Product names are the most basic forms of keywords, which means two things – you have to use them, and using them won’t set you apart from your competitors. Creating keywords around product names is where you should have started when you first began running PPC ads, but if you didn’t there’s no need to fret. You can always add product names now to your ad groups.
Each industry has its own slang and abbreviations that people use when referring to or searching for products. Using these in your keywords is a great way to get your products in front of an educated audience that understands exactly what you’re offering. Obviously, you don’t want to only use insider lingo for your keywords, because doing so can keep your ads out of the reach of your entire target audience, but these types of keywords can expand your keyword list substantially.
Plurals & Misspellings
There’s a box you can check in your settings to allow Google to automatically show your ads for close keyword variations like plurals and common misspellings, but checking this box isn’t enough. Manually including variations in your keyword list allows you to analyze the performance of each variation separately to make more informed decisions about which keywords you want to bid on and where you want to set your bids.
Many advertisers overlook the value of bidding on branded keywords because they assume they will already rank well for them organically, and would rather not pay for these terms if they can bring in traffic organically. The reality though, is that they may not rank as well as they think for all of their branded terms, and even if they do, they can still lose out on valuable search traffic by refusing to bid on them. By including branded terms in your PPC keyword list, you’re increasing the odds that your ad and also your organic listing will appear on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in two locations rather than one. This means more real estate on each SERP will belong to your company, effectively boxing out your competitors. If that doesn’t have you convinced, consider the fact that your competitors may already be bidding on your branded terms, which means that searchers who are specifically looking for your company are being presented with another company’s ads before your organic listing. This can steal significant traffic away from your site!
As already mentioned, your competitors are probably bidding on your branded terms already. As someone once said, all is fair in love and war and PPC (okay, so we just made that up). But this means that you may want to bid on your competitors’ branded terms to divert some traffic away from their sites to yours. (Just to clarify, you shouldn’t use competitors’ names in your ads, because this may cause your ads to be disapproved due to trademark infringement, but using other companies’ names in your keywords is perfectly safe.)
Location-based searching is more common than ever before. People are increasingly searching for “widgets near me” or “widgets in Michigan” or “West Michigan widgets.” Why not use this search trend to your advantage? Using locations within your keywords can help you to get more traffic for less money. These terms are often much cheaper than their non-location-based counterparts and tend to result in higher conversion rates. Look at Google Analytics and your PPC data to find out where your traffic and clicks are coming from and then use these locations in your keywords. You can also sift through your PPC search queries to see which locations are already getting used in searches related to your products. You may find that people are searching for “widgets Atlanta” or “New England widgets,” which means that these terms provide significant opportunity for your business.
Some consumers might be looking for a solution to problems that they have but may not know the names of the products you’re selling. If your products solve these problems, then there is a match between a searcher’s intent and how your product can be used, which means that you want your ads to display for their searchers. For instance, you may sell a specific brand of fitness band that’s particularly accurate at tracking a wide variety of exercises. So if someone searches for “fitness band for triathlons” or “waterproof fitness band” or “best fitness band for athletes” you want your product to show up. Create use-related keywords and then test them to determine which ones perform best. You can always tweak or pause keywords as needed to meet conversion goals.
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, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!