Google Provides Good Keyword Tools…But Think Before You Bid

Gerard Tollefsen - October 16, 2009

Have you launched a Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaign recently?  Are you considering advertising your business or service using Google AdWords?  If the answer to either of those questions is yes, then be sure to invest the time and research to formulate a bidding strategy.  Simply using a keyword tool to identify the high volume search terms is not enough.  In reality, it could set you up for failure before you even activate the campaign.  I recently wrote a blog discussing the importance of analyzing your campaigns and optimizing your keywords based on real-time performance.  While I believe that is essential to a successful campaign, it doesn’t diminish the importance of proper keyword research before the campaign launches.

Keep in mind that perception and reality are usually on different ends of the spectrum.  You may think because you sell shoes online that the keyword “shoes” is an important term for the success of your campaign.  If you go into Google using one of their keyword tools, you will see that term has extremely high search volume.  However, there could be thousands of different reasons “shoes” is used in a search query and many of them have nothing to do with the searcher looking to buy shoes.  Instead, think about how you can incorporate keywords and key phrases into your campaign that drives visitors to your site who actually want to buy shoes (instead of driving visitors who may be researching shoe design, for example).  In this way, you may have a smaller set of targeted keywords that truly attract visitors ready to buy shoes.  It seems like a simple idea, but many first time entrants into PPC marketing make this mistake.  They bid on the most generic term possible in hopes of gaining a larger audience.  In the long run, these suggested high volume keywords spend too much of your budget and gain too little in revenue or new leads.

It comes down to simple math really.  What would you rather have: 1000 visitors a day and 2 sales or 50 visitors a day and 10 sales?  Obviously this is a rhetorical question, but it’s important to point out that in terms of the number of keywords and the type of visitors to your site, quality over quantity is the key to a successful campaign.   Do not be tempted by the allure of driving huge numbers of visitors to your site simply for the sake of traffic.  Think before you bid on the highest search volume terms and be sure that the keyword is in line with your campaign strategy.

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