Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Program

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Introducing Keywords, Part 1: Keyword Basics & Keyword Organization Tutorial

1.2 Introduction

Hello, I'm Brad Geddes. The author of Advanced Google AdWords, the founder AdAlysis, and the PPC Faculty Chair for Market Motive. In this video, we're going to introduce keywords. Keywords are essential to a paid search account, as they determine when your ad actually displays. It's often called a keyword based advertising method.

1.3 Reminders

Now, just to clarify our jargon. We have two different items we're talking about. Search queries and keywords. A Search Query is what a user types into a search engine. The Keyword, is what you put into your account. Now depending on match types, when a user's query matches your keywords, that's when your ad can be displayed. Now as you walk through this information, always remember the Buying Funnel. You'll have some keywords which show users at the interest phase. Others that show they're at the shopping phase. Others at the buying phase. So you have to look first at how people buy from you before you really want to pick key words. If you have lots of keywords at the learn phase, you probably get a huge amount of traffic, but not a large return on investment for those same words. If you have a lot of words at the buy phase, you probably have a great return on investment but not a lot of total conversions. Of course, this is very industry-dependent and does change, based upon the Buying Funnel for your company type. So always look for the Buying Funnel first, and think about how users progress through your funnel before you pick keywords.

1.4 Search Query Intent

Now, we look at user intent when they're searching. Jim Jansen, a professor at Penn State University, and his colleagues put together a fantastic white paper, on how users really search and what they're looking for. And so, they looked at many, many queries and classified them into user intent. And when they did this classification, about 25% of words were so ambiguous, they actually couldn't figure out an intent. Are all set those aside. Now, we also have navigational intent words. This is about 7.5% of the volume. Now, what navigational words are, are words where someone's trying to find a specific page of the web. Might be a page they've been to before. So a search for yahoo mail, they want to get to yahoo mail's home page. A search for I M D B, Sean Connery. The user wants the Sean Connery page of the internet movie database site. Now these are tough words to monetize, if they're not yours. Because the user has a specific destination in mind. About 7.5% of words are transactional. Great, the user has determined they want to do a transaction of some type. Easy words to monetize. Now, the vast majority of keywords though, are informational. Now, this doesn't mean they can't be monetized. But when you think about the buying funnel, you have to match the user where they are, and then you can help them progress to the next step, based upon your market and your on page content. So while most words really have an informational intent to it, if your landing page answers their question, and then pushes them to the next stage of the buying funnel, you can monetize informational intent words.

1.5 Search Sessions

Now you should also keep in mind, that if the user is eventually looking to perform a transaction, they often take multiple site visits before they conduct an action. Now, for instance, in the travel industry, the average user will make 21.6 site visits. They're going to visit 9.4 different sites 2.3 times each before making a purchase. This means there's several informational queries, some shopping queries, and finally a buy query before they finish a transaction. Now, while there's 21 site visits, that doesn't always correlate to 21 searches. Some users will search, look at your site, come back directly to your site, or they'll register for your email, and they'll come back through your email or different channel. And, of course, these are averages, some users will take 40 visits, others will take 3. And this does change by the category type. So in loans, the average person only visits 4.2 sites. They visit 2.8 unique sites, and visit them 1.5 times each. So 1.5 times each is not that many. So it's a much more direct response industry than travel, which is a much more research-based industry.

1.6 Types of Keywords

And we start thinking about keywords from a very high conceptual level. There are several different types of words that are easy to classify and start to focus on for your advertising efforts. So, the easiest keywords to think of and research are explicit keywords, these are words that directly describe what a user is looking for. Plumber, Chicago plumber, plumber websites, certified plumber, it's obvious the user is looking for a plumber or plumbing services from these queries. Easy ones to think of, easy ones to use, but because they're easy ones, they often have more competition on them. You have problem words, this is the actual problem the user is trying to solve. So they have a flooded basement, they have water in their basement, it may be question words, how do I get water out of my basement? Now we have symptom words, these are what cause the problem, or how to fix that problem. So, broken pipe, fixing pipe, pipe repair, basement pipes, and then finally, we have product parts and product numbers. Now these four types of keywords tell stories, you have a broken pipe that caused your basement to flood. Now you need a plumber to come out and fix it, and the pipe type that broke is a P1011. So, by just kind of thinking through stories, use case scenarios for users, you can often come up with good keywords to use.

