How to Maximize Google AdWords Marketing Returns with Targeting



With Google AdWords, you can build your brand and increase your customer base with near immediate results. However, the challenges in properly creating and managing an AdWords campaign are such that many marketers abandon the whole project before they can achieve any return on investment.

These challenges include, but are not restricted to, high bid rates that exceed your budget and non-converting clicks that further erode your spend. But there are two critical factors that go a long way toward ensuring greater AdWords marketing success, enabling you to implement precisely targeted advertising and turn your PPC campaign into a money-making machine.

Step 1: Define Your Target Market

One of the reasons why most AdWords marketers record below-average performance is aimless promotion. Since the AdWords platform relies on relevance, an untargeted campaign will have disappointing results—high bids unqualified clicks. These two factors taken together are the main frustrations of most AdWords marketers.

In other to counter these frustrations, a marketer must first and foremost define his target market and narrow it down to a specific niche. For example, take “Digital Camera” vs. “Sony DSC-W330 Camera.” Whereas the term “Digital Camera” is general, “Sony DSC-W330 Camera” is narrowed down to a specific brand and model. If we were to run separate ads on both terms, “Sony DSC-W330 Camera” would most likely outperform “Digital Camera” in terms of both bid cost and conversion rate. The reason is that one keyword is targeted while the other is aimless.

Your defined target market should consist of prospects with perceived interest in and qualification to buy your product. You must try to visualize these prospects in detail and resist the temptation of trying to be everything to everybody, with the false assumption of getting a larger slice of the whole market.

Step 2: Choose Strong Keywords with Transactional Viability

If aimless promotion is an aberration in an AdWords campaign, the wrong choice of keywords is a total disaster. In fact, a poorly chosen keyword is the twin sister of aimless promotion. Most AdWords marketers will choose a keyword simply because of its search popularity. This action, like aimless promotion, leads to high bid costs and unqualified clicks.

When you have succeeded in narrowing down your campaign to a specific target market, then you need to find the keywords or phrases with a strong commercial intention value to connect with your perceived prospects. Keywords with a high probability of conversion are key for return on investment—not terms with high search volume or popularity, which can be deceptive and unreliable. The higher the commercial value of the keyword, the higher the chance the visitor will convert and take the intended action. To review our “Digital Camera” vs. “Sony DSC-W330 Camera” example from above: the search term “Sony DSC-W330 Camera” seems to reveal a person who is in ready-to-buy mode, whereas the search term “Digital Camera” indicates someone who is searching for basic information and not yet ready to buy.

Though targeted keywords with high commercial probability always seems to have low search popularity, the real value is in the searchers looking for your specific product or services. To ensure that your keywords are worthy of your AdWords campaign, you should focus more on the transactional viability of the keyword rather. Now let’s take a fictional keyword with about 9,000 searches per month on broad match but only 300 searches on exact match. The implication of this is that the keyword has only 300 genuine searchers, while the other 8,700 unqualified searchers were just drifters clicking your ad and budget away.

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Alan Mitchell
Nov 06, 2010

Hi Willy,

You're completely right that highly-relevant keywords with strong commercial intention (e.g. contain the words 'buy' or 'for sale') will tend to deliver strong conversion rates.

That said, there is definitely a value in also targeting less relevant keywords, if ads are qualified and persuasive. It's something I wrote about recently on my blog:

Would love to hear your thoughts.


Willy Oghinan
Nov 12, 2010

Thanks Alan, I agree with you on targeting less relevant but converting keywords. Cheers

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