Use Long Tail Keywords to Be More Effective and to Reduce Cost

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PPC is a dangerous method of advertising for both beginners and experienced marketers. Experienced marketers recognize the risk and monitor their PPC campaigns closely, especially in the first hours and days of a campaign.


PPC is such a broad and comprehensive situation. It covers many aspects of marketing such as geographical location, time of day or week, networks other than Search, keyword selection, cost of keywords and keyword phrases, negatives, ad writing, landing pages, bidding, testing, click rates, conversion rates and much more.

PPC is no place for new marketers. Writing campaigns with with ads using common keywords is one problematic area.

The major search engines offering PPC are no identical. They have different guidelines and each has its own group of searchers having a different look on life. Most new marketers start with Google because that is what people tell them to do. However, Yahoo and MSN are not to be neglected.

The guidelines are long and comprehensive. They are written to keep you out of trouble and to maximize the profits of the search engine. You should read the guidelines carefully for each search engine you are using and you should obey them if you don't want to get slapped, have your campaigns halted and you even could have your site placed in one of the proverbial garbage pails.

Having said that, let's get to the topic of keywords.

Most beginners start with common keywords. They immediately find that their funds are being expanded faster than a racetrack dog. The keyword "bunny" has zipped ahead sucking up much money as it runs. The user feels that he or she has been ripped off by the search engine and quits the PPC process even before he or she gets started.

A very good friend of mine started out this way. He found which products he wanted to sell and then used article marketing to find keyword phrases that were productive. Then he went to PPC and carefully tested those keywords further. He soon had productive campaigns that remain productive to this day.

So I suggest that you carefully research your market. Join forums and talk to those of like interest. Study websites and look at their keyword density. Limit the amount you will let the PPC search engine spend on a campaign and WATCH your campaigns carefully.

And think about contacting the help personal at the PPC search engine for help. But be wise and carefully test what they tell you to do. Use only the search network to start and not associated content or other networks. Test them later if you like but do not expect to find a meaningful audience. By that I mean a profitable audience.

Selecting Keyword Phrases

The search engines have keyword tools to help you. Google has an external tool that you can access easily and most pros use it, some exclusively. It is the Google Keyword Tool External. Just type that into the address bar of your browser and the tool should easily pop up. If it doesn't, there will be plenty of links at the top of the search that will put you there.

I suggest that you think of your target as your own website. From there your reader can find links to products, etc. But in your PPC ad always point to a page of your site other than the home page. If your reader is looking for a yellow lab puppy, then give him or her your web page that has yellow lab puppies for sale. That might look like this:

I suggest that you start your keyword search using one of the keyword tools by having it search the page you are promoting. It will read your page and give you the key words it finds. Then take these keywords and put them in search mode and let the keyword tool give you a list of keywords.

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Remember that you are looking for long-tail keywords because they not only will bring you targeted searchers but also they will cost you less money.

Common keywords will cost you a bundle.

Flagpole may bring you traffic.

Bronze telescoping flagpole may bring you targeted traffic and bring you more sales.

It is not the number of clicks that is important. What is important is the number of clicks that convert to sales.

"Dog" is no good but "buy yellow lab puppy" could bring you a sale.

Last reminders: There are three ways to enter keywords from broad match to exact match. It could be wise to start with exact match so that you will not be paying for a bunch of common keywords.

How many keywords should you start with? My friends say about 15. The big companies might tell you to find 200 long-tail keywords and then have the keyword tool find you 200 more for a total of 400.

I say start small then grow. Do not place a maximum cost for all keywords. Pick each keyword and give it a value you are ready to pay.

And last (you hope), make sure there is content in your ad that the customer is looking for which includes the keyword phrases. Send the reader to a page on your site where he or she will find relevant information.

That way you, your PPC search engine, and the people who read your ad will be happy.

Oh, I suggest that you don' let the search engine put the keywords in your ad. I see too much gobbledygook from this. Well, maybe after you know the ropes.

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About The Author

John T. Jones, Ph.D., a retired college professor and business executive, former editor of an international engineering magazine. Writer, novelist, painter of landscapes. Lots of grand-kids.

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