1.7 Keyword Considerations

So you really need to think about the Searcher. And in the United States, about 250,000 times per year, someone's watching a game on a Saturday, and they live in Chicago, the temperature is ten below outside. So their pipes freeze, they break, they need a plumber to come out and fix it. This is a fairly common scenario. The ways the user could search are dramatically different. You can range from flooded basement, to geographic queries like Chicago plumber, to local plumbing services, to pipe repair. And so you really need to, to think about Searchers and how they're thinking and what they're looking for, as you go through your keyword research and think about how you want to reach users.

1.8 Do You Know Your Keywords?

Now, as you do your research, you also want to keep in mind, when you see something that just doesn't make sense, you might need to separate this out or be more different with your ad copies. For instance, the word bleach, up until over a decade ago, the word bleach was primarily searched for by a female between 25 and 40 years of age. Essentially, how do you make your whites whiter? Now that has not been the searcher, the primary searcher, for this word for over 10 years. The primary searcher is a young male. Now it's not because young males are suddenly doing all their own laundry. There's a Japanese show called Bleach, it's changed these search results, so if you search for bleach, you'll see some things about laundry. You'll see others about DVDs and the TV show. When you have these items that describe multiple industries, you want to make note so that you can change your ads for them, and we'll get in to ads in a later module. If you have an ad that says, are you looking for bleach information? We have all your bleach information here, well, that just spoke to two completely different demographics with two user intents. If your ad says, get your whites whiter, all right, talk about laundry, you've now spoken to one demographic. If your ad says buy Season 7 DVDs, different demographic. So, as you're doing your research, if you see words that just don't make sense to you, like, why is this in my suggested list? Take a deeper look, and it's not that the word might not be a good word to use, it's that it needs to be very specific in the ad which of your demographics and which user intents you're trying to address.

1.9 Search Query Frequency & Length

Now, you are never going to find every key word. It's not possible. One of my favorite statistics from Google, is that 20% of search queries each day are either new, or they haven't been done in the last 6 months. So when you consider that Google processes billions and billions of queries per month. You're not going to find every one of these queries if 20% are really unique words. Now, on Google about 54% of queries are more than three words in length. So there is a lot of links at longer words, as well. So don't think it's just one-word keywords you want to use, you want to think of more the universe which we'll get into.

1.10 Search Volume

Now another concept to be aware of on search queries is how often it's searched for. Not every keyword is searched the same. Some words have very large volume. Others have very small volume. Now what's interesting as a general rule, and of course there's exceptions, the more specific the word, the smaller the search volume. The more general the word, the higher the search volume. Now we'll examine how to find keyword search volume, when we get in, into our practices module. However just note that when you find a word that's very specific and high volume, that's a great query to use, because the user has shown what they want in that intent. When you see words that aren't as specific with super high volume, you might not want to always use them. And this gets into budgeting and so forth, which we'll cover throughout this course. But if you see a word like hiking boots, it's got 60,000 searches per month. And you've got a $1,000 monthly budget. Well that's probably not a good word to use, because you can spend your budget on much more specific words, like waterproof hiking boots. Now if you've got a huge budget, then you want to use them all. So as you do your research, you have to keep your budget in mind when you look at volume, how much or how little you want some of these words, based upon how much they can spend and their potential conversion rates.

1.11 Account Hierarchy

So, when we think of keyword organization, we have to go back to our account hierarchy first. So, we have an account. Then in the account we have a campaign. Campaign levels are display settings ,such as your geography. Now then you have an ad group. An ad group is a collection of ads and keywords. So these ads and keywords need to be related to each other. So it's not always about finding keywords, its about also grouping them appropriately with ads, which we'll look at. Now you can have more than one ad group, and you can have more than one campaign. And so, this is when you start to think about not just your keywords, but it can mean more useful to start thinking about your ad groups. How many ad groups do you want? How are these ad groups different from each other? And then populate them with keywords after that. So, there's a lot of different ways you can group keywords, and none of these are right and wrong. They have just different advantages and disadvantages. So, you could do it by keyword type. Direct keywords, symptom keywords, part numbers. This is a really easy way to group them, because you group the keywords by their keyword type. And then you subsegment them, which we'll get into in a second, and then your ads are all related to your keywords. You can also group them by buying cycle. These are all awareness words. These are shopping words. These are buying words. That's a nice way of grouping them by intent. So a buying word needs to go to a product page or a direct response page. A shopping keyword needs to go to a category. A way of comparing items. And so these aren't right and wrong. They're just different ways to sort of think about organization.

