Four Simple Keyword Targeting Tactics to Improve Web Traffic

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Keyword targeting tactics ensure that anyone clicking on an ad is ready to buy what the ad is selling. They include phrase matching and the use of negative keywords.

These four simple keyword targeting tactics will help any AdWords user improve the quality of the traffic that their Google ads generate for their website. It is very easy to blow thousands of dollars on ineffective keywords that provide a lot of traffic but no paying customers.

These techniques are not complex but they will provide higher quality website traffic to any online advertiser that utilizes them.

The Secret of Using Brackets and Quotes for Keyword Optimization

Three effective techniques for phrase matching are described in this section. The use of phrase matches and exact matches in a keyword list can cut down on the riff-raff traffic that an ad generates by making sure the ad is only displayed under certain conditions. The keywords and phrases in a keyword list can be broken down into three types:

  • Broad-matched keywords
  • Phrase matches
  • Exact matches

Broad-matched keywords are not surrounded by delimiters (i.e. buy a hot tub, hot tub covers, jacuzzis). These keywords need to be controlled with negative keywords, or else the AdWords software will display the ads during unwanted searches.

Phrase matches are keywords with quotes around them (i.e. “buy a hot tub”, “hot tub covers”, “jacuzzis”). These quotes will make the ad appear only on results pages for searches that contain these words in the order displayed, without any other words in between.

For example, an ad with the keyword “buy a hot tub” will be shown on searches for “where can i buy a hot tub?” or “buy a hot tub and cover” but not on the search “buy a used hot tub”.

Exact matches are placed with square brackets around them (i.e. [but a hot tub], [hot tub covers], [jacuzzis]). Ads with keyword list containing these phrases will only be displayed on searches when a user types in the whole phrase in the exact order.

Negative Keywords Cut Unwanted Traffic Out of Search Marketing

Negative keywords are words entered into a keyword list that trigger an instant disqualification when the AdWords software is deciding whether to place a specific ad on a search result page. For example, the owner of a business that sells hunting knives, after searching “hunting knives on the Google Keyword Tool, will find a number of results for kitchen, pocket and throwing knives. He will want to add the following keyword list of every ad in the hunting knives campaign:

  • -kitchen
  • -pocket
  • -throwing
  • -free

The minus sign tells the AdWords software not to show any of the hunting knives ads on result pages for searches that include the word kitchen, throwing, or free. Unless a site offers free samples or services, it’s always a good idea to list free as a negative keyword. This will make sure that all of the customers clicking on ad will be looking to actually buy something.

By using delimiters on keywords an advertiser can filter the types of search results on which their ads appear. Negative keywords also restrict the types of search results on which an ad will appear and will ensure that anyone who clicks an ad will be interested in what the advertiser is selling.

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