When you begin advertising your website online, you will be dealing with one of the major search engine companies and their specialized ad targeted programs. You will be paying for each time your advertisement is clicked on or shown, depending on what plan you have. The most plans involve purchasing specific keywords that you wish your ad to appear in response to.
If you want to market a specific product, such as a natural cure for sinusitis, you will want to target words like sinusitis cure, sinus remedy, etc. Perhaps you do not want people feeding the cure you supply to their children for legal reasons, so you would then exclude words such as ‘kids cold’ or ‘ baby cold, etc. When responses begin to pile up to your ads, you can then begin to refine your keyword list to maximize your targeted traffic.
Ask yourself what you would type into a search bar if you were looking for a product similar to the one you sell. Start by creating a list of all the different categories your product could reasonably fit into, and then add action sales words to each such as best, natural, organic, favorite, cheap and affordable.
Geo-targeting is also a good way to refine keywords if you have an actual physical store location that you want to advertise. Do this by adding keywords such as NYC, Seattle, South Side, West End or the Bay area to your list.
One of the most common ways to pay for advertising is based on CPM, or ‘cost-per-thousand impressions’. (M is the Roman numeral for a thousand) An impression is the showing of your ad in response to a search using one or more of the keywords you have specified. A rate of $30 CPM would mean you are charged $30 for every thousand times your ad is shown. Getting the most sales out of your impressions is what keyword targeting is all about. (Some also use pay per click, which we will deal with in the next blog post as the approach is slightly different- you don’t pay every time it’s shown, but every time it is clicked on.)
As is the norm, trial and error is the standard practice until you discern the proper balance of keywords to include or exclude so you get the most out of your advertising budget. Excluding the correct negative keywords can save you a significant amount of money each year by not falling into the trap of paying for impressions that are similar to but not actually fitting your targeted keywords. It pays in more ways then one to pay as much attention to the keywords you want to exclude as though you wish to include when going the CPM route.