Advertisers who have gone this route report: - More impressions and more clicks on a broader range of terms, some strategies and some not so strategic - Some lower ROI, but it can improve over time.

Next steps: Analyze your impression share metrics and/or AdGooRoo coverage stats (paid tool). Analyze your log files and/or Google search query performance report.

Next speaker: Addie Connor, giving talk about architectural concerns. Avoiding the first PPC Pitfall: How to create an account structure you won't regret. Why is account structure important? Thinks of it as the skeleton of any campaign. If you don't have strong bone structure, you won't stand or walk, just crumble - Flexibility and ability to meet business objectives - quality score - keyword, creative, and landing page relevancy. Hot topic right now. Have a good account structure will really help with this. - efficiency and easy of use. - reporting.

Variables to consider when creating an account structure creative serving need - static headline vs. heading using keyword insertion - keyword insertion- heading and ad text. Need to create several ad groups to do this best - insertion types (KEYWORD vs. KEYWord vs. KeyWord vs. Keyword vs. keyword) - Landing page if URL is on Creative level and for relevancy - Display URLs - Sales and Promotions - Business needs - geo-targeting needs (does one state convert higher than another?) - intra-dayparting and day parting needs (in Google, only at campaign level) - reporting format and needs - optimization goals - campaign level budget - content vs. search (not talking about content, only search for this presentation. Recommends not using content and search with same account structure)

The same account structure can be used across the three major search engines, and allow importing from other engines. There are exceptions: - Keyword insertion - Use of alt text - Title characters - Negative keywords - Limits (number of ad groups) - Geo-Specific Keywords

Example Scenario: Insurance Company

Goal: Fill out quote form for life and health insurance. CPQ Goal - $15 for life, $12 for health Life insurance offered in 40 states, heath in 22 states Florida with higher conversion rate

Graphic here that I'm not going to replicate. Because Florida is higher conversion, separate campaign for them. Geotargeting only 80% or so accurate, so you have national ad, and have state-specific keywords. Could have example of someone from Texas looking at insurance in Florida for their winter home, you want this included, even though they're not looking for insurance in Texas (and geo-targeting would exclude this).

Building keyword lists and ad groups - create tight ad groups keeping creative, category, reporting, and landing page in mind - build keywords and ad groups simultaneously using spreadsheet matrix - use key phrase in ad group name to allow for the creation of creative templates.

Shows example creative matrix. Can't type fast enough to explain this.

What if the account is inherited? How can you deal with those account sructures?

- evaluate current account structure - if bad, evaluate current quality socre - if quality score is bad, start from scartch - if good, quality score can be preserved in both Google and Yahoo! if the same account is used and the current creative is used. Pairing of keyword to ad text. Keep the same keyword and the same ad text, that quality score will transfer over. - MSN has confirmed that it starts each account at the highest quality score, so it's always advantageous to create a new account.

CourseAdvisor is hiring! They're outside of Boston, contact Addie

Next is David Szetela, who is sitting in for Brad Geddes. David is with Clix Marketing, only does PPC. A year ago they looked at why content advertising sucks so badly.

My 10 biggest content advertising Mistakes. 1. Not realizing contextual is very different from search. - Readers are not searching for you - More like banner or print advertising - Blog readers are in research phase, not buying phase

2. Leaving content network on

3. Believing in the bot fairy - GoogleBot examines keywords - GoogleBot examines blog page content - match type and negative keywords refine targeting - ad is place on a page with relevant content. It's belief in this fairy tale that leads to ads appearing on the wrong sites. Problem is that people will click on anything, no matter how irrelevant. Accumulation of these clicks that kills money, as they don't' convert.

4. Believe search keywords are the same thing as content keywords. - Keywords are not discrete entities - keywords describe target sites - not your product/service - theme must be one of 594 published themes - no more than 30-50 keywords per ad group.

Think of this as the keywords should be the type of page where you want your ad to appear.

5. Not knowing the 594 themes in Google's content matching algorithm. Electronic version of this slide shows all 594 themes, available on blog as well.

The themes are in the placement tool for creating a targeted campaign. His column on Monday explains why this does not work. If you paste in URLs of sites you know have AdSense, you are often told that many of them are not available for advertising.

6. Using keyword bids and match types. - match types are irrelevant (except negative) - individual keyword bids are irrelevant - negative keywords are necessary.

7. Using search ads in content ad groups. This is a problem because people aren't looking for your ad in content. - Ads need to stand out - Yell, don't whisper - Be mroe competitive - e.g. free shipping - Test, test, test. You can have a wide variety of ads with content network.

8. Not knowing content ad rank rules. Different rules for quality score. Magic positions for search are 103 Magic positions for content are 1-4 (most common adsense units are four ads) - below 5, impressions drop dramatically - quality score still counts, but not as much

9. Believe content quality score was like search - Keyword-targeted and placement-targeted text: CTR, Theme, Bid, Landing Page. More heavily weighted for CTR - Keyword-targeted non-text: CTR, Theme, Bid, Landing Page (but no ad text) - Placement-targeted non-text: CTR, bid - Best Bidding strategy: Start High, Go Low?

10. Ignorance of Target Sites Example of insurance bonds showing on sites for James Bond, including bondgirls.de. Clicks, but no conversions. - Google Placement Performance Reports - Shows performance (clicks, conversions) by site where ads are served. - Eliminate poor performance with site exclusion tool.

Possibly Great Strategy: - Set up separate keyword-targeted campaign. David heard from Google employee that 100k new sites are added to the adsense network each month, but not sure if he believes this. - run placement performance - Use site exclusion to eliminate poorly performing sites - move top performers to a CPC placement targeted campaign - rinse and repeat

Live coverage provided by Keri Morgret.


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