Managing the Long Tail of Search

Long Tail keywords individually might not make the biggest difference to your overall PPC account. But in aggregate these long tail keywords can sometimes mean huge amounts of traffic and lots of money. Setting up you PPC account with your most popular, or “head”, keywords set to broad match is not an effective strategy to capture all of your long tail traffic and have a positive PPC campaign. Here’s why:

1. You will hurt you click through rate due to less targeted ad copy. look at these two examples for the query “Gibson Acoustic Guitar”.

Where one is only bidding on the broad match of Gibson Guitar, the other is bidding on the longer phrase Gibson Acoustic Guitar. Not only is the former ad more targeted and therfore more likely to get my click, its quality score will be better due to keywords in the ad text which will save money and give it a higher ad position.

2. Conversion rate will improve. Take a look at the landing pages for both of the previous ads.

One is showing me exactly what I was looking for, Acoustic Guitars, and the other shows me both electric and acoustic which means it is not inline with my intent so I will most likely bounce.
3. Better bid management. Let’s say that you have your adwords accounts set up so that each one of these long tail products are organized by category and theme. This way if there is a seasonality element or if something goes on sale you can easily increase your bids for just that product segment and keep all the rest of your campaigns running at the same cost. This means you can be more nimble and cost effective with your inventory.

So that’s the why long tail keyword management is better than just using broad match head terms, here’s the how:

1. First start by running a Search Query Report in AdWords and find all the keywords that are trigging your ads that you arn’t currently bidding on that make sense. Orgainze these keywords into themes that you can build campaigns around. In this example’s case, one campain set up for general acoustic guitars, another around Gibson guitars and another around Gibson acoustic guitars.

2. Expand on that list with this long tail key word tool to figure out all the permutations of those keywords.

3. Also use modular ad text. Meaning don’t make the second line flow over into the third line on the adtext, make them seperate sentences. This will help you mix and match adtext on the fly so that if acoustic guitars go on sale you can easily swap out one of the lines and replace it with something like, “Now 20% Off, Buy Now!”

Monitoring these keywords takes more time and more effort to set up, but in the long run means a much more effective PPC marketing effort.

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