When you begin to promote your business online, you will likely be dealing with one of three major search engine companies. Their guidelines allow you to purchase advertising and ‘buy’ keywords that you wish your ad to appear in response to th
eir being typed into the search box.
Use Keywords to Target Your Demographic
If you wish to market a particular product, like winter-wear for kids, you want to start with closely targeted keyword; ‘boy’s winter coats or ‘girls winter hats” As you see what clicks you get and what response your ads receive, you can tweak and refine your keyword list to maximize your traffic.
Ask yourself what you would type in if you were searching for a product like yours. Write down a list of all the different categories your product could fit into, and consider sales words, like best, favorite, cheap and affordable.
Consider how consumers search when choosing your keywords, and use geo-targeting to promote a physical store location by adding keywords such as Houston, Atlanta, or East Side NY to your list.
The most common way advertising charges are based on CPM, or ‘cost-per-thousand impressions’. M is the Roman numeral for a thousand, and an impression is each appearance of your ad in response to a search. A rate of $50 CPM would mean you are charged $50 for every thousand times your ad is shown. Getting the most sales out of your impressions is what keyword targeting is all about.
PPC, or pay per click is also a common form of advertising – in this case you only pay when a consumer clicks on your ad, but the cost is higher per click than impression, You want to make sure your conversion rate is high by tightly targeting your demographic.
Why Negative Keywords are Important
Negative (or excluded) keywords were originally implemented as a way for website owners to prevent their site from showing up on keyword searches. You want your site to NOT show up for searches by people not interested in your product.
If you run a website that sells exclusively baby shoes, you probably want your ad to pop up in responses to searches that include combinations of the keywords baby, toddler, shoes, first shoes, and a multitude of variations.
But what if some-one runs a search for ‘men’s shoes”? If your ad pops every time ‘shoes’ is input, this search will produce your ad as well. You will pay for these views or clicks, and have no sales prospects or conversions.
That is where the exclusion of certain keywords can help you narrow your audience to those who are interested in your product. By making men, men’s, women, women’s, ladies’and other variations non-applicable to you, the number of wasted ads will be reduced considerably. Google uses the term ‘negative’ for these keywords; Yahoo refers to them as ‘excluded’. This should increase your view to sale ratio by a good percentage.
Some trial and error may be required to find the proper balance of keywords to include or exclude so you get the most out of your advertising dollar. Simply keep trying until you achieve a high conversion rate. Make sure your ads also are crystal clear about what you sell if you are running a PPC campaign.