PPC can be an important part of an overall search engine marketing plan, it’s time to get back to the topic of AdWords. I hope you enjoyed the brief break and a couple of different topics, I know I did.  But it’s time to get back to the task I started a few weeks ago and continue our tour through Google AdWords.

It’s been a while so lets do a quick review of the previous posts:

In part one we talked about some of the reasons it makes sense for businesses to implement a Pay Per Click program.  In addition to the fact that it may just be profitable, there are added benefits of instant gratification, increased brand awareness, and it can be a good testing ground for keywords.  Part two provided an overview of setting up a Google AdWords account; the big take away here is that it’s important to do the research before you jump into setting up your first campaign.  Market Discovery was the focus of part three.  The most important question to ask yourself while you’re evaluating keywords during this part of the process is, Would a person searching on this term be a potential customer?”  and make a “yes” or potential keyword list and a “no” or negative keyword list.

Ok, now that we’re caught up, lets move onto the notion of establishing keyword buckets.  Think of each bucket as a market segment and you want to fill it with closely related keywords.  Up until now, you’ve been doing research with the match type set to broad, the time has come to toggle it to[exact] (if you are creating a test for a local search leave the match type as broad since other wise you won’t be able to generate enough traffic to test adequately).

In addition to scanning the list for good keywords you’ll want to also take note of the local search trends to get an idea about the seasonality of a term.  It’s a good idea to be aware of seasonality so you can budget accordingly.  You’re going to pay more for search phrases related to Caribbean vacations in January than you are in August.  Approximate CPC (cost per click) is a rough average of how much it will cost you each time someone clicks on an ad.  Keep in mind that the more attractive your ads and landing pages, the better your campaign will perform, and you’ll spend less than competitors who are less appealing.

"adwords interface exact match keyword results"

The two phrases that jump out at me are “cheap Caribbean vacations” and “Caribbean vacation deals,”  both have decent search volume, the CPC won’t break the bank, and that’s what we sell!

Now it’s time to fill the buckets! Go back to the keyword tool, enter both search phrases into the search box and click on Search (be sure you keep the match phrase set to exact).

Now you have an expanded list of terms and whala, the third phrase” cheap Caribbean vacations all inclusive” wasn’t part of the first list. Make your way through the list and put a check mark next to the phrases that are desirable and then download them into excel.  It’s a good idea to review the list from AdWords one more time in the excel format and be sure to eliminate any words you don’t want to include.

Guess what?  We’re finally ready to create the bucket test campaign and we can use it to do some real testing before we spend a lot of money.

In the next post we’ll talk about the specifics of setting up the bucket test campaign in the AdWords tool.

Until then,