How to Make More Money with Your Search Keywords

By Chasity Wallace in Media Strategy on May 22nd, 2015

Here at BKV, we strive to make sure we attain optimal performance for our search engine marketing campaigns and build out significant terms that are most relevant to our clients’ products or services. Here are 3 pointers to help optimize keyword performance when setting up SEM campaigns.

search marketing optimization

1. Do Your (Keyword) Research

It is very important to perform keyword research on terms that you plan to run. You want to always make sure that you have terms that are relevant to the content. AdWords Traffic Estimator and Editor are useful tools that can aid in this process. These are tools that we use often in order to see search volume on specific terms and to determine whether it is a term that may be competitive in the market space. Other useful tools include, ComScore and SEObook Rank Checker. Make sure to analyze impression levels and CPCs in your keyword review - this will tell you the search volume for your terms as well as the estimated cost you can expect to pay in order to be in a prime position for your ads. In addition, you’ll also want to perform a competitive analysis, so you can see which keywords your direct competitors are bidding on. Tools like Google Trends are also useful, because you may uncover a rising search term that competitors have not yet pounced on!

2. Look At Seasonality

An important factor affecting campaigns is seasonality. If you are in high season, you can expect to see higher impression volumes, which will likely cause your CPCs to increase. For example, if the term is ‘Water Delivery’, we should expect to see an increase in impression volume during the summer months, as that is a high seasonal period for that term.

Sometimes, it can take a while for the market to respond. You will notice this if the average position for a term has not changed during a high seasonal period, even though you are seeing an influx in the Impressions and CPCs. If you happen to see a decrease in your average position even though you haven’t decreased your bid, your competitors are most likely actively bidding on the same term and may be vying for your position (or a higher one). Marketers should make sure to closely monitor this in order to gain as much impression share as possible to maximize the SERP real estate, especially for brand terms. Another way you can take a deep dive into seasonality is by reviewing your terms in Google Trends or digging into past data you have from previous years. This will tell you a great deal about specific terms and how they perform during a certain time, and will allow you to adjust budgets and bids based on high and low periods to achieve the most optimal performance.

3. Know Your Audience

If you know your audience, you can put yourself in the shoes of the user and better understand how they are likely to search. Sometimes, as marketers, we can be very systematic. In doing so, we forget the basic and most simple ways to attract a user. Start by assessing how users are searching by pulling search query reports and analyzing the terms people tend to search. This helps to build a foundation for the path to purchase or convert. Then, expand your keyword list and add additional terms that you may not have thought to bid on. This can also help you to build out negative terms or see if you are matching out to a specific term, helping you to stay relevant in the SERP and improve the rankings and overall performance of your keywords.

Having a robust keyword list isn’t just useful for making proper bids in SEM alone. A keyword list is important in several marketing tasks and should be used in every aspect for your entire marketing campaign, including creating the proper message for direct mail, helping your website rank in organic searches (SEO), delivering the perfect call to action for DRTV and much more. As search marketing continues to evolve, it is important as marketers that we are continuously reviewing our terms and thinking of additional ways to remain relevant to our audience and drive performance. Keywords matter and we should continuously strive to make sure that our keywords count!

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