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Lesson #19: Never Put More Than One Keyword Type In the Same Ad Group or Campaign

June 13, 2012
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Earlier this week, we discussed the four different types of keywords: brand, non-brand/generic, competitive and long-tail. Since long-tail keywords can fall under any of the other three categories though, for today’s discussion, we will only refer to the three main keyword types: brand, non-brand/generic and competitive.

When it comes to these types of keywords, never put more than one keyword type in the same ad group as each other, or even the same campaign. Each keyword type demands a different keyword strategy, bidding strategy, and, most likely, a budget. In addition, each keyword type will perform differently from one another – by separating them into their own campaigns, the best performing keywords will benefit while the worst performing keywords will have the least effect.

To explain in greater detail: Brand keywords generally have the best performance and the highest quality score, as they are most directly relevant to the content on the site and the place a user searching for a brand term is most likely to click. As a result, they have low CPCs, high CTRs, and lead to great account history. All the benefits of their strong performance serve to lower the CPCs of all the keywords and ads in their campaign.

Competitive or conquesting keywords tend to perform the least well. The opposite of brand terms, they are the least relevant to a site’s content, and searchers are least likely to click on them. Consequently, their low quality score and poor performance history can (and will) hurt whichever campaign and account contains them.

So mitigate the damage by putting competitive keywords and brand keywords in separate campaigns from one another. The strong performance of the brand keywords will continue to help them, driving the CPC down further, while not being tainted by the poor performance of the competitive keywords.

Generic or Non-Brand keywords are generally more expensive than brand terms. They are more plentiful and competition on the terms is greater. In addition, the budget for non-brand keywords may be different from the budget for brand keywords. Given all of the above, it is again best to separate the generic keywords into their own campaigns.

 

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Lesson #18: Bidding on Brand Keywords

June 12, 2012
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To bid or not to bid? That is the question. Bidding on an advertiser’s own brand keywords is a very contentious topic within the SEM community. However, from every test I’ve seen, bidding on your own brand keywords is not only the best practice – it makes a significant difference when it comes to ROI.

Advertisers that show up in both the paid and organic results for their brand terms receive an average of a 20% increase in their KPIs versus only relying on the organic results, as repeated tests show. A weaker brand might even see a competitor showing up on their brand term searches, usurping some of their traffic. In addition, the absolute control over the ad’s message that a paid search ad provides allows the advertiser to promote sales, new features, new branding, or anything else that the advertiser is trying to push.

Clicks on brand terms are also cheap. After two weeks or so, an advertiser should expect to pay well under a dollar for clicks on their brand terms, due to the high quality score that will be assigned to them. As a result, the cost per conversion or acquisition on brand terms is usually extremely low. Even if the profit is not as great as the no-cost-to-the-advertiser (100% profit), an advertiser is still likely looking at receiving 90-99% profit, depending on the cost of the item and the conversion rate.

Don’t believe me? Feel free to test for yourself or debate in the comments section below. But until convinced otherwise, I strongly recommend, for the reasons above, that advertisers bid on their own brand terms.

paid search bullseye

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Background: The Four Different Types of Keywords

June 11, 2012
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Not only are there a variety of keyword match types, but there are also different types or categories of keywords that are commonly used to help classify the different keywords within an account. Understanding the four different types of keywords will make it much easier to understand and plan the strategy for an account.

The different types of keywords, their definitions, and examples are as follows:

Brand Keywords – Brand keywords are keywords that contain the advertisers brand name (or brand terms, such as a slogan or trademark).

ex. Digital4startups

Non-Brand or Generic Keywords – Non-Brand keywords, also known as Generic keywords, do not contain the company’s brand term in them, nor do they contain the brand name of any other companies. These are generally the higher volume keywords.

ex. Digital marketing, search marketing, learn digital marketing

Conquesting Keywords – Conquesting keywords are keywords that contain a competitors name, product number/model, slogan, or anything else that would be immediately identified as being a competitor’s. More information on conquesting keywords.

ex. Search Engine Land, Google Adwords

Long-Tail Keywords – Long-Tail keywords are keywords containing 3 or more words that are lower volume terms. However, if a user were to search for one of these queries, the content being provided would likely be relevant to them. Long-tail keywords can include keywords for a specific article, media mention, or product. Long-tail keywords can overlap with any of the other keyword types.

ex. different types of keywords, adwords keyword match types, how to learn digital marketing best practices

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