To make this article easier to understand, imagine yourself in charge of the Adwords account for a large brand of saucepans, specializing in stainless steel models 😉
If, over a given period, 90% of your budget goes on a single keyword (let’s take ‘casserole’ wide, for example), then it’s a safe bet that you are not completely satisfied with the performance of your account. The choice of keywords is an exercise rarely overlooked by advertisers (one could for example find on this account very “zealous” keywords such as “pan for cooking pasta”, “pan with a plastic handle” ). On the other hand, it is not rare to see this effort reduced to nothing due to an inefficient distribution of the budget between the keywords and sometimes of a cannibalization of the keywords between them.
The purpose of this article is not so much to give you the keys to finding new keyword ideas, as to allow you to spend your budget on effective keywords for your business. After all, if you have an exceptional conversion rate on the keyword + saucepan + stainless steel + induction (I feel that we are losing some) with a limited budget, then why absolutely want to buy the keyword + casserole whose conversion rate would be significantly less good (and also mean less profitable). Allocate your budget towards what is most profitable for your business!
But why the hell is it so complicated?
First, let’s start with a reminder on the typologies of Google Adwords keywords:
- The exact keywords (with hooks [ ]) will allow you to position yourself on queries exactly entered by Internet users. For example, if you buy [casserole induction inox], then your ads will appear on this specific search, but also on all close variants (plural, feminine, accents, etc.) such as stainless steel induction pans, but also stainless steel induction pan following recent changes proposed by Google. The search engine now considers the insertion of words such as for, in, with, in, to, etc. like close variants.
- The exact expressions (with the quotation marks “”) will allow you to position yourself on queries comprising at least the keywords purchased (and their close variants) and in the correct order. So if you buy “induction pan”, you will appear on queries, such as stainless steel induction pan for soup or induction pan resistant to all temperatures. However, you will not appear on pretty stainless steel pots for induction hobs.
- The broad query modifier (with the + sign in front of a keyword) will allow you to position yourself on queries comprising at least the keywords purchased (and their close variants) and without order criteria. So if you buy + pan + induction, you will appear on all the requests of Internet users who understand at least these two words.
- The broad query (without any distinguishing mark) leaves it up to Google to show your ad on queries that are considered synonyms for your keywords. To use the example of Google, if you buy women’s hats, you could appear on the request buy ladies hat, because Google has determined that ladies was a relevant synonym in this context.
Understanding this typology will be fundamental to structuring your account and avoiding cannibalization. I often see accounts that would have “casserole” and + casserole in the same ad group, which is useless when there is only one word 😉). I can only invite you to read the Google tutorial on the subject.
A slight knowledge of Adwords can help you understand that the exact keywords give precision to your account and greater control of your impressions, auctions, etc. on these keywords. The exact expressions and the broad query modifier allow you to get queries that contain strategic words for your activity (in the example + pan + induction). Broad queries can help you come up with new ideas. For example, you might find that ‘casserole’ is a good, frequently used synonym for the word ‘casserole’, and add it to your keyword list later.
Word order is ultimately a fairly rare constraint and therefore I prefer the use of the broad query modifier (so the keywords preceded by the +), with exact keywords in the accounts I manage.
The weight of words, the shock of impressions
A first logic would like that the less there are words in the keyword purchased and the more there will be impressions during the day. Put in relation to the budget spent, you have to imagine this as an hourglass. So if you buy these three keywords with theoretical daily impression volumes:
- + pan: 10,000 prints;
- + saucepan + stainless steel: 1,000 prints;
- + saucepan + stainless steel + induction: 300 prints.
For a given budget of 10 €, + pan could burn your budget in 2 hours, + pan + stainless steel in 10 hours and + pan + stainless steel + induction in 24 hours. From this, you can see that if all your keywords are combined in the same campaign and your budget is limited, then the keyword + pan will consume a very large part of your budget during the day without worrying the quality of the other keywords. You understand, the hourglass is your budget. 😉
The power of intention
The previous example helped you understand how adding words could enrich your positioning. The more words in your keyword, the more likely you are to be precise in your targeting. In addition, certain words show the intentionality of the Internet user. So if a search term has the word buy, you know a lot about the intention of the user. This precision, which you obtain either via the number of words present (for example + saucepan + stainless steel + induction greatly enriches your positioning, because each of these three words brings an additional characteristic), or via the intention displayed by the Internet user, should be used to segment your account according to different conversion rates (and different cost per click (CPC) and therefore different acquisition costs).
For example, you could have a conversion rate of 2% on the keyword + buy + pan + stainless steel and a conversion rate of 0.2% on the keyword + pan. The cost of acquisition will then depend on your CPCs. But it’s a safe bet that the average CPC of + buy + pan + stainless steel is not 10 times more expensive than that of + pan.
Avoid unnecessary dispersion
The example above has shown you that it is not necessary to position your account on all of the potential user queries related to your activity. On a budget, it’s usually best to focus on the most qualified keywords (already because it will bring qualified traffic to your site and you can test your ability to convert to an ideal audience).
From a certain threshold, you risk saturating on this positioning and you will then seek to capture new conversions. For this, it will very often be more interesting to work on your landing page to increase your conversion rate or to optimize the text of your ads to increase your clickthrough rate (CTR) rather than going to position yourself on new words- less precise keys. In a previously written article, I highlighted the importance of capturing all the clicks that are profitable for your business. This is only possible with very precise structuring of the keywords in your account.
On the other hand, to continue to learn about the requests of your internet users, I recommend managing, in an isolated campaign, one or more less precise keywords (for example + pan, by adding the present terms in negative keywords in your main campaign). With a very limited budget, which will not “eat” the performance of your main campaign, you will be able to see the requests typed in this isolated campaign and for example discover that you do not make any conversion on the request the macron pans.