Keywords: the foundation of successful SEA campaigns

Numerous blogs and books on the topic of search engine advertising provide tips for successful AdWords campaigns. Everyone agrees that an AdWords campaign requires careful planning in advance. This could begin, for example, with defining the targeting. In which languages and regions should the ads be displayed? Which target audience (interests, age, and gender) should be addressed? Should mobile devices or even the user’s current location be taken into account?

Careful analysis and ongoing optimization of keywords has top priority. It is important to focus and determine what the users’ true interests are as well as the precise keywords that these users will enter for their search. One challenge is the fact that users often use different terms for their searches than the companies use for their offering. Numerous keyword analysis tools can help gain a “view from the outside”. This should be used for ongoing optimization throughout the entire campaign, because the quality of keywords can quickly fluctuate.

Keywords are generally divided into three categories:

  1. Required keywords, which the competition also has great interest in.
    Example: bedding.
  2. Keywords, that seem to match the subject and achieve clicks, but don’t achieve the goal because the users are actually looking for something else.
    Example: “Asia”, which could often point users interested in travel to sites offering bedding with Asian patterns.
  3. Keywords not yet recognized by competitors that incur relatively little costs, but achieve clicks and the desired results.
    Example: “Futon” could point users interested in Japanese beds to Asian bedding offerings, which they could very well also find interesting.

The fact that Google values content should also be taken into consideration. Both the ad text and the content of the linked pages have to match the keywords entered. Otherwise the cost-per-click (CPC) will increase to unprofitable amounts. On the other hand, matching content is rewarded with lower cost-per-click and the same or even higher rankings. Therefore it is important to optimize the existing content of the website to reflect the search terms or develop special landing pages.

Good landing pages are also important to achieve good conversion rates. The invested time and money is only worth it if the visitors gained via AdWords actually find what they are looking for on the website and the defined goal (e.g. purchase, request for information or contact) is achieved. And internet users are exceptionally impatient in this regard. If they do not find the required information within seconds, they will leave the site and continue searching.

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