If you are the Director (or VP) of Marketing and managing the company AdWords account on your own, there is a good chance you are not getting an ROI on your money OR your effort – unless of course you also happen to be proficient at PPC while being a kick ass VP of Marketing. 🙂
I see this all too often and always think that the Director of Marketing has some seriously cool skills that could be put to place saving the company, not fiddling around in AdWords. While I recommend working with an expert (either in-house or outsourced), if you are going to do it yourself, here are some initial tips to help slow the bleed (of money that is not converting).
Keyword Match Types
This is typically the first opportunity I see for improvement. If you simply enter a series of phrases into your account, you are likely using broad match. Google’s idea of a match is likely more generous than yours and therefore several of the clicks you pay for are likely going to be for irrelevant terms.
That does not mean that you should never use broad match – it is helpful for identifying new search terms – so long as you regularly check to see what people are actually typing (Search Term Report) and use that report to create negative and/or phrase matched keywords.
What are “phrase matched keywords“? The type you will likely use most often now that you know more about broad match 🙂 The keywords that make up your phrase must be part of a searcher’s query – unlike broad match! If the phrase you enter into the AdWords account is “social media consulting”, your ad will not show up for “social media training”. While you could enter “social media” as your initial phrase, that is likely a bit vague. You’d be better of to add both “social media training” and “social media consulting” to your account (in separate Ad Groups of course!).
Exact match keywords are typically used less frequently than phrase matched as you would need to predict every. single. phrase. that a searcher might use and add those to your account. Talk about mission impossible! Why bother? If you are struggling to get your Quality Score up, you might use exact match for a single keyword phrase in an AdGroup, plus use that phrase in the ad and make sure it appears on the landing page.
Exact match can be helpful for really high volume phrases – you can start with phrase match and on an ongoing basis add phrase and negative matched phrases.
See another example of [exact match] on the DriveTraffic blog
Modified Broad Match:
The newest of match types, it is a +modifier to the broad match… it stops broad match from being such a wildcard! Used too strongly, it is no better than phrase match.
In a string of keywords, any word that is preceded with + is a mandatory keyword; any words without + are just for guidance – but again, Google’s idea of a broad match (and therefore guidance) might be different than yours and therefore you will want to keep an eye on your Search Terms Report and incorporate negative keywords as well as phrase match into your campaign!
Last but certainly not least! Negative keywords are paramount to any match type other than exact! Negative keywords stop your ad (which is triggered by your chosen keywords) from being shown for irrelevant queries. For example, if you are a property developer, perhaps you are bidding on the broad match ofnew home developer but you don’t build bungalows so you add bungalow as a negative keyword.
Negative keywords come in multiple states – broad, phrase and exact! So you’ll need to use your match types within your negative keywords as well. If you sell running shoes but only for women, you might have negative matches as follows:
men (broad), men (Phrase, which will cover mens), boys (phrase match, will cover boy singular).
This means your ad will not show up for “men’s running shoes”, “running shoes for boys”, etc.
It can take a while to create the right keyword combo but eventually you may only have to review a Search Term Report every couple of months or every quarter! You need to weigh the precision of your list against the ROI of your time to keep the list so precise…
For more examples of match types, check out the DriveTraffic blog and stay tuned for more SEO and AdWords tips that will help you get closer to a positive ROI on your efforts!