Maximise the PPC performance of your top search queries

Insights | 05 Nov, 2014

Greg Roberts explains how to maximise the performance of your top search queries in this latest Insights video.

Greg Roberts talks about our top 100 keyword theory - focussing on top performing keywords to make sure they get maximum exposure and optimum performance.

Video transcript

One of the more challenging aspects of winning new business as an agency is actually when you're in front of clients outside of your credentials and your case studies and even your approach and methodologies, it's about really demonstrating something a bit more tangible in terms of uplift. What are you going to do to the performance of that campaign moving forwards? Because case studies and credentials, they're not enough, and nor should they be really.

There are numerous ways that we can look to demonstrate the value that we would add as an agency in terms of performance uplift. One of the things that we focus on actually, and what we've nicknamed the top 100 keyword theory, is where we actually focus on a proportion of any campaign's top performing keywords and make sure that they are receiving maximum exposure and optimum performance at all times.

The best way to visualise the top 100 keywords is actually to imagine a shop on the High Street. As a shop owner, you would always look to make sure that you've got your top selling products at eye level on the shelves, in the areas of the shop that receive the most footfall, and, most importantly, make sure you've always got the top selling products in stock.

Actually, it's exactly the same principles for PPC management. Your top performing keywords should always be visible. They should always be getting exposure, in fact maximum exposure, on the landscapes.

The three main areas that we would look at when we're focusing on this top 100 theory is duplicate keywords within the account on the same match type, cannibalisation of your top performing keywords through lesser performing keywords or more generic terms, and also loss of impression share on your top performing keywords as well.

Duplicate keywords may seem like a really obvious thing to look at, and actually it's quite basic PPC practice. Actually, what happens is that as an account grows in size and in complexity, they can sneak in. The problem with having duplicate keywords in your account on the same match type is that each of those keywords won't be performing in exactly the same way.

Ultimately, what that means is the algorithm won't always show the best performing of those duplicate keywords. So if you've got three keywords in your account that are duplicated on the same match type, effectively if the algorithm is showing each of those keywords at different times, the one that's performing the best won't be getting 100% of the traffic through it. So effectively, you're diluting the performance of that keyword.

Cannibalisation of keywords is another area we look at within an account. It's actually one of the more complex, I guess, methodologies or things that we would look to implement. It's definitely quite a complex thing to describe. Essentially, it's where by your keywords that you want to be triggered from a raw search term that's been placed or typed into Google or Bing or whatever is not triggering the right keyword within the account, because it's being hijacked by perhaps a more generic term.

I guess the best way to describe this is to use an example, so if we had "UK based PPC agency" as a keyword that someone's typed into Google. Now actually, in our account, we have that keyword. It's in the account. We want that keyword to be triggered by that raw search term. The problem is we also have "PPC agency" located within our account on phrase match, for example. Now what can sometimes happen, and it might be due to a higher Ad Rank or something, is that the "PPC agency" that you've got on phrase match is actually the keyword that is triggered by that raw search term.

Now that poses an issue. There are a couple of reasons why. The main one will be because it's not the most relevant to the raw search term. You're actually providing the user with a less relevant ad copy, and potentially you're taking them to a less relevant landing page.

What can also happen is that that might be a higher bid, so it cost you more money, and it might have a lower conversion rate. So you might get less conversions off it.

What, ideally, you do want in that situation is that if someone types in "UK based PPC agency," the keyword in the account that's triggered is, of course, "UK based PPC agency." To stop that keyword being hijacked or cannibalised by a different keyword, we would have in that instance "UK based" as a negative keyword within the ad group that "PPC agency" is located, which means that in no event can "PPC agency" be triggered when the raw search term "UK based PPC agency" is typed into Google.

Loss of impression share is another component we look at and your campaign's budget is set at campaign level. Now what that means is that you've obviously got all of your keywords within the campaign, and effectively they're all fighting for that budget. That's fine, but the problem is that you will have some keywords within that campaign that are better performing than others. They may be taking the lion's share of that budget. But what you want is those keywords to be showing 100% of the time, and that just wouldn't be possible in that instance.

So what we can do is to ensure that those top performing keywords are getting maximum exposure, and they are appearing 100% of the time, and they're getting 100% impression share, move them into their own campaign. In that instance, they've got their own budget, and they're going to show all of the time and get maximum exposure, unlike when they're in a campaign with lots of other keywords where they're all fighting for that particular budget.

When we look at all of those components together, it really helps us, as an agency, because with prospective clients it enables us to not only demonstrate the lengths, the thoroughness, and the methodologies that we implement as an agency, especially in the early stages in terms of robust campaign structure and naming convention, but from my perspective, as a new business, it enables us to offer something outside of credentials and case studies and this is what we do. It actually gives us the opportunity to say, assuming we've been given access to the account, "We've looked at these three areas or these three components over a given time frame, and this is the uplift that you would've received, or this is the performance impact it would've had over that period of time." Then moving forward, obviously it helps us with our forecasting and enables us to give clients something a bit more tangible in terms of what is the impact that Jellyfish is going to have on the account.

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