1.12 Defining Ad Groups

But when we think about this organization, and we look at our ad groups, and we look at our keywords and say, well what keywords should we use, and how granular should these ad groups really be? So let's just say we're selling Nike shoes and sandals, and we have this initial list of words. Well, first off, shoes and sandals are really generic words, because when someone searches for a show, you don't know if they want shoe repair, dress shoes, they want to find a cobbler, and so these words have such basic intent that it could be anything. They're usually not good words. Now once you get some experience, you have some data on your more specific words, you might try them, but they're not good ones to start with. So when we think about Nike running shoes and running sandals. Some people would group them together. Oh, they're running, but they're not the same. First off, a shoe and a sandal are different items or different footwear. One of these is a brand, Nike. The other is not a brand. So we really want these to be different ad groups, because their ad is going to be different for them. One needs to talk about shoes and the brand. One needs to talk about sandals. Now, hiking shoes, it's different. No longer running, different activity, hiking. Should be a different ad group. Hiking sandals. Different footwear, different ad group. And so, in reality, these aren't keywords, they're ad groups. Now the ad group might have that same keyword in it along with some others, but this is where we really need to think about our ad group structure first before we populate it with keywords.

1.13 The "Two Word" Rule

So an easy rule, just to sort of work with from a very beginner level, is the Two Word rule. When you put words into Ad Groups, or you put words from your Ad Groups as actual keywords in that Ad Group, do they have two words in common. So for instance, every one of these words, has the word hiking shoes in it. Now one's hiking shoes, one's Nike hiking shoes, one's trail hiking shoes. So they're different words, but they have at least two words in common. So, this gets into time versus possibilities. So from a time standpoint, starting with the two word rule is an easy way to begin. And then once we get data, we can start to do some segments past that. Or you might look at this and say, okay, they all have hiking shoes, I have more time. So Nike hiking shoe. It's a brand. It's more specific. I want to make that a different ad group. But red, green, blue they can, they're just adjectives of hiking shoe, they're not significantly different, so we can make those keywords. Size 11, size 10, size 12, again just a modifier, same Ad Group. But a hiking shoe's waterproof that's more specific. Could be a different ad group. And so what you don't want is one ad group of 1,000 keywords. 1,000 keywords aren't related. But you also don't want to spend so much time creating ad groups, you never launch an account. And so, starting with the two word rule is a good starting place, especially for beginners. But as you get more experienced, you might look and say okay, waterproof should be its own ad group. And Nike, it's a brand, it should be its own ad group. So we can make a Nike hiking shoe ad group, an Adidas hiking shoe ad group, so forth. But from a basic standpoint, Two Word Rule, a great place to start. And then work from data. If you've got more experience then, and you're good at creating accounts. And you'll get some experience with that, then making these into three or four different ad groups would be a better way to start. But takes more time. I mean, that's the big thing with, with account builds is time versus possibility. As you're picking these keywords though, and as you're thinking of these ad groups, you have to consider that landing page. Where are you going to send traffic to? If the page does not describe the keyword, that product is not on the page. That service is not the page. Needs to be a different ad group. So, if you looked at your page and said, oh, waterproof hiking boots are not on this page. We have a different page for this. Different ad group. And so all keywords in an ad group should be able to share an ad and a landing page. If they don't share these, needs to be different ad groups.

