Picking Keywords for Adwords Campaigns

This has been a tougher week for me in terms of accomplishing the B250 assignments. We’ve been focused on picking the keywords we’ll use for our Adwords campaigns, and I have to admit that it was more confusing for me that I’d hoped. Picking keywords is not a new topic for me; I’ve done it many, many times when creating niche sites to determine the content and do on-page SEO. But it’s a little more nerve wracking for me this time around, and I think it’s because of level of control I personally have over the results.

Finding the right keywords.

With SEO, I have very little control over the Google algorithm. It shows my site when and where it seems appropriate and it’s always a crap-shoot based on so many factors outside of my ability to control. With paid advertising, I can completely fine tune when and where my website appears. It’s much more of a science and requires a heavier hand from me.

I think I initially tried to over-complicate this process. It is still intent-driven marketing, just like SEO. That means that whether the visitor is coming to a page on my site from clicking on an ad or whether they clicked on an organic search result, they still have expectations when they arrive. That means the content should match up with the intent of the visitor so they are more likely to convert into a affiliate link click-through.

The biggest challenge for me is learning the Adwords system. I’ve used the keyword planner before, but the actual act of creating campaigns, adgroups, ads, etc. then monitoring and tweaking them is new territory for me. I’m glad to be learning this and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

One thing I’ve been confused over is the use of broad match vs exact match keywords. This wasn’t a concept I considered much when picking words for SEO, other than the fact that I used a narrow match setting to determine search potential for a specific keyword, just because it gave me a baseline market size. In Adwords you can tell the system to trigger your ad based on match type. Broader matching will show your ad to more people, but the clicks will be less focused on your actual keywords. Narrow, or exact match, will trigger your ad less frequently but result in more targeted clicks. Based on Bro. Poole’s advice, I really think exact match is the best starting point. If I require more traffic later I can tweak the settings for broader reach. I didn’t initially understand this, but I think I’ve got a much better grasp on it now.

We created and categorized a list of keywords this week. I did it twice because I feel like I screwed up the first time. My initial list was generally too broad: I was supposed to be focusing on inflatable kayaks and instead had put together a list that included all kayaks in general. Eventually I will branch out into broader categories of kayaks, but my site isn’t ready for that yet. So I had to go back and create and categorize a list that was specific only to inflatables. I feel better about the new list because it’s more manageable and relevant to the content that I currently have available on KayaKaroo.

That said, I need to spend some time adding a few more pages that correspond to the keyword themes I’ve arranged (inflatable fishing kayaks, inflatable tandem kayaks, etc.). There are several themes that I hadn’t considered creating unique content for, but looking at it now it completely makes sense to do so. I’ve got a page that compares and reviews the best inflatable kayaks in general, and there is a keyword group theme that makes sense for sending traffic to that page, but I want other more relevant content for the other themes. So I’ll be doing that over the day or two.