Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh’

How Many Keywords per AdGroup?? (Hidden Costs of Google Adwords – Post #3)

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

As discussed in previous posts, if you are using Google AdWords, or plan to use it, you need to be aware of some of the default settings and features that will cause you to pay more for each click, and how to avoid those hidden charges.


The number of keywords or keyword phrases in each of your ad groups is yet another small feature that can have a BIG impact on your bottom line. (If you’d like to see how much of an impact, check out the Google Adwords Tax Calculator.)

Let’s say you have 1,000 keywords defining your products or services. You’ve put them all into one ad group and now you need to create ad copy. You should create multiple ad copy for testing and targeting. Your ad copy should reflect your keywords, but since you have 1,000 keywords stuffed in one ad group, it is impossible for your ad copy to be targeted to a specific product or service. If your ad copy doesn’t target your keywords, which should reflect the content on your landing page, your click-through-rate will decrease, which will cause your cost-per-click (or CPC) to increase.

Sadly, nothing is simple. Let me explain further.

The reason that stuffing all 1,000 keywords into one ad group will decrease your click-through-rate, is because if someone Googles your keyword, and your ad copy appears, the relevant keyword (if it’s in your ad copy!) will be bolded, which guides people to click on your ad. Testing has proved that if ad copy is relevant to what the searcher is searching for, the searcher will be more likely to click on your ad.

Not writing relevant ad copy decreases your click-through-rate, which will signal to Google Adwords that your ad is not relevant, causing your cost-per-click to INCREASE. Totally not cool.

To avoid this debacle, it is generally good practice to limit the number of keywords per ad group. There is much debate over the “right” ratio of keywords to ad group, but a good rule of thumb is to only cover the keywords of the landing page to which you are directing traffic. Which brings us to another point: Deep Linking! Don’t send searchers to your home page (unless they are seeking your brand, specifically) — send them to a specific product/service page.

For example: You are a baker and you offer five products (pastries, pies, bread, cakes, and muffins). One of your keywords is “blueberry pie”. When someone searches for “blueberry pie”, you do not want them to see ad copy that reads:

Get a bunch of baked goods here
The best bakery in Pittsburgh

Instead, your ad copy should reflect the content on the page that you are sending your paid visitors to. For example:

Our pies taste just like Grandma’s
Apple, Cherry, & Blueberry Pie -

This way, when someone searches “Blueberry Pies” – they will get precisely what they asked for, be more likely to click on your ad, and, if your website is enticing enough, be more likely to EAT YOUR PIE. Win!

All of this was a round-about-way of explaining WHY you don’t want to have all your keywords in one ad group, nor do you want to have keywords pertaining to your pastries in the same ad group as keywords pertaining to your blueberry pie.

You could even break it up further and have a landing page on your website for blueberry pies, apple pies, and cherry pies with three separate ad groups that reflect only the keywords and ad copy for that particular type of pie.

Takeaway: If you can break down each ad group to only hold 10-20 keywords, you’re doing pretty darn good.

I would love to hear your thoughts about the “right” number of keywords for an ad group, or about your experience on “The Hidden Costs of Adwords”!

If you’re really into Adwords, be sure to read my other two posts on The Hidden Costs of AdWords – In the first post I show you why keyword matching is important and in the second post, why you should be using negative keywords.

Negative Keywords (Hidden Costs of Google Adwords – Post #2)

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Negative keywords. What is this – alphabetic algebra? Not quite, but it does involve subtracting keywords out of your Google Adwords (or other pay per click) campaign. Why would you want to subtract keywords? Because it could save you a lot of money. That’s why.

Using negative keywords is an integral part of running a successful Adwords campaign. In my last post, I gave an introduction on the hidden costs of Google Adwords and discussed the importance of keyword matching. Today we’re taking keyword matching one step further with negative keywords.

Let me give an example of why you should be using negative keywords in your campaigns. (If you would like a formal definition of negative keywords, Google Adwords help section explains them).

Let’s say you sell a line of razors. Some of your razors are electric. So you use the keyword ‘electric razors’. Sounds reasonable, but what if someone is searching for an electric blanket? You still are using one of those keywords, ‘electric’, in your campaign.

In order to ensure your ad does not pop up when someone searches for ‘electric blanket’, you need to use ‘blanket’ as a negative keyword. In the below example, RotoShave, needs to incorporate the use of negative keywords into their campaign.


You’re probably wondering why not using negative keywords would cost you money, because if someone is searching for blankets, why would they click on ‘razors’, anyway? Good point, but there’s several reasons, the least likely reason being an accidental click and the more likely reason being that people misread ads. A much bigger reason, and a very hidden cost, is that having your ad appear in irrelevant search results causes your click through rate to decrease, which in turn, causes your cost-per-click to rise.

If you want to calculate how much money you’re wasting by not incorporating negative keywords, the good people from came up with this nifty Google Adwords Tax Calculator.

So how do you determine which negative keywords to use in your campaign? Do some research and a lot of thinking. Look at your analytics, for starters, to see which keywords are bringing people to your site, and which keywords you are paying for. Here is an excellent blog post on negative keyword research.

There are also some tools out there, like Wordstream’s negative keyword tool, which offers a free trial. If you know of any other tools, please post them for others in the comments.

Let’s face it – Google exists by taking your money, so you should be proactive in making sure they take as little as possible :-)

Pay Per Click Advertising — Growing Your Business in a BAD Economy

Monday, January 12th, 2009

Recently the NY Times published an article about Search Engine Optimization, and its exponential growth during a period of ever-changing technology and in an increasingly terrible economy. With the national unemployment rate at 7.2%, the highest in 16 years, this article tells us that the SEO industry is growing like crazy (read article here).

It’s great to have a popular source validate the positive effects of Search Engine Optimization and confirm that the industry will only continue to evolve and prosper. What the article fails to mention is how important Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) is to the growth and expansion of a business (any business, but small businesses, in particular). With PPC, the company controls the amount of clicks, the bidding, the monthly budget, the keywords — everything. And the search can be so extremely targeted (if the campaign is managed correctly) that ROI is a given, no matter what industry.

I recently had a potential client tell me she saw the potential effects of SEO, but couldn’t get her peers to feel the same. “The economy is so bad” she said, “that we are in survival mode”. I hear her pain, but one surefire way to gain on your competitor’s advantage, get that big client, sell that big order, is to get started with a Pay Per Click Advertising campaign.

If you’re not familiar, don’t have the resources to hire a PPC company, or are just dipping your toes in the water, a great resource for you to read comes directly from the horse’s mouth, Google Adwords.