Building a Strong Keyword Strategy


Published: July 17, 2017

Keywords form the foundation of every Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign. On the surface, a keyword is a simple idea: which words are your customers typing into a search engine like Google to solve a problem? Although the concept is simple, the execution can seem a little muddy. We’re here to clear that up.

Keyword Research Basics
As part of setting up a SEM campaign, we’ll take care of the research for you. But, it’s good to have an understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes so you’ll know why this step is necessary.

Identifying keywords that are relevant to your business, products, and services is easy and there are a ton of tools out there to help you expand one keyword into a list of possibilities. The complication comes in when you try to target keywords that carry intent behind them, and aren’t so competitive that you’re priced out of the advertising space. You also want to exclude any irrelevant searches so your ads aren’t annoying people who have no interest in your offerings.

For example, if you are trying to build a campaign around your pool installation services, “pool installation” seems like a nice obvious keyword. But, those words will be contained in searches for everything from DIY pool installation to “how to remove a pool installation.” Too broad and no clear intent. Plus, every pool installer in the country is probably trying to compete for those clicks.

Finding Intent
Some people are out there searching for information, others are ready to buy now. Finding keywords with the right intent behind them is essential for aligning your ads with the right audience. 

In the case of our pool installer, if you’re trying to capture the attention of those who are in the research phase of a purchase, you might want to direct them to your blog where you have several posts covering what’s involved in a pool installation. For those ready to buy, you might want to direct them to a page of special offers on your website.

You can capture the user’s intent by including words like “how to,” “buy,” “coupon,” “what’s involved with,” or “what I need to know about,” and then including a more broad keyword.

Excluding Irrelevant Searches
Keeping uninterested people from seeing your ads is accomplished by using negative keywords. Think of these as the “not” part of your keyword equation. So, if your business focuses on pool installation for hotels, community pools, and other commercial areas, you might want to exclude “home,” “residential,” or “yard” from your search results. That way, you won’t be pestering homeowners considering a small family pool. 

Rinse and Repeat
The key to getting keyword targeting right is monitoring the results of your campaign and making adjustments as you go. There’s a bit of art and creativity that goes into getting the best keywords for a campaign, but the data never lies. When the results aren’t there, keep making small changes until they are.

Categories: Search Engine Marketing
Tags: Search Engine Marketing, Keywords, Adwords
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