The first step in starting a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) account is creating a PPC keyword list. It was defined as the foundation or the bread and butter of any PPC account. Keywords are the words or phrases your customers would use when searching for your product or service. PPC blogs and articles provide different techniques on how to create keyword list, the right approach in PPC keyword research and the best way of choosing the right keywords.
However, as you go through in setting your account up and running, you will realize it doesn’t end in having that final keyword list. You will need to optimize your account and optimizing will mean keeping the high performing keywords. It will require removing, pausing and adding new keywords which may lead for you to have a whole new keyword list.
If you are new in managing PPC accounts, you might have wonder why you need to go through optimizing your keywords since you had already chose the best keyword list possible. We will clear some of those confusions.
1. Why you have to add new keywords?
As you gather enough data with your account, Google AdWords offers the Search Term Report function that will provide the specific words or phrases the customers used in searching for your product or service. This report will give you new keyword ideas to add in your account. These new keywords may gather more traffics or clicks since you get an idea on how customers think and what words they usually use in searching.
2. Why you need to pause keywords?
Pause those under-performing keywords. This action varies in different situations:
Pause those keywords with a status of “Low search volume”.
Unless they have clicks you can give more time for them to perform well. But usually, keywords with this status don’t have any click. You can just pause these keywords to make your account look clean. AdWords Best Practices described low search volume keywords as waste of space in your campaign. You need to give keywords a week or 8 days of running before considering them to pause.
Pause those keywords with very low Click-Through Rate (CTR)
CTR determines the relativity of your keywords to your ads. The ideal CTR is 1 % and those keywords with CTR below it did not perform well. You can consider pausing these keywords since it can affect your Quality Score that will determine your ad’s position on the search page. Low CTR with low quality score will result to low Ad Rank.
Review those keywords with low Quality Score
In this step, I recommend review your ads and keywords first for you to identify what can be done to improve your Quality Score. The ideal quality score is 5 and above. Low quality score means your keyword is not relevant enough with your ads. You can consider optimizing your ads first. After experimenting with ads and your keywords did not generate high quality score, you need to pause them.
Pause keywords with high clicks but did not generate conversions
The main goal of every campaign is to generate conversions that will lead to Return–on –investment (ROI). You may think that those with high clicks are performing well but those which did not lead to any conversions may only cause you expenses. Pausing these keywords will allow you to focus your budget on profitable keywords.
3. Why you need to remove your keywords?
The truth is, removing keywords is not really an option in optimizing accounts. It is on the best practices that it would be better if you only pause those keywords that did not perform well so you can go back to them if you are expanding your campaigns. Google AdWords gives you the control to undo your changes but it is only for the span of twenty-four hours after your changes had done. Removing them will mean deleting them permanently.
Unless you have keywords conflicting with negative keywords, you can consider removing them right away.
When I was new in managing accounts, I was hesitant to pause or remove those keywords in my initial list. I was thinking they may generate traffic and conversions in the long run. But as I go through optimizing accounts, I realized it would be better to have fewer keywords that will give you high amount of Return-on-investment than having a lot of keywords that may lead to high expenses.