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So you’ve spent a fortune on search engine marketing, but you’re not getting the results that you had hoped for. You think you’ve covered all your bases and no search entries could possibly escape the broad net you’ve thrown out. Understanding how people search could be the first step to significantly improving your results.
The real magic in search engine marketing lies in the user telling the search engine exactly what they are looking for: ‘pizza in Randburg’; ‘cheap flights to Paris’; ‘quality diamond rings’ – these are all things people search for on Google and they are called queries. By understanding queries, one can begin to understand what people are really looking for.
A user will click on your advertisement if it is line with what they searched for and the key attraction is to make sure your ads are relevant to their search queries. After all, you created your website to fulfil a need in society. This is what makes search advertising distinctly different from conventional advertising: while traditional advertising can target a demographic at best, search marketing can actually target a user’s intent.
Many newcomers to search engine marketing soon find out that there are multiple match ‘types’ when it comes to the queries that they bid on. Traditionally, the three types used are ‘broad’; ‘phrase’ and ‘exact’ match. By placing a keyword on a certain match type, it affects the relevancy of the keyword, the keywords it can expand into, and the price of the keyword.
To explain the concept, we will use a game reserve as an example:
- Broad match allows your ads to show on as many variations of your keyword as possible. For example: the keyword ‘safari’ on broad match would show ads when users type in ‘Safari in Kruger Park’ , ‘Game Reserve’ as well as potentially damaging queries like: ‘sex with animals’ and even ‘bestiality.’ In the former, the user is looking for a safari holiday in the Kruger National Park and the advertisement may have some relevance, in the latter example, the keyword is totally irrelevant to the user’s query as they’re not interested in a conventional safari at all:
This relevancy (or lack thereof) affects the price of the keyword, the less relevant the keyword is, the more it costs:
- Broad match keywords serve as a great starting point for advertisers who are unsure of the keywords used when their product is being searched for. They reach the widest audience possible and in doing so the relevancy is of a lower quality to the phrase and exact match keywords resulting in greater costs per click.
- Phrase match allows your ad to show if the user has used the keyword you have chosen as part of their query. For example: the keyword ‘safari in Kruger’ on phrase match would show ads when users type in ‘Safari in Kruger Park’, ‘cheap safari in Kruger’ and ‘Safari in Kruger’ but would not show for ‘Kruger Park Safari’ or ‘Kruger Safari’. By using phrase match you have more control over where your ads show and where they do not; this increases the relevancy of the advert, the more relevant that is, the less you pay per click.
- Exact match is where the true value in search engine marketing lies. By choosing to have your keywords on exact match, your ad only shows when the user types that exact word into the search engine. For example: the keyword ‘Ulusaba Private Game Reserve’ on exact match would show ads only when users type in the exact word: ‘Ulusaba Private Game Reserve’ and not in any other instance. The result of this is that the relevancy is extremely high resulting in very low costs per click.
The cost of the irrelevance of the keyword is measured in the cost-per-click (CPC) that the advertiser pays. Google rewards advertisers for showing relevant ads to users who, in turn, click on them. The more often an ad is clicked on, the higher its click through rate (CTR).
- Click through rate is the major determining factor in how much advertisers pay to have their ad clicked on when users search in Google – the higher the CTR, the less your CPC.
This method of advertising allows advertisers to sell their products to people who are looking for them in a very efficient, controlled and investment friendly manner.
Every step along the way is the idea to increase the relevancy of your adverts which lowers the costs of your advertising; catching less queries by accident and more queries that fulfil the purpose of your site.