Your Google AdWords account is created around keywords. You must ensure that your account contains the correct keywords for your ads to appear in front of your ideal prospects when they conduct a Google search.
We want to make the process as simple as possible for you, even though it can be a complex and time-consuming one. As a result, we recommend that you keep your keyword research to a minimum. When it comes to keywords for a local AdWords campaign, we recommend not casting a wide net, especially when you’re just getting started.
This may seem counterintuitive, especially to those who are used to conducting keyword research for SEO. For SEO purposes, a business must conduct extensive keyword research and generate a list of hundreds or thousands of keyword variations.
For a local (PPC) campaign, we don’t recommend doing so. Before you open any of the keyword research tools available, consider your ideal client and ask yourself, “What would my ideal client type into Google to find a local business that does what I do?”
Make a list of the most obvious keywords. That’s the end of the story! You’ve just completed the first phase of your keyword research. Although the list is short, that is a good thing. At the very least, you should focus your campaign on your best and most targeted keywords, to begin with.
Here are some examples of “best, most targeted keywords” from a few local business niches to help you understand what we mean.
There are a few words that describe what a cosmetic dentist does, such as:
- A dentist who focuses on aesthetics
- dental surgeons
There are also variations of the specific products/procedures you provide, such as veneers, dental implants, and crowns.
The most targeted keywords for a chiropractor are phrases such as:
- Chiropractors are professionals who specialize in the treatment
You should also include the name of the central city (cities) you serve in your keyword list. For instance, “Lake Tahoe chiropractor,” “Reno cosmetic dentist,” and “Seattle personal injury attorney.”
“Wait for a second,” you might be thinking. I’m a chiropractor specializing in treating back pain, sciatica, neck pain, and other related conditions. Why should I not bid on keywords containing those terms?”
You don’t want to start bidding on a broad keyword like “back pain” because it’s too expensive, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Some people suffer from back pain who might be good candidates, but you never know what someone searching for “back pain” is looking for. Is it a back brace, a back pain cream, or another option for pain relief?
You’ll also be up against national advertisers selling back pain cream, back braces, and other similar products for broad keywords like this. More competition and higher click prices are likely to result as result. It’s not that a small business can’t compete with national companies; it’s just that it’s a more difficult battle to win, especially when you’re just getting started. As a result, we advise you to stick to the targeted terms. If someone types “chiropractor” into Google and you’re a chiropractor, you know they’re looking for someone in your area who does what you do.
More keywords can be added at any time. However, you don’t want to spend all of your budgets at first because you have too many keywords, and the less relevant keywords are stealing clicks and funding away from your best, highest-quality keywords.
As a result, let your most effective keywords lead the way. If you don’t get enough clicks after a few days, you can always add more keywords. Only then (returning to the chiropractor example) should you consider including keywords like back pain, neck pain, sciatica, and other broader terms.
One of the most common blunders we see among advertisers and consultants is that they begin their keyword research with far too broad a scope. As a result, they exhaust their budget and are unable to generate a sufficient number of leads.
Another example of how broadening your scope can backfire:
It seems obvious to bid on the keyword “mortgage broker” if you’re a mortgage broker, right? On the other hand, mortgage brokers who specialize in a specific type of refinancing seem to have the most success. One of our clients, for instance, is a HARP refinance expert. As a result, we bid on terms like “HARP refinance,” “HARP loan,” and “HARP mortgage,” and then created ads that mentioned HARP refinance. Those ads directed you to a landing page that explained HARP refinancing, the benefits of HARP refinancing, and why you should call them right now for a free quote.
The more precise your targeting can be, the better. As a mortgage broker, ask yourself, “What are the two best types of refinances that I can assist people with?” to begin with and concentrate on those.
The bottom line with keywords is that we recommend starting your campaign with your top 20 or 30 keywords rather than 200 or 300 and working your way up.
There is no such thing as a secret when it comes to keyword research for small businesses. It would be best if you used keywords that are self-evident. Make things as simple as possible.
What will someone type into Google to find an immigration lawyer? Immigration lawyer, immigration lawyer, or a variant thereof. It’s unlikely that you’ll come up with a magical keyword that no one else has considered (because if no one has ever thought of it, then probably no one is typing it into Google).
Keeping things simple and focused is the way to go for local business search marketing.