Keywords are the life and soul of paid search marketing. Historically, we have always wondered about the right set of keywords in terms of volume, match type and content. With voice-based search growing in volumes, there has also been talk of intent-based and semantic keywords. Since keywords are the defining factor for any paid search account’s success, significant planning is called for. Here’s a list of parameters to consider when building your keyword inventory.
Go for Relevance
Don’t include everything suggested by your keyword planning tool. Go for relevance instead. For instance, keyword planners allow you to enter your site URL to suggest queries. However, your client’s priorities may not always match with what the planner suggests. An engagement ring website may only want to focus on rings and not diamonds, for example. The keyword planner, however, may list “diamonds” and “jewelry” as part of its list. So, scan the list and pick what is relevant. Understand your account structure and your client’s offerings before copying/pasting from a downloaded sheet via a keyword planner.
Keep Volumes in Mind
What percentage of your keywords bring in impressions? And how many of those are because of low search volume and not because of low bids? Many times, we add keywords without considering the search volume, leading to the addition of unhealthy fat into the account. These keywords do not have much of historical data which in turn results in the ads not showing up.
We also tend to add keywords in all match types, irrespective of the need. However, we don’t realize that broad match modifier keywords tend to make phrase match keywords redundant.
Mind Your Queries
Search queries are a great way to make additions/negations to your inventory. They tell you what your audience is looking for and which keywords are those terms mapping to. Many long-tail keywords can be added into your account through this method as well. “Near me” searches, zip code-based searches, location-based searches can all be quick additions through such research.
Mining search queries also help in optimizing the account as we can do away with terms that do not add value.
Think Like Your Customer
With voice-based search gaining momentum, long-tailed keywords play an important role. Thinking like your customer can help in finding the intent behind these long tail queries. However, not every long-tail keyword needs to be added to the account. Based on the budget, objective and the volume of goals these keywords help to achieve, take informed decisions on their additions. Test for a set period and decide whether to keep those keywords or remove because of limited volume/performance.
Also, user behavior varies across industries and demographics. It’s worth looking at some of the competitor sites or blogs to understand the industry demographics.
There isn’t any thumb rule that defines the number of keywords you should have in your account. It comes with recurrent optimization and is an ongoing process. But having a strong list to start with goes a long way in managing the account.