If you are like most internet marketing entrepreneurs these days, you are taking full advantage of advertising with the major search engines to increase the amount of traffic coming to your site. After all, even if you have the greatest product around, the best website layout and design going – if you don’t have traffic coming to your site–it’s “just a pretty site”. Getting traffic to your site has to be a high priority to be successful on the internet. Advertising campaigns on the major search engines is a major strategy and technique of getting that traffic to your site.
So one you’ve made that decision, you are quickly faced with the next challenge. It simply not as easy as it might sound. Sure, if you have the money, you can immediately get millions of hits coming to your site. Getting targeted traffic quickly becomes your next big challenge. After all, the secret to this type of advertising is reducing your cost-per-click (CPC) and maximizing (increasing) your overall return-on-investment (ROI).
The best technique to achieve this is proper application of “keyword matching” options. There are four different methods of making sure your ad campaign is targeted to your intended audience and potential clients. These are: broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative keyword matching. A general description of each is as follows:
Broad Match: As a starting place, broach matching is the default option for most of the search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, etc). When you include a general keyword or keyword phrase in your keyword list your ads will appear and return several variations of the search term. For example if a user’s query contained baseball cap, the ads would return the words baseball and cap, in any order, and possibly other terms. The ads will also automatically show up for expanded matches (including plural variations of the terms). Because broad matches are sometimes less targeted than exact or phrase matches, you should create keyword phrases containing at least two descriptive words each. You can also try the keyword tool and the other three matching options to further refine your targeting. Finally, keep in mind that other advertisers may have bid for the same broad-matched keyword combinations that trigger your ads, increasing your actual CPC amounts. Using exact, phrase, or negative matches can help you keep your costs low. Phrase Match – If you enter your keyword in quotation marks, as in “baseball cap,” your ad will appear when a user searches on the phrase baseball cap, in this order, and possibly with other terms in the query. For example, your ad will appear for the query fitted baseball cap but not for caps for baseball. Phrase matching is more targeted than broad matching, but slightly more flexible than exact matching. To ensure your ads are as targeted as they can be, you may want to include at least two descriptive words in your keyword phrases.
Exact Match – If you surround your keywords in brackets-such as [baseball cap]-your ads will appear when users search for the specific phrase baseball cap, in this order, and without any other terms in the query. For example, your ad won’t show for the query fitted baseball cap. Exact matching is the most targeted option. Although you won’t receive as many impressions with exact matching, you’ll likely enjoy the most clicks, because users searching for terms in this manner typically want precisely what your business has to offer.
Negative Keyword – If your keyword is baseball cap and you add the negative keyword -fitted, your ad will not appear when a user searches on fitted baseball cap. You can apply this option for a keyword at both the Ad Group and campaign level.
And if you think about it – it is a “win/win” situation for you and the potential clients who are not being taken by the search engines to sites that are unrelated to what they were searching for in the first place. Since you gain no benefit from paying for clicks by internet searchers that are not interested in your products/services —it becomes an ideal situation for both you and your potential clients. Being aware of and properly applying these simple techniques will ensure that you get the greatest bang for your advertising buck, while increasing your “targeted” traffic.
To learn more about the benefits of keyword matching options, look for the frequently asked question section of the search engine application you are using.