First Things First
• Identify your ad/optimization objectives. Is your goal to increase clicks, conversions or both?
• Know your audience (Teenagers? Business owners? Shoppers? Men? Women?)
• Are the products/services you offer organized in a concise & clear manner on your website?
Once you have answered these questions, read the tips below for “Keyword Selection”, “Ad Copy”, “Landing Page”, “Targeting” & “Bid Management” optimization ideas.
1. Keyword Selection
o Make sure the keywords are relevant to your site. Selecting the right keywords is key to attracting customers as they are more likely to spend more time and money on your site if they find what they are looking for right away.
o Know your market and the keywords/phrases associated to your products and services. Make sure you have a good balance between general and specific keywords and phrases that relate the content of your pages.
o General keywords will drive volume to your site as well as customers that don't have a specific product in mind or that are open to various product offerings. Specific keywords drive highly qualified customers that have a specific product, service or offering in mind.
o Avoid selecting keywords that are too general. These may drive users that are looking for entirely different products or markets that are not part of your website.
o General & specific terms related to your website
• General & specific terms used by competitor websites
• General & specific terms related to your market
• For product keywords, be sure to also include model numbers/letters if applicable
o Example Campaign: Online Job Site
• Select general terms: jobs, career, employment, resume
• Avoid too general terms: education, health, sales, engineering, nursing
• Select targeted terms: job listings, job search, online jobs, online job search, job opportunities, employment opportunities, job postings, online job search
• Select highly targeted terms: nursing careers, careers in healthcare, sales jobs new york, nursing jobs new york, advertising jobs seattle, engineering jobs, accounting careers, jobs in education, teaching positions, job listings los angeles, job listings Chicago
• Include negative terms to avoid irrelevant terms associated with a particular keyword: For “job”, include negative terms such as “blow”, “hand”, “nose”, “discrimination”
o Use the following strategy to select keywords:
2. Ad Copy
o Include the keyword in the title and description. Users are more likely to click on listings in which the keyword is included in the title and description.
o Include call to action terms in your ad copy: “Buy”, “Send”, “Order”, “Save”, “Purchase”
o Include special offers or promotions: "Free Shipping", "25% Off", “Get Rebate”
o Highlight seasonal events: Holidays, Valentine's Day, Back-To-School, Halloween
o Ad Copy Example:
• Valentine’s Day
• Save On Valentine's Gifts
• Shop Jewelry, Candy, Flowers & More. Save 30% On All Valentines Gifts!
3. Landing Page
o Make sure the landing page is relevant to the keyword. Avoid sending users to general pages or to your site's homepage. As previously mentioned, customers are more likely to spend more time and money on your site if they find what they are looking for right away.
o According to Jupiter research, "the best practice is to have each keyword lead to a unique landing page, which is tied conceptually to the keyword itself." Grouping like keywords and tying these groups to a unique landing page is a good alternative strategy.
o Avoid sending users to pages with search results. Sending the user from one group of search results to another group of search results hurts performance as it creates an unnecessary burden on the user and as it increases the chances that non-relevant search results may appear.
o Broad vs Exact Match:
• Broad matching pros: Allows for more comprehensive targeting; increases click volume and allows the advertiser to capture search combinations not captured by their keyword list.
• Broad matching cons: Increases chances of capturing clicks from an unintended audience and lowering ctr by serving listings to non-relevant search results. Recommended to be used with 2+ keyword combinations, unless single term is highly targeted.
• Exact matching pros: Allows for more limited targeting; reduces chances of capturing clicks from an unintended audience and lowering ctr by serving listings to non-relevant search results.
• Exact matching cons: May be too limiting; majority of searches across the network using 2+ keywords in their query string. Recommended only for keywords that are too general.
o Negative matching (Using keyword negatives with broad matching): Allows for broad matching. Negative keywords stop listings from being displayed on selected non-relevant search results.
5. Bid Management
o Bid keywords up to reserve price to ensure distribution across the entire network.
• Reserve prices can be found by looking at the “reserve price” column in the console, in the row next to each keyword
• Reserve prices can also be found by bulk downloading all keywords in the “Tools” section of the Ad Center console.
o Remember that the MaxCPC of a keyword defaults to the MaxCPC of the Ad Group, if the keyword does not have a specific MaxCPC of its own.
• As a result, keywords without their own MaxCPCs may be bid below reserve if the AdGroup MaxCPC is too low.
o If a keyword has a high CPC relative to the other keywords in its AdGroup or Campaign, and is taking up a large percentage of the overall spend, try moving the keyword to its own Campaign.
o Remember that the system will not accept a MaxCPC lower than .05 cents. If you are interested in bidding a keyword low to limit traffic, we recommend pausing the keyword. This will prevent the keyword from only receiving limited traffic from the non-premium portions of our network and
Optimization is not an exact science. You may need to try several of the above tips to find out what works best for you.
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