Rumor has it you’re ready to start running ads … but you’ve hit a bit of a roadblock when it comes to keywords. Well, have no fear, Simpleview is here.

Before we dive into the nitty gritty, it’s important to understand the purpose of keywords from a birds-eye view. As much as we wish there was a button that said “click here for your perfectly tailored ads”, that’s not quite the case.

So welcome to Keyword Bootcamp, let’s get started.

  • Keywords are words or phrases that users type into a search engine in order to find specific information. These terms are derived from the page they’re directing traffic to, where strategic and well-thought-out content comes into play. To take it one step further, since these keywords are what stand between a user and your website, this is also where your budget comes into play. You will be paying the website per click based on the term being searched, so different search terms have different search demand.

    Make sense? Let’s step it up a notch.

    Depending on the size of your destination marketing organization (DMO), goals, target audience, and budget you will likely step into one of the most argued discussions of all time (okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic). Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Do I use branded or non-branded keywords?” Let me give you the breakdown.
  • Branded keywords are keywords that are related to your company, brand, or product and are commonly known to produce high click-through rates (CTRs) and high-quality scores within paid search.
  • Non-branded keywords are less specific in every category. These are terms that are tangentially related to your product, your company, or even your competitors and have results and conversion rates within the “good” category, but aren’t driving quality traffic.

The misunderstanding of whether or not to use branded or non-branded keywords has caused marketers to misuse marketing dollars and simultaneously ignore the reason behind the poor onsite performance. This is a classic example of quality vs. quantity. Despite branded terms being a higher cost, they’re driving quality, interested, and engaged traffic whereas non-branded terms follow the opposite trend. They’re cheaper so more can be used, but the ROI will be remarkably lower.

Here’s how you can determine the effectiveness of your keywords without breaking the bank and wasting any more time. The simplest way is to set up separate branded and non-branded keyword campaigns, but leave the rest of the campaign settings the same.

How to set up A/B testing:

  1. Determine the branded vs. non-branded terms (any term that doesn’t contain your destinations name)
  2. Create two campaigns; one for branded terms, and one for non-branded terms
  3. Allow 30 days to test performance
  4. While the ads are running, pay attention to cost-per-click (CPC), CTR, and ad rank
  5. After the 30 days, look at the conversion rates and dollar amount spent

With the ability to test terms, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively market your destination. Don’t overcomplicate it. The beauty of paid media? If nobody’s clicking on it, you’re not paying for it.

So there you have it, a little Keyword Bootcamp to get you started. If you have lingering questions, reach out — our team here at Simpleview is always ready to dive in, analyze, and provide you with the tools to elevate your marketing presence.