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November 25 2008

Matching Your Keywords


When creating an online campaign, much time is spent selecting keywords and even more time writing ad copy, but very little time deciding which match type to use for keywords.  Recently, I was working with a client who asked MoreVisibility to create a fresh, exciting search engine marketing campaign (SEM).  When I spoke to the client with respect to their previous SEM efforts, I was surprised to discover they had not been utilizing any variations in match type; in fact, they had only been using broad match.

Broad match keywords display the widest range of search query results possible.  Broad match will allow the keywords to be displayed in any order; with other search terms before, after or in between your keywords.  For example, if you were a farmer looking to create an SEM campaign for avocados; you may choose to use ‘avocado’ as a keyword.  However, if ‘avocado’ is used as a broad match keyword, the interpretations are endless and the search query results are limitless; even if a searcher is looking for an ‘avocado colored sweater’ or someone looking for ‘how to plant avocado trees’ then your ad would be displayed.  Typically, broad match keywords produce huge numbers of impressions and clicks, but very few conversions; especially when the search terms are general.

Phrase match keyword types are a useful match type, as they prevent words from being inserted between the keywords when a search query is conducted.  You can indicate phrase match keywords by putting keywords in quotation marks when adding it to Google.  Phrase matched keywords will not allow words to be inserted between your quoted keywords.  For example, more appropriate keywords may be “buy avocados” or “fresh avocados.”  These keywords are more targeted and when implemented as a phrase match type, reduce the amount of superfluous clicks and irrelevant searches.

Exact match is another useful tactic which prevent any words to come before or after the specified keyword or keywords when performing a search query.  Exact matching can be implemented by adding brackets to the keyword; for example by enclosing the keyword [avocado] inside the brackets, it is considered to be an exact match keyword.  This will then cause your ad to not be displayed for such queries such as, ‘avocado sweater’ as the keyword [avocado] is set for exact match status.  Exact matches will produce fewer clicks and impressions, but lead to more qualified visitors.

While campaigns have many components, one essential feature that should not be ignored is the keyword match type.  An effective match type will reduce the amount of unnecessary clicks, and leave more money for your advertising budget.  An effective SEM campaign utilizes a combination of different match types to target specific searchers and limit uninterested parties.

November 10 2008

The Difference Between Write and Wrong


Since I began working in search engine marketing, I have learned the basic rules of writing effective ad copy that adheres to search engine specifications.  While each search engine has their own guidelines, the premises are the same.  One important question still remains; how can you get as much information across to a searcher within the specific ad character limitations, but yet, still be fresh and creative?

A few weeks ago, I came across this issue while developing ads for a client.  I was stumped as far as the verbiage I could use in the ad copy, while still giving the ad a fresh look and feel.  Here are some methods I used to not only inspire me to write enticing ads, but to also differentiate my client among their competitors. 

I begin by conducting some research on my client’s industry; browsed their website and familiarized myself with industry terms.  If you happen to come across terms that are foreign to you, Wikipedia is a great resource that will put terms into a context that’s easy to understand.  This preliminary should research aide you in writing ad copy.

When writing the ad copy, I tried to select words that will evoke a sensory experience about the client’s business, product or service; such as ‘experienced’, ‘trusted’ or ‘knowledgeable.’  These types of words are important to searchers, as they want to conduct business with those they feel they can trust and who not only understand the product or service they are selling, but the industry as a whole.  To keep ad text exciting, try using a thesaurus to inspire creativity; sometimes it can take the ad to a higher level of professionalism.

Lastly, when I write my ads, I include a call to action whenever possible.  A strong call to action will not only set you apart from others, but also will make your ads more appealing to searchers.

It’s important to remember that you only a few have moments to capture the searchers attention.  Your ads don’t need to be elaborate; usually simple is better.  Be concise, creative and honest about your products and services and the ads will virtually write themselves.

October 7 2008

Google Says Adios To Minimum Bids


I have worked with many different search engines for a long period of time.  Although each search engine remains unique in the tools they offer, one thing remains the same; the required minimum bid.  However, only a short while ago, Google was the first to break this mold by eliminating required minimum bids.  This monumental decision has had a ‘ripple effect’ through the entire Google Adwords interface. 

In the past, keywords were deemed ‘inactive for search’ if a client was not reaching the required minimum bid.  Now, Google has revised this procedure to be more of a quality based approach.  Since there are no minimum bids, Google now informs advertisers when keyword bids are below the first page bid estimate.  The suggested bid amounts vary per keyword and reflect the approximate bid that is necessary for first page search results.

Here are some suggestions to help manage your campaign, based on these recent changes.  Since there are no minimum bids, you want to be sure your ad is not becoming lost in the back pages of Google; this becomes increasingly important for competitive industry keywords and phrases.  Also, be sure that you are still closely monitoring your quality score; the level of the quality score will still impact the position where your ad is being displayed, despite your maximum cost per click bid.  Lastly, stay abreast of current Google tools and features by accessing the official Google Adwords blog and the MoreVisibility blog.  Staying current with industry news will help to keep your account in good standing and remain ahead of the curve when new changes are implemented.

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