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Optimize your Google Adwords campaign for motivated visitors



Most people who spent money on Google AdWords and studied the traffic behavior carefully can tell you the same story.

  1. Someone clicks on your ad 2-4 times in just a few minutes but not staying one single second on your site. They are mostly bored and have nothing better to do than clicking on ads.
  2. Someone clicks on your ad just to leave your site immediately and never come back. Your site simply didn't match their expectations.

PPC campaigns usually attract less motivated visitors than organic listings so this is a common problem.

If you seek publicity and have a large budget this may be good and well but if you like most small businesses are on a shoestring budget you must deal with it properly.

How can you prevent these people from giving away your money to Google and Adsense sites?

The answer is to focus on relevancy and to select very specific keywords.


1. Make a very thorough keyword research

Walk the extra mile when you do keyword research. Don't stop after a list of 5-50 keywords, create a list of hundreds or perhaps even thousands of keywords. There are many tools that easily can generate huge lists of relevant keywords so there is no good excuse for not doing it.

Don't throw away similar but irrelevant keyword phrases because you'll need them later. Just keep them in a separate list for now.


2. Select very specific keyword phrases

If you only sell CANON DSLR cameras but your ad also pops up for CANON Video camera searches, you are not specific enough. Instead of using a few generic words you should create an extensive list with very specific keyword phrases that together covers all wanted variations of the parent keyword.

Each of the keywords might only generate a small stream of traffic but together they grow to a big river. Every now and then you will also uncover an underground waterfall generating lots of traffic almost for free.


3. Use negative keywords

Your ads for "high-end Widget services" should not pop up when a bargain hunter searches for "free Widget services".

Your list of similar but irrelevant keywords is now very useful. Use the list to identify keywords you don't want your ads to show up for. Google AdWords allows you to enter negative keywords to prevent your ads from popping up for the wrong search terms.


4. Use [exact] or "phrase" match

Using broad match will give you more clicks but also more unwanted clicks. You don't need broad match if you use the extensive and very specific list you created in step 2.

Check your log files and you can see that your ads shows up for some pretty weird and totally unrelated search terms if you use broad match. Always use exact or phrase match for the majority of your keywords. Only use broad match when the risk for "false" impressions is low.


5. Match the ad copy with the keywords in the Ad Group

Group similar keyword phrases into Ad Groups and create ad copy that closely match the keywords. This helps you to minimize unwanted clicks and increases the CTR as a positive side effect.


The number of page-views per visitor from a recent Google AdWords campaign increased with 22% by following the recommendations in this article. The reason is much less visits with only one page-view per visitor.

As a side effect we got 60% more clicks for the same budget. Thanks to the extensive keyword list we created we could strip away the most expensive keywords but still get enough traffic from all the low cost keywords together. It took a few hours to generate the keyword list and it's now running on autopilot.

I recommend that you continuously test new actions on AdWords and closely follow up the result. Do split tests whenever possible to increase your confidence level in the tests. Because of the quick feedback loop and flexibility of AdWords it's so easy to scientifically test what works and what doesn't work. Use this to gain advantage over your competitors.

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(c) 2006 Peter Bergdahl, All rights reserved.
(c) 2006 Peter Bergdahl, All rights reserved.