Keyword Strategy – Can your business do better?
In the digital world, your business needs a killer keyword strategy to get the most out of your online advertising and PPC (pay-per-click) efforts. After all, potential customers are looking for your services daily, and the majority of them are using search engines in their effort. By being highly visible where your customers are searching, you can get that leg up on your competitors.
As a business how then do you work out what people are searching for online so that they can find you and you are visible to them? This should neither be time-consuming nor difficult. That is part of what we are looking at this week.
The main failure of many keyword strategies is a lack of research and planning. When you build a PPC campaign, you should make sure that the whole experience from the first click to final exit is a relevant and rewarding experience. This is often why PPC is handled by a third-party, as there are many intricacies and facets of planning that play a role. When preparing your plan, you should look at your analytics to determine what content is your most popular, who your customers are and how your website performs when they use it. This will tell you if your website is optimized for their experience, or if changes need to be made. You should look at what your competitors are doing – both for ideas and for things to avoid. You should also look at Google Trends and Keyword Planner to determine the best keywords to target and to get a sense of the potential costs involved. Finally, you should look at your landing pages and determine if they align with your business goals. For example, if you prefer leads via phone – is your website optimized for mobile? Solid preparation will set the groundwork for a solid campaign, and should not be omitted or underestimated.
Keep It Simple, But not too simple
The first trick is to stick to the very basics! Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, and ask yourself this question: What would I type into Google if I needed my product? The answer will usually be something simple like: “<product/category> ” and this should be your first keyword. From there, you can usually think of a few synonyms, and add-on words to further refine your list. Steer clear of very generic terms like just . The problem with these is that you have no context into what the person is really looking for. They could be looking to buy, they could be looking to sell, they could be looking to fix, they could be looking for reviews – you just don’t know. Since you don’t know, don’t waste your money.
The first trick is to stick to the basics! Put yourself in the shoes of the customer. What are the themes you would expect for people searching for your type of business online? Within those themes, you will find words that keep popping up and therein lies your first set of clues!
Quality Not Quantity
Stemming from our last point, there’s no need for 200+ keywords per campaign anymore. Use keyword match types to allow in terms that are synonyms to your product/service and use negative keywords to really hone in on the right traffic. If you go and target a large number of keywords that end up not being relevant, or not getting you any traffic, you’ll actually be hurting your overall campaign performance, and negatively affect your costs.
Don’t try to show up for everything online. That affects your quality ranking with Google for starters. As with any reputation, it is very easy to damage it and extremely hard to repair that damage.
Write Connected Ads
Since we’ve already established there’s no point in guessing what your customers are looking for; you can get right down to it in your ads. Be specific with the service you are offering and make sure it aligns with the keywords you are targeting. This means a person looking for ‘lawyer in Edmonton” will see ads for “The Best Lawyer In Edmonton”. Finally, use the ad space to try and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Ask yourself: ‘What problems does it solve that others can’t?’ Doing this will also save you a tonne of time and money in the long run.
Weed out the Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are your way of filtering your traffic. When you set up a keyword strategy, you do your best to capture relevant search traffic, but it’s hard to be perfect. We recommend setting up a solid strategy like above, then checking in on performance after a few days. Look at the actual search queries of your clickers, and refine with negative keywords as you see fit. Negative keywords can take many shapes and forms, so it’s tough to give examples, but they are easy to spot. If the search query is not relevant for one reason or another, the keyword that best indicates irrelevance should be a negative. For example – “Edmonton lawyer school” – in this scenario “school” would be the negative.
Listen to this week’s Strong Coffee Marketing podcast to delve into the points above and get more tips on how to maximise your Keyword Strategy for your business.