Using these three steps will help you identify the best keywords to maximize revenue:
Step 1: Isolate Top-Converting Keywords
Isolating your highest converting keywords is a crucial first step in finding your best keywords because these typically represent your top money-makers. Remember that your top-converting keywords can be the keywords with either the most conversions or the highest conversion rates.
• Most Conversions
The keywords that generate most of your conversions deserve extra attention and care. While this isn’t a particularly paradigm-shifting observation, it certainly bears repeating.
Your top converting keywords provide a great opportunity to test new ad text and campaign settings. Isolating high-converting keywords builds a solid foundation for testing other components like keyword bid modifiers and ad text value propositions.
• Highest Conversion Rates
Even keywords that don’t get a lot of impressions can be big revenue generators. Sorting keywords by conversion rate will help you to identify keyword phrases that are performing ahead of their counterparts. Finding ways to increase exposure for these keywords is a great way to boost conversions without needing to branch out with additional keywords.
These top-converting keywords should be used to drive PPC endeavors and tie-into SEO efforts. Your best keywords will lead the way to increased profitability.
Step 2: Filter Out Unprofitable Keywords
After isolating your best performing keywords, your next step should be to filter out your worst-performers. Removing unprofitable keywords from your account is a solid strategy for improving account profitability.
You can either sort keywords in descending order by cost or in ascending order by conversion value. If you sort keywords by cost, look at your most expensive keywords to analyze whether they’re worth the steep price. If cost-per-click (CPC) is higher than the average conversion value, turn them off. If you sort keywords by conversion value, identify keywords with low average conversion value figures relative to their CPC and turn them off as well. (Never delete these keywords, because you may want to return to them later and give them a second chance with a different approach.)
Keep in mind that conversion value itself isn’t the only indicator of profitability. You must also factor COGS into the equation. If the keyword [widget 1] has an average conversion value of $100 but it costs you $90 to produce, that keyword is going to be less profitable to advertise than [widget 2], which has an average conversion value of $20 but only costs you $2 to produce if they have the same relative CPC. So, while the strategies discussed above are a great starting point for removing unprofitable keywords, they’re certainly not a magic bullet for establishing profitability. Using the cost parameters of your specific business, you’ll need to dig deeper into the data to make smart revenue-driven decisions across your account at large.
Step 3: Identify Keywords with Low Impression Share Metrics
Once your account has been optimized for high-converting keywords and scrubbed of unprofitable keywords, shifting your focus toward keywords with low impression share metrics should be the next item on the agenda. Remember, keywords demonstrating low impression share are falling short of their revenue potential. The best ways to boost exposure are to:
• Increase Bids
A low impression share due to budget can be remedied by simply bumping up your budget and/or increasing bids. In most cases, the campaign budget is not the limiting factor holding back keywords from receiving their full impression share. Many times, the individual keyword bids are restricting impressions. The good news is that with some strategic bidding, this can easily be remedied by either increasing overall bids or by tweaking bid modifiers.
• Increase Quality Score
In instances where bids are appropriately set for the market, low quality scores can reduce ad exposure, which in turn reduces keyword impression share. By improving quality scores, ads will show more frequently for keyword phrases. Quality score is a search engine’s way of measuring the overall experience for searchers, which means that improving this experience will positively affect quality score. Using tactics like decreasing page load times, using relevant landing pages, and incorporating keywords into ad text are sure to improve quality score numbers.
• Separate into More Focused Ad Groups
Spinning top-performing keywords off into their own campaigns and ad groups gives you greater control over their performance. Being able to write ads and select advertising settings specifically for small clusters of keywords allows you to monitor performance more effectively, conduct more efficient testing, and achieve better outcomes.
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Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and two children and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!