At the center of the internet, several companies vie for your attention. Among them, it’s no surprise that Google reigns supreme. From NFL season tickets to news on the latest political scandal, we’ve grown to rely on the Google curation algorithms for anything and everything.
For this reason, companies want a good relationship with Google. Top keyword positions are some of the most highly coveted plots of digital real estate available. And, when companies cannot rank for those keywords organically, they buy Google ads. Lots of them.
When companies cannot rank for those keywords organically, they buy Google ads. Lots of them.
The ability to purchase ads on Google comes via their Adwords platform. It’s called PPC, or pay-per-click advertising. If you serve as your company’s online advertising manager, you already know this. What you might not know, however, is how to maximize the effectiveness of your ad spend. Want the number one tip on maximizing your PPC budget? Here it is:
Only Invest in Keywords With Commercial Intent
When your target audience loads up Google, what keyword phrases are they going to search before they purchase a product or service like yours? That’s a trick question. Chances are, you don’t know them as well as you think you do.
The problem is, you’re probably too smart. You have considerable domain knowledge about your industry. You use jargon that your audience might not normally use. This is especially true in B2B technology. And, while the terms you use to describe your company might be valid, they might also have little-to-no commercial intent.
Commercial intent is the key to maximizing your PPC advertising budget. When it comes to choosing keywords, commercial intent is more important than search volume. It’s the difference between higher web traffic and higher-converting web traffic.
Commercial intent is more important than search volume.
How do you determine which keywords have commercial intent? Look for the keyword’s competition and the suggested ad bid.
Look for the Suggested Bid and Competition Rating
As you’re already aware, Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to analyze relevant search data. It provides keyword information on average monthly searches, competition and, most importantly, the Adwords suggested bid.
That suggested bid (or cost per click), is the easiest way to understand how valuable traffic from a keyword actually is. If a keyword’s suggested bid is high, there is a better chance advertisers have found value in it. If it’s low, that’s because advertisers probably have not found it to convert well. In other words, the more people bid on a keyword, the more lucrative you can expect it to be.
Additionally, the keyword competition column in Keyword Planner is a nice complement to the Adwords Suggested Bid. The competition rating is based on how many advertisers bid on that particular keyword in Adwords. It simplifies the keyword’s commercial intent into three categories: low, medium and high.
Determining Commercial Intent for New Markets
If your product or service is in an existing market, it’s not difficult to determine which keywords have commercial intent. Your audience is already familiar with the industry terms. But, if your company is in a new market, you may have to get creative — there may not be many search terms with commercial intent that directly fit your company.
Here’s an example of what I mean: Brandcave recently helped a new fintech startup launch their website. When discussing key messaging for their product, the startup founder described it as an automated point-of-sale digital loan processing engine. Now, can you guess how many financial institutions are searching for a solution like an automated point-of-sale digital loan processing engine? They would definitely be interested in one, but they probably don’t know that such a product exists.
At least, they’re not using those search terms to find it.
In new markets, your customers often do not realize they need a product like yours until they see it. In other words, new market products need to position themselves next to similar, existing market products to be found.
In other words, new market products need to position themselves next to similar, existing market products to be found.
In the case of this fintech startup, their product wasn’t a loan origination system, but it did aid in loan origination. In fact, it purported to extend the power of existing loan origination systems. So, Brandcave helped position this new market product next to an age-old market, loan origination software. And, their audience, who was originally looking for loan origination software, became introduced to a new kind of loan origination product.
Maximize Your Budget by Spending on the Right Terms
Knowing your audience is the first step toward targeting the right kind of search traffic. When you know the language they’re using to find you, you can tune your strategy and advertise accordingly.
When you only target keywords with commercial intent, you save money. Instead of simply boosting your web traffic from ads, your ads boost higher-converting web traffic.
TL;DR: Only target keywords with commercial intent. When you limit your PPC advertising to “bottom of the funnel” search terms, you decrease the amount of money spent on ad spend in lower converting search terms.