Finding the right keywords for your PPC

Finding the right keywords for your PPC
9 September 2014 | | Pay Per Click

The most successful PPC campaigns all feature quality keyword imagesresearch within their management— choosing the best keywords to bid on that are most likely to result in clicks and conversions.

Keyword research is part science and part art. It’s about using tools available, but also understanding your patients and potential patients and predicting which terms they’re actually typing into the search box. That’s the best way to ensure that your ads show up at the right time and in the right place: when they’re searching for the kinds of treatments or services your practice offers.

Here’s how to find, refine and build a durable, cost effective and successful keyword research list.

Getting Started: Brainstorming a list

The absolute starting point should be the landing pages that your ads will be linking to. Begin by scanning each page and harvest relevant keywords from the text. Assuming your landing page is well written and has relevant copy to begin with, then there should be enough material to put together a comprehensive list that directly relates to the treatment or service you’re targeting.

Keywords can be broadly organised into the following terms:

  • Brand terms – any keyword containing your brand name and trademarked terms.
  • Generic terms – term relating to products or services offered.
  • Related terms – terms that don’t directly relate to what you’re selling, but that users who want your treatments or services may be searching for.
  • Competitor terms – the brand names of competitors who offered similar treatments and services to you.
  • Location terms – terms that reflect the locations you want to appear for based on where you are, but also can include.

NB: Bidding on a competitors brand terms tends not to be very cost effective as the keywords tend to be expensive, and in our experience a patient looking for your competitor by brand name is unlikely to be swayed by your ad at this point.

Its important to get into brainstorming mode at this point:

Put yourself into your patients shoes. What words or queries would they need to type (or speak) into a search box to bring them to your website?

Start with broad keywords, and move to the specific. For example:

missing teeth> treatment for missing teeth > dental implants for missing teeth

Include variations and synonym in a keyword list. Most people will search for ‘teeth whitening’, but some search for ‘tooth whitening’. Include both.

Long tail keywords can be your big winners. Including broad or ‘head’ terms such as ‘Dental Implants’ will get the highest search volume – however a broad keyword like this most likely attracts a patient doing their research; someone shopping around for the best price. Ensuring a campaign includes long-tail keywords means you are more likely to attract the patient who is ready to commit to the treatment. You may not get the search volume but someone searching for ‘dental implant treatment with sedation’ is clearly looking for a dentist who can provide this much needed service.

On the above note, dont be afraid to think about even longer tail keywords or even keywords that fulfill a voice-led search. i.e ‘Where is my nearest dentist’.

Expand and Refine your list with research tools

When you have your list of keywords the next step is to test them and receive the necessary data to define your list. Using Googles Keyword Planner (included in Adwords) you’ll be able to see which keywords are working, which are failing and begin to develop new opportunities.

Using the search volume will tell you how many people are searching for your keywords. Ideally the higher the better, but we also want conversions/click-through, so search volume must correlate with an appropriate level of engagement by clicks.

Additionally, the Keyword Planner provides a “Competition” rank of high, medium, or low. A high competition rating means that more advertisers are bidding on these terms, which means you’ll have to pay more to get your ad to the top positions.

High-volume, low-competition keywords are the sweet spot you should be
looking for — keywords that will drive substantial traffic without costing you a fortune

If keywords have little or no search volume, or the competition is so high that the cost
of bidding on that keyword would eat up your budget too quickly, drop them from the
list. Using the keyword tool you should be able to prune back certain keywords while
discovering new terms that you hadn’t thought of.

Sorting and organising your PPC keywords

Working with the Keyword list at this point provides an opportunity to sort your list into  groups of keywords that closely relate to one another. This will form your Ad groups.

The tighter and more focused your ad groups are, the easier it will be to:

  • Measure the performance of each keyword
  • Prune or expand your lists if necessary
  • Create highly specific and relevant ads

And crucially, small, targeted organised ad groups increase the success of any PPC ad. Well-organised campaigns have more relevance, and higher relevance leads to higher Quality Scores, which simultaneously increase your ad rankings and reduce what you pay for each click and each conversion. Healthy PPC accounts always have healthy Quality Scores, and strong keyword organisation can go a long way toward improving your scores.

Don’t forget to add negative keywords

These are the search terms that you don’t want your ads to show up for, and they’re an important part of any campaign, because they help control costs and keep your ad targeting as relevant as possible.

The main reason to include negative keywords is to prevent your ads — and, by extension, your brand — from showing up alongside search queries that are irrelevant or offensive.

For example, and ad for ‘dental implants’ would need to include ‘breast’ and other associated keywords as a negative keyword.

Here are some tips for finding negative keywords for your PPC campaign:

1) Keep an eye on your search query reports. This is a great way to find out what searchers are looking for when Google serves your ad. If you see words in
your search query report that you know are not a good fit for your account, set them as negatives before you run the risk of showing for them again.

2. Know your negative match types. As a general rule of thumb, use broad match negatives to disqualify any query that contains your negative term, such as “free.”

3. Explore negative keyword options before your campaign goes live. The more negatives you set before a campaign goes live, the more cash you’ll save
right off the bat.

4. Remember that you can apply multi-level negatives. Chances are, you will identify some negatives that are good fits across multiple ad groups or campaigns.

5. Don’t go overboard! Negatives are an important aspect of any PPC campaign, but an improperly used negative can hurt your account and kill your impression
volume. As you set each negative, be sure that, should a searcher use that term,
it is highly unlikely that they would convert on your site.

And finally…

Your not going to  discover every keyword you should bid on (or exclude) in PPC on the first go. So keep going! ideally you can do a little bit of keyword research (adding new keywords, setting new negatives, or experimenting with new match types) every week. Over time, your account will get stronger and more relevant because of it.

…or, if you haven’t the time contact Dental Design on 01202 677277 to discuss your keyword strategy and how we can help to management this for you.

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