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Poor AdWords Keyword Strategy: £1500 Down The Drain

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A short time ago, one of our live coaching clients found himself wasting a lot of budget without even realising it.

In a fiercely competitive market, where clicks are £1.50 or more, together we established that he was wasting around £50 PER DAY on irrelevant clicks that had absolutely no chance of becoming sales.

Why? Keyword match-types.

You will hopefully be aware that Google Adwords provides three different keyword match types; broad match, phrase match and exact match.

Starting with the last first, Exact Keyword matching will only show your ad when the search term (what your customer types in to Google) matches your keyword exactly, no misspelling, no typos, no plural, no partial matching.

Secondly, Phrase Match will match the search term if it includes your phrase somewhere; the phrase “red dress” would be matched to searches for ‘ladies red dress’, ‘girl in a red dress’, ‘make a red dress’, ‘red dress design’, ‘red dress lyrics’. Now, of course some of these are relevant, but some are not and potentially waste your budget.

Phrase Matching is quite tightly targeted though, so the same phrase would not match searches such as ‘red evening dress’, ‘red cocktail dress’ or even ‘dress red’ or ‘dress red’. The words are in a different order or do not form the phrase you’re bidding on, so you should thoroughly research and include each variation in your campaign to avoid missing that traffic.

Lastly, Broad Matching is the widest possible match type, and matches any search which includes the words in your keyword, misspellings, plurals, the words in a different order.

This is fine in some circumstances, but we would advise caution; research all possible search variations which might match your keyword. In the example broad match ‘red dress’, this matches; red head dress, dressing in red, red gingham dress, red white and blue dress, red or dead dress, red dressing gown and many other, potentially wasteful clicks which aren’t relevant enough.

Some of the terms may be relevant, and you want that traffic anyway. But matching one broad match keyword in this way will make it difficult to target that keyword with a relevant ad and to land that searcher on the right page on your site, impossible to measure the success of each search term and you’ll pay a lot more for each click.

Worse still, Google AdWords also uses what it calls, ‘expanded matching‘ on broad match keywords, often using synonyms. In a recent example, fujitsu bracket might match ‘mount fuji’ and ‘monitor mount’ matches a search for ‘shower screen bracket’! Completely irrelevant.

So, what should your keyword strategy be?

Depending on your market, budget and your personal preference, we might recommend bidding on phrase matches to begin with, researching as many variations as possible, or using only exact matching to start. In either case, a small number of broad matches should also be included to pick up anything you missed in your research. You can then frequently monitor the search query report for your account to add more phrase or exact match variations, or use negative keywords to exclude the irrelevant searches you find.

CAUTION: if you have been using broad match keywords in your account, removing them all in one go can upset the ecology of your campaign – be very careful before implementing a policy change such as this.

For advanced keyword strategies, try live one on one coaching – guaranteed satisfaction or your money back.

Alternatively, have one of our professionals carry out a free audit of your campaign and tell you where you’re going wrong.

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