Keyword Strategy for PPC: Baby Steps

Pay Per Click Word Cloud
We’re working on a new ebook about paid search advertising for car dealerships, but before it hits the digital presses we thought we’d give you a preview of what’s to come. If you’re setting up your first automotive PPC campaign, then there are a few things you will need to know, and keyword strategy is an important first step.

There are nearly endless combinations of ways that people can enter a search phrase in Google. That’s why, when you’re bidding on keywords in Google Adwords, you have the choice of three match types to determine when your ads show up on search results pages:

Video Via Google.

1. Exact Match

If you bid on an exact match keyword, a searcher will have to type in the exact same phrase (no more, no less) into Google before your ad will appear.

Say you bid for the exact match search phrase “chrome rims chevy ssr.” Someone would have to type that exact phrase into the Google search before your ad appears. If they typed “chrome rims chevy ssr truck,” your ad wouldn’t appear because of the additional word (truck).

2. Phrase Match

Phrase match is a little more forgiving. As long as the search phrase you bid on (in the exact order your bid on) appears somewhere in a user’s search, your ad will get served up by Google.

When you bid on “chrome rims chevy ssr” and someone searches “chrome rims chevy ssr truck,” your ad still has the potential to be served up.

3. Broad Match

Broad match lets you play fast and lose with your keywords, but just like a drunken gunman in the wild west, broad match can be dangerous because it isn’t accurate.

Synonyms, plurals, and singular forms of works all count in broad match. For example, if you chose broad match and someone searches “chrome wheels chevy ssr” they may still be served your ad.

Putting It Together

A successful keyword strategy uses broad match and phrase match keywords initially to bring in traffic for the purpose of testing which keywords are converting well, and then setting those proven keywords to exact match to filter out the qualified traffic.

Testing to further refine your keywords for qualified traffic is like panning for gold. You need to sift through a lot of poorly performing keywords to find the gold, high-converting ones, and then set those keywords to exact match.

If there’s one lessen you should take away before you pull out the guns, click off the safety, and start shooting keywords into your PPC campaign, it’s this:

Don’t be deceived by the quantity of traffic you’re getting with broad match keywords. Often you can be ranking for terms totally irrelevant to your business and wasting money.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t use broad match—It’s just important to monitor what search queries are coming through if you use broad match, and to add negative keywords when needed.

We’ll cover more strategies, negative keywords, account structure, and metics for measuring performance in our upcoming PPC ebook. See you there!

127 thoughts on “Keyword Strategy for PPC: Baby Steps

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