Skip to main content

What exactly is PPC keyword management anyway?

PPC keyword management gets a fair amount of attention as a topic of conversation (at least in the world of PPC pros!).

It’s also a topic that sends my brain into overdrive when clients mention it.

Why? Because the phrase is used so loosely it often means different things to different people.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that PPC keyword management isn’t just one task—it’s a group of tasks. And some are less obvious than others.

In this post, I’ll clarify what keyword management means to us at Group Twenty Seven and describe its many aspects, including:

  • Negative keyword management
  • Keyword trend audits
  • Quality score benchmarks
  • Duplicate keyword management
  • Keyword click-through-rate management
  • Low search volume keyword management.

Negative Keyword Management

For many non-PPC experts, keyword management is synonymous with negative keyword management.

It’s true that negative keyword management is an important part of keyword management. But it’s only one part.

Regardless, building negative keyword lists is a good place to start when launching new campaigns or taking over existing campaigns. Because the more robust your negative keyword list, the less wasted ad spend you’ll have.

That’s why we often perform negative keyword management hourly when we launch new campaigns. Then, we’ll gradually perform it less frequently as we identify fewer and fewer negative keywords.

But we never stop managing negative keywords entirely. Things change and new irrelevant words emerge over time. So we continue to perform this task monthly, at a minimum.

Keyword Trend Audits

Another keyword management activity we undertake is trending audits. Basically, we look at actual search queries in Google Analytics and AdWords to see if we can identify trending keywords we can use (or exclude).

You might be surprised at how often new terms emerge to describe existing products and services—terms our clients have never thought of using before.

Quality Score Benchmarks

Generally, we don’t manage our client PPC accounts with the specific purpose of achieving high quality scores. We’ve always found that if an account is well managed, a high (or certainly, rising) quality score will result.

But that doesn’t mean we ignore quality scores entirely. If a quality score is particularly low for a new client, we’ll take a closer look.

Sometimes, we’ll find that the problem lies with the client’s landing page. When a client has one landing page with multiple conversion paths leading to it, the landing page may not reflect all the keywords used. This leads Google to conclude that the page is serving irrelevant information to users, and thus may assign some keywords low quality scores.

Usually, we can fix these hiccups by adding a few “missing” keywords to the landing page.

Duplicate Keyword Management

Having duplicate keywords goes against AdWords recommendations. And we don’t recommend it either.

But sometimes we inherit accounts with duplicate keywords (or inadvertently add them ourselves), especially if the PPC program is large.

Fortunately, duplicate keywords are easy to spot if you look for them. This is a task we perform regularly with AdWords Editor, a free downloadable tool.

Keyword Click-Through-Rate (CTR) Management

Normally, we monitor CTRs closely at campaign launch and quickly eliminate keywords that aren’t producing.

That said, it’s also a good idea to monitor CTRs even in more established campaigns. Sometimes CTR stats change suddenly, which could indicate that a hot new competitor has entered the market—which could require some adjustments to your PPC strategy.

Low Search Volume (LSV) Keyword Management

When keywords fall into LSV territory, it’s tempting to immediately remove them. But in practice, many keywords drift in and out of LSV over time. Sometimes, it pays to leave LSV keywords alone for a little while, to see how they perform.

And sometimes, we can lift a keyword out of LSV status by slightly manipulating the keyword (or keyword phrase). (Pro tip: Playing around with singular vs. plural versions sometimes works.)

As you can see, PPC keyword management is much more than one simple task! So when the topic comes up, I hope you’ll forgive me for peppering you with 20 questions to define precisely what we’re talking about.

Please note, this post was originally published on the Group Twenty Seven blog.

via Search Engine Watch


Popular posts from this blog

How to Get SMS Alerts for Gmail via Twitter

How do you get SMS notifications on your mobile phone for important emails in your Gmail? Google doesn’t support text notifications for their email service but Twitter does. If we can figure out a way to connect our Twitter and Gmail accounts, the Gmail notifications can arrive as text on our mobile via Twitter. Let me explain:Twitter allows you to follow any @user via a simple SMS. They provide short codes for all countries (see list) and if you text FOLLOW to this shortcode following by the  username, any tweets from that user will arrive in your phone as text notifications. For instance, if you are in the US, you can tweet FOLLOW labnol to 40404 to get my tweets as text messages. Similarly, users in India can text FOLLOW labnol to 9248948837 to get the tweets via SMS.The short code service of Twitter can act as a Gmail SMS notifier. You create a new Twitter account, set the privacy to private and this account will send a tweet when you get a new email in Gmail. Follow this account …

Another SEO tool drops the word “SEO”

This guest post is by Majestic’s Marketing Director, Dixon Jones, who explains the reasons for their recent name change.
Majestic, the link intelligence database that many SEOs have come to use on a daily basis, has dropped the “SEO” from it’s brand and from its domain name, to become Since most people won’t have used Google’s site migration tool before, here’s what it looks like once you press the “go” button:

In actual fact – there’s a minor bug in the tool. The address change is to the https version of (which GWT makes us register as a separate site) but that message incorrectly omits that. Fortunately, elsewhere in GWT its clear the omission is on Google’s side, not a typo from the SEO. It is most likely that the migration tool was developed before the need for Google to have separate verification codes for http and https versions of the site.
The hidden costs of a name change
There were a few “nay sayers” on Twitter upset that Majestic might be deserting it…

6 types of negative SEO to watch out for

The threat of negative SEO is remote but daunting. How easy is it to for a competitor to ruin your rankings, and how do you protect your site? But before we start, let’s make sure we’re clear on what negative SEO is, and what it definitely isn’t.Negative SEO is a set of activities aimed at lowering a competitor’s rankings in search results. These activities are more often off-page (e.g., building unnatural links to the site or scraping and reposting its content); but in some cases, they may also involve hacking the site and modifying its content.Negative SEO isn’t the most likely explanation for a sudden ranking drop. Before you decide someone may be deliberately hurting your rankings, factor out the more common reasons for ranking drops. You’ll find a comprehensive list here.Negative off-page SEOThis kind of negative SEO targets the site without internally interfering with it. Here are the most common shapes negative off-page SEO can take.Link farmsOne or two spammy links likely won’…