PPC Me Now: What Are Keywords?
Today we’re going to work with the smallest creatures in the AdWords realm. Some of them are illusive, while some of them can be easily seen. But in order to find them, we need to be meticulous with our strategy. So, just like you need to learn to walk before you run, you need to learn about keywords before you learn how to research keywords or actually begin a campaign.
What Are Keywords?
You’ve heard the term “keyword” in previous lessons, but for PPC, keywords are more than just phrases put into a search engine. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Different types of keywords target different searches. These different types of keywords that allow you to target various things are called keyword match types.
Keyword Match Types:
Broad Match Keywords
This match type looks like a phrase you would type into Google. It’s simply a string of words.
However, broad match is so much more than that. When you enter in a broad match type, it allows Google to use synonyms and close variations of this word. The words within the search query may be in any order.
For example, if you have the broad match keyword new shirt, then Google may show your ad for new tank top or even new white shirt.
If you are only selling t-shirts or long sleeved shirts, you don’t want results to appear for that. This is where you will use negative keywords (keywords that ensure a specific keyword or phrase does not trigger an ad).
When you enter keywords into AdWords, this is the default option. It has no punctuation or symbols.
+Broad +Match +Modifiers
Broad match modifier modifies broad match in order to make results more relevant. It’s like when Peter Parker turns into Spiderman. When Peter was just plain Peter, he was fine, but when he got modified and turned into Spiderman, his life got so much cooler. Broad match modifier is similar to this. It increases relevancy of searches and all you have to do is add a “+” before each word.
Overall, broad match modifier allows you to be more specific with what words you want to target. With broad match modifier, there are no synonyms, only close variations of the word, which may include misspellings or plurals.
Let’s say you have +new +shirt +gaithersburg as a keyword. This means that if someone searches for gaithersburg new shirts or where to buy a new shirt in gaithersburg, your advertisement will show up.
Your advertisement will not show up if someone searches for shirt in gaithersburg. This is because the +new portion of the keyword is NOT within the search query.
Phrase match is similar to when Spiderman realized what he could do with his powers, but could not completely control them. Phrase match allows for more specific results. What you have in the phrase is set, but you can have extra words within the entered search query before and after it.
For example, you are bidding on the keyword “new shirt.” What this means is that your ad may be triggered if someone searches for new shirts in gaithersburg, really cool new shirts, or even find a new shirt. Your ad would not be triggered if this query was entered: find some awesome new pants and shirts.
Why? Because while both new and shirts are in the query, they are NOT in sequential order.
Exact Match gives you the most control out of all of the match types, but it’s oftentimes the most unused of all the match types. It’s the black sheep in the PPC world—everyone loves it, but it is hard to find keywords with enough impressions to use it, so oftentimes it is neglected.
It’s similar to when Spiderman finally has control over his powers and he is able to defeat bad guys. Exact match type will let you defeat some nasty irrelevant results. Exact match type only triggers your ad if there is a search that is exactly the same or has close variants as the search query.
If I were to make [new shirt] a keyword within AdWords, then the only time the ad would appear is if new shirt, new shirts, or any close variation of the keyword new shirt is searched.
Here is a quick breakdown of keywords:
Contrary to what may be your first reaction, negative keywords are not your enemies. They should be some of your best friends! Some things are misjudged and need to be understood and loved. Negative keywords allow you to eliminate unwanted (evil) keywords from a search. This will make searches more relevant to your offerings.
Negative keywords work similar to regular keywords. You can have exact, phrase, and broad match types.
Negative Broad Match
This can eliminate lots of irrelevant search results. When a keyword is Negative Broad Match, it will not show when the whole term is used in a search.
Let’s say that you put custom shirt as a negative broad keyword. This will ensure your ad does not trigger when someone searches for shirt custom, custom shirt dealers, or even custom dealer for a shirt. However, if someone searches for the plural form (custom shirts), then your ad will be triggered. Therefore, make sure to add the plural form.
“Negative Phrase Match”
This negative match type is similar to regular, non-negative “phrase match.” It will exclude searches that have the phrase you do not want in the search query. If you make “custom shirts” a negative keyword and someone searches for custom made shirts, your ad will be triggered because custom and shirts were not next to each other.
[Negative Exact Match]
This match type eliminates the least amount of traffic. It only excludes searches that are the exact same as the negative keyword.
In order to better understand Negative Match Types, here is something the Google AdWords Blog put together (the green check mark means that the ad will be triggered).
Missed Any of the Previous Posts?
Check out previous weeks’ posts:
Next week, now that you know about keywords, you’ll learn how to do basic keyword research.
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About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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