Starting an online advertising campaign can be a big boost for your small business. But if you want to get the best results from your online ads, you’ll need to use the right keywords in them.
How can you find the perfect keywords to attract the customers you want and make your ads stand out from all the other stuff cluttering the typical Web page? Here are some tips to help.
- Use keyword tools. Begin by checking out Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner and the Bing Keyword Research Tool. Just enter in keywords you’re thinking of using in your ads, or ones that you already use on your website, and get suggestions for related keyword phrases you might want to use in your ads. The tools will show you the amount of traffic the keywords get as well as the competition for them. A keyword might get lots of traffic, but also have lots of competition. Ideally, you want keywords with high traffic and low competition that are still affordable to use in your ads.
- Start big, get small. To find the best keywords, begin by putting in broad, general keywords and let the tools help you generate more specific keywords. These types of keywords are typically not only cheaper to use in your ads, but also help you pinpoint your target customer more narrowly. For instance, if you own a pizza restaurant, the broad general keyword “pizza” or even “pizza restaurant” could attract people who live too far away to visit your location. More specific keyword combinations such as Neapolitan pizza Los Angeles will resonate with the specific online searchers you’re looking for.
- Add negative keywords. Google’s keyword tool also helps you pinpoint “negative keywords.” These are keywords that are related to your keywords, but not actually relevant to your website. For instance, Google might suggest “delivery” as a keyword for the pizza restaurant above, but if you don’t actually offer delivery, you can add this to your ad as a negative keyword. That means the ad won’t be served up to anyone who searches for “pizza delivery” so you aren’t paying for clicks from customers you can’t serve.
- Use different keywords for different target markets. Instead of putting every possible keyword into one ad, take out different online ads targeting different customers and using different keywords. For instance, a pizza restaurant could do one ad targeting delivery, one ad targeting takeout and one ad targeting eat-in customers. Each ad should go to the appropriate landing page—for ordering takeout, for ordering delivery or for making reservations.