Sep 9, 2020 12:49:07 PM by Alana Bellinger

On a Tight Paid Search Budget? Go For Long - Tailed Keywords!

Digital Strategy, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Paid Search, Google Ads, Bing Advertising, Keyword Strategy, Long - Tail Keywords

As tempting as it may sound to include tons of broad keywords within your ad groups on either Google Ads or Bing Advertising, if you are on a tight PPC budget this strategy will do nothing for you and will eat away at your budget very quickly.


As you know, Google Ads and Bing Advertising gives you the option of including broad, phrase, or exact matches in your keyword strategy. Choosing broad match keywords will give you a boost in general user traffic to your website - but will it be high-quality traffic?

The answer is NO!

So why spend what little money your budget allows for on these types of keywords when it is not going to render you any new customers or positive revenue growth for your company. 

Since you are working with a smaller PPC budget, you want to spend that money to capture users who are searching for very specific terms and phrases related to your product or service. These users are way more likely to convert and turn into customers. How do you do this? You bid on terms and build PPC ads using long-tail keywords that are either phrase or exact matches. 

Once you start employing this highly targeted strategy, at the start, you will see a drop in things like sessions, page views, impressions, conversions, clicks etc. You will feel discouraged at first, which is totally normal. If you stick with this strategy, I promise it will benefit you and your brand in the long run by sending you very specific qualified traffic that is closer to buying than all that general traffic you would get from broad keywords (or otherwise known as short-tail keywords). 

Before you stop reading this blog, and continue on with what you have planned for the day, I want to take you through a real word example. Let’s say you are in the world of selling business software, specifically enterprise resource planning software or ERP software.

First, let’s start with a short - tail keyword, usually a term that is 1 - 2 words, like ERP. According to Google Ads Keyword Planner, this term, on average, has 90,500 searches per month (please remember this may not be exact but is trending information). Now, you may be saying wow, I NEED to include that keyword in my ad groups to drive those 90,500 users to my site - but let me stop you right there. As I mentioned earlier in the blog, short - tail keywords will increase the amount of traffic to your website, but these users are most likely just looking for general information about ERP’s, rather than wanting to actually purchase an ERP.  

Now let’s look at a slightly longer term, like ERP software. This term, on average, has 12,100 searches per month (please remember this may not be exact but is trending information). Okay, so we are certainly getting closer and have whittled that 90,000 down to 12,000 searches but, most, if not all of these searches are again, going to be users who are looking for education about this software. So now what? We go for that long - tailed keyword. 

Alright, now it’s time to look at a long - tailed keyword, a keyword that is generally between 4 - 5 words. The keyword ERP implementation cost estimate has an average of 10 searches per month. Obviously, that is a huge drop from the above 90,000 or 12,000, but these users are obviously in the market to actually purchase an ERP software, or are moving towards this rather than just looking around for general information.

To summarize - short - tail keywords have high search volumes, competition, and cost, whereas long - tail keywords have low search volumes, competition, and cost, but high conversion rates and focus (and who doesn’t want that?!). 

So the next time you are looking over the current keywords you have already included in your paid search strategy, or if you are in the process of adding keywords for the first time, remember to ask yourself this one thing - what type of user will this keyword bring in? Will they be low - caliber and unlikely to convert or will they be of high - quality and more likely to convert? 

In the end, I promise, this one simple strategy will make your small budget go so much further. And last of all, this highly focused strategy will take time to work so please, please, PLEASE do not get discouraged if it takes a few weeks to show positive results.

In my next blog, I’ll cover how your landing page should manage your high - quality traffic. 

Stay tuned for the next HEEDGROUP blog!


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