1.13 The "Two Word" Rule

So an easy rule, just to sort of work with from a very beginner level, is the Two Word rule. When you put words into Ad Groups, or you put words from your Ad Groups as actual keywords in that Ad Group, do they have two words in common. So for instance, every one of these words, has the word hiking shoes in it. Now one's hiking shoes, one's Nike hiking shoes, one's trail hiking shoes. So they're different words, but they have at least two words in common. So, this gets into time versus possibilities. So from a time standpoint, starting with the two word rule is an easy way to begin. And then once we get data, we can start to do some segments past that. Or you might look at this and say, okay, they all have hiking shoes, I have more time. So Nike hiking shoe. It's a brand. It's more specific. I want to make that a different ad group. But red, green, blue they can, they're just adjectives of hiking shoe, they're not significantly different, so we can make those keywords. Size 11, size 10, size 12, again just a modifier, same Ad Group. But a hiking shoe's waterproof that's more specific. Could be a different ad group. And so what you don't want is one ad group of 1,000 keywords. 1,000 keywords aren't related. But you also don't want to spend so much time creating ad groups, you never launch an account. And so, starting with the two word rule is a good starting place, especially for beginners. But as you get more experienced, you might look and say okay, waterproof should be its own ad group. And Nike, it's a brand, it should be its own ad group. So we can make a Nike hiking shoe ad group, an Adidas hiking shoe ad group, so forth. But from a basic standpoint, Two Word Rule, a great place to start. And then work from data. If you've got more experience then, and you're good at creating accounts. And you'll get some experience with that, then making these into three or four different ad groups would be a better way to start. But takes more time. I mean, that's the big thing with, with account builds is time versus possibility. As you're picking these keywords though, and as you're thinking of these ad groups, you have to consider that landing page. Where are you going to send traffic to? If the page does not describe the keyword, that product is not on the page. That service is not the page. Needs to be a different ad group. So, if you looked at your page and said, oh, waterproof hiking boots are not on this page. We have a different page for this. Different ad group. And so all keywords in an ad group should be able to share an ad and a landing page. If they don't share these, needs to be different ad groups.

1.14 Organizing Ad Groups

So let's take another look at this, this is really important. If we have an ad that says payroll services, we pay and file payroll taxes for you, call for a free quote. And then we could have keywords, payroll services. Small business payroll, corporate payroll services, payroll software, and some people might say well, these all are about payroll services, maybe not specific but they're able payroll services that ad works. Now from an example standpoint, let's say that the user searched for corporate Payroll services. That's the user's query. And you have one ad that says payroll services, call for a free quote. A different ad that says corporate payroll services, streamline your corporation. The user's going to click on the ad that actually talks about corporate information more than the generic information. And so this is where being specific to the words in that ad on that landing page are really important. So this really shouldn't be one ad group. This should be one for payroll services. A different one for corporate payroll services, with a different ad. Payroll tax services are different. Small businesses have different needs than corporations. And of course, software is different than a service. So why these keywords initially might look related to an ad, in reality when you start thinking about that user, this is really four or five different ad groups. So a Workflow to start with then is have a landing page in mind, have an ad in mind, and then you find the keyword. And your first question is, does it match the ad? No, it needs to go to a different ad group. If it matches the ad then does it match your landing page? No, different ad group. Yes, it goes on the ad group. So only keywords that match the ad copy and the landing page should be added to an ad group. And this is why determining your Ad groups first is a good step. Then populate that Ad group with keywords based upon it matching an ad and a landing page.

1.15 Post Launch Organization

Now, once you launch, you're going to start to get statistics. So that's just click-through rate. How often someone clicks on your ad. Or conversion rate. How often they really convert. And this is going to help you with your organization. So if this were one ad group, and all these keywords were in an ad group, we have this top keyword here, it's click-through rate 2%. The other keywords are 2.4 to 0.3, that's our outlier. But it's a decent click-through rate. Which means the ad for that keyword is good. However it has a 0.5% conversion rate. Which is significantly lower than all the other keywords. This means the landing page is not good for that keyword. So this keyword needs to go to a different ad group. Now if it's a high volume word, you've got an ad that works. It's got a 2% click-through rate. So you might just make a new ad group with a different page for this keyword. If you look and say, well, this ad or something very similar's in this ad group but a different landing page. It can go to that ad group. So you may move it to an established ad group, or create a new one. Now, we have this other keyword. It's got a 4.8% conversion rate. It's roughly in line with the other keywords with our outlier exception of the keyword one. But, it's click-through rate is significantly less than all the other ads. This tells you the ad does not work for this keyword but the landing page does. So this keyword should be in a different ad group probably using the same landing page. But with a different ad text. And so, your initial goal then is to lay out your ad groups. Then populate them with keywords. The more granular the better. Then look at your statistics and look for the outliers. Below norm click-through rate. Below norm conversion rates. They either may be words you look and say, well, this is not a good keyword for us, anyway, let's remove it from our account. Or, if you want to keep it, put it in a different ad group.

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