Why is it that I have 500 keywords and only 5 of them are getting clicks?

Heather Wall - July 13, 2009

Your Question Answered: Why is it that I have 500 keywords and only 5 of them are getting clicks?

If you are faced with this question, you should consider how your campaign is structured. In most cases, it means you have too many keywords sitting in one ad group.

For those who are unfamiliar with how an SEM campaign is structured, there are some basics to know. I will cover this at a very high level.  First, each search engine you run traffic in will require you set up an account.  The account is the highest level, overarching component.  Within your account you are able to set up campaigns.  The campaign level is responsible for setting daily budgets, as well as campaign targeting settings (example: selecting demographics and geographics, etc).   Within a campaign you can set up Ad Groups.  Ad groups are responsible for housing the keywords you are bidding on, and determining of the overall budget, how much you are willing to allocate to this keyword ad group. It is also at this level that you set the bids you are willing to spend on individual keywords.

If you have 100 keywords in one ad group competing for the same budget, it goes without saying only the most popular keywords will consume that budget. These keywords they will be clicked on more often than the niche keywords simply due to broad keywords having higher search volumes. 

So what is the solution?  First, find out what keywords are getting the most clicks and put them in their own campaigns.  These keywords need to have a budget controls set so they don’t exhaust your entire budget. Why should you worry about this?  In most circumstances, keywords that are getting the most clicks are broad keywords.  Broad keywords probably aren’t converting as high, but they are very important in the early stages of the sales cycle to be found for. Thus, when a searcher learns about your brand while they conduct their initial product search investigation.  By nature, these keywords are certainly getting you traffic, but as a default they are eating up your budget.

The remaining keywords you have are probably more niche in nature, which means they have a tendency to convert higher.  Niche keywords usually means a searcher is now at the buying stage, and looking for exact product specifications.  These keywords are going to have lower search volumes, but they are also valuable since it’s an indication someone is ready to buy. These keywords should be pooled into their own relevant ad groups and given their own budget, so when a searcher does come, you have much greater probability to have your ad displayed.

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