Whether you are already running a PPC campaign, or are still thinking about whether to dip your toes into this area of internet marketing, there is one crucial thing to consider. What do you want to achieve? Do you want your PPC campaign to promote your brand in the online industry, or do you specifically want to generate enquiries/sales from the activity? Or do you want to do a little of both?
When you know what you want to target, you can then begin to research the keywords to use. The below graph indicates how your choice of keywords will affect traffic volumes to the site, advertising costs and conversions.
Take this example; a relatively new holiday company that specialises in short break holidays around the Lake District and Cumbria are investigating their keyword selections for a new PPC campaign. For this exercise we will call them Lake District Breaks.
Lake District Breaks identify keywords such as ‘short breaks’ and as you can see from the above graph this is a generic keyword and will generate a lot of traffic through to their site. They decide that this is an outcome they want to achieve, as they are still building their brand, however they ideally would also like the PPC campaign to generate some bookings. The problem is that the traffic coming through to the site from these generic keywords will mainly be users researching the entire short breaks market. The users will receive a vast amount of search results from this keyword for companies offering short breaks across varying countries; therefore Lake District Breaks will need to pay a premium to compete against the other companies in the market.
Following some research, the user may decide on their next search to look for ‘short breaks north England’ because they have decided that they want to stay fairly local to their home and so now begin to research the companies offering this product locally. Their search is still quite broad and so they will still receive a lot of results from companies offering short breaks across the north of England. Because their search has become slightly more refined, the same occurs in the search results. There are fewer companies offering short breaks in north England, therefore the competition is reduced which has a direct reduction on the advertising costs.
As a buyer progresses with their research of the holidays available, they become more knowledgeable of what they are looking for. The next time they carry out a search they may enter ‘family 3 day break lake district’ because they have chosen their destination, they know that the holiday is for the family and they want to go for 3 days. This specific search query, referred to in the industry as a “long tail” keyword, now only shows the most relevant results for companies offering this type of product. It is at this stage that the product offering is most relevant to what the user is looking for and therefore they are more likely to book a holiday than they were at the earlier stages. Lake District Breaks decide to also use this and several other long tail keywords in their campaign in an attempt to generate bookings.
Therefore to summarise, the more relevant your keywords are to the product you provide, the higher the potential for conversions and the lower the cost of advertising. If you also want to generate brand awareness, it is recommended to test a selection of keywords from the generic and advanced types, and remember to review and refine the campaigns as you progress over time.
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