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Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I've noticed that some of the search terms that trigger my ads contain words that are not in my keyword bank. Most obvious is the name of my company, which I purposefully left out of the keywords because our SEO is so strong and our name is already unique within our community. If this is the case, then that adds another level of keyword manipulation to the process, but if not, then there's something wonky in my campaign.

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Accepted by topic author Jamie H
September 2015

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Rising Star
# 9
Rising Star

When you use a phrase composition such as "bellingham physical therapy" in broad match, Google will look for those words individually upon user search, so you'll have the words 'bellingham', 'physical' and 'therapy' as individual keywords running on your bank and any user search containing one of these words, may trigger your ads.

 

Terms like "dog therapy" or "physical properties" may activate your ads (unless you have 'dogs' and 'properties' as negative keywords).

 

If you want to have a little bit more control over this, you'll have to play and work with phrase match type variations for the word "bellingham physical therapy", like just "physical therapy", "bellingham physical" and that kind of thing and see what happens.

 

It's the same for "lynden raspberry festival", you probably have one of these words (lynden, raspberry or festival) in a sentence used with broad match type, or let's say that you only have "raspberry festival" as a phrase, since "lynden" came before the role phrase, it activated your keyword.

 

The important thing here is to check 2 things at Search Terms:

 

  1. The volume of clicks from that word. If is just 1 click one for a period of a month, then it should be just an casual trigger of your ads, nothing to worry about.
  2. There're kinds of variations that may trigger your ads, if Google understand that the keywords in you bank are any how related to them. I've seen cases that the word "roses" trigger the word "flowers", since Google understand that those keywords have a connection. For things like that, it usually show a status like "proximity variation" or something like this (sorry, english is not my native languave I don't know how it appears on english interface)

 

If you are using DSA (Dynamic Search Ads), it may be using words from your website as keywords, and usually terms that you wouldn't thing of.


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

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Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

[ Edited ]
Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hey Jamie,

The keyword for your company name is NOT triggering the keywords in your bank, but rather the combo between 'your company name + something else'. For you to completely avoid that, you'd have to add your company name as negative keyword, which I personally would not recommend.

Also, you need to use keyword match types to have a little bit more control over the searched term:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2497836?hl=en

Here's an interesting article from Google witht the Impact of Organic Rank on Ad Click Incrementality. I should consider this from the overall branded marketing idea, since your brand is the most important aspect to the user. I'd say this: DEFINITELY use your company name as keywords on your campaigns, no matter how good your SEO are. SEO algorithms changes all the time, if something happen and your company ranks goes down but any reason...well..
http://ssl.gstatic.com/think/docs/organic-impact-on-paid_infographics.pdf

Hope this helps.


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
Hi Jamie,

That's some pretty good advice. I have a couple questions.

1. Is the company name alone showing in search terms?
2. If it is, does any part of the company name appear in your broad, BMM or phrase match keywords? If your answer is yes, that's why your company name triggers impressions.
3. Do you have enough impressions on your company name to analyze CTR and conversion rates?

Last question isn't really a question, more of a suggestion. Why wouldn't you want your ad to show for a query of your company name? I understand you get good organic rank for your company name. The thing is other ads show when you search for your company name, right? Your company name as a keyword should rank higher in your account that in other accounts, so clicks could be relatively inexpensive. Would you want your competitors to "steal" your traffic simply because your ad doesn't show for your own company name? I think I'd at least test the company name as a keyword. It may need to be in it's own "branding" ad group.

Best of Luck!

Pete

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
Pete's right - there are so many reasons why you should be running a branded campaign that the arguments against it become moot.

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Since my company is in the health care industry, branding works a little differently than in most other fields, since a lot of our accessibility depends on what insurance will pay for, not what the patient prefers.

What I'm trying to figure out is if the text of the ads themselves are adding to my keyword bank in a "soft" sense. Most of my keywords are "phrase" and "exact" matches, but in the "search terms" that trigger ads and clicks, terms are showing up that are NOT in my keyword bank. Another good example is the word "massage." My company offers clinical massage, but we're not targeting that in adwords because when people think "massage," they think of candles and hot stones and ambient music, which is NOT what we offer.

We do have keywords like "bellingham physical therapy" but we're getting search phrase triggers like "massage in bellingham." I know how to use negative keywords, and I already have a solid list that includes terms related to education, jobs, and other things we don't offer. Do I need to drill down even more or terms we don't want?

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Our company name is becoming synonymous with physical therapy in our community, as we are the largest provider in the county. But again, because our name is so well known, I don't want to pay for it to come up because if someone is typing in "capstone", they're going to find us in the organic results right away.

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Rising Star
# 7
Rising Star
Jamie, just to make sure we are on the same track: when you use any match type other than "exact", you ads have a chance to be triggered by keywords that you don't necessarily have in your bank.

Like, if you sell cars and use the word 'car' in broad, broad modified or phrase, your ad CAN show for things like:

cars accident
used cars
yellow cars
cheapest car in the world

It's a really wide example, but you get the idea. So that's the importance of using match types and negative keywords.

When you say that "most of" your keywords are on phrase and exact matches, I assume you have broad or broad modified keywords. This is probably the reason why you see a lot of keywords that you don't necessarily have.

Also, remember that using phrase match type still give the user the ability to input anything before or after your phrase, so if you have a word like "bellingham" as phrase match, this will probably trigger the "massage in bellingham" example. If you have single keywords set as phrase, they are practically broad match types, so it's good to use with a keyword that have two or more words in it.

Now, looking at Search Terms report and doing optimization based on it, should be something recurring for you, specially for negative keywords. A lot of publishers do the negative words once, when this should be on the optimization schedule as constant as other things.

Hope this helps.

Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I do not have any city names as stand-alone keywords. In fact, I don't think I have any single word as a keyword. They are all in pairs or phrases (thus lots of "exact" and "phrase" matches). The things I have left broad are the areas where we want to cast the widest net, so "bellingham phyiscal therapy" is broad to catch things like "physical therapy appointment in bellingham" and "physical therapy clinic near bellingham". (Also, we have a competitor that is named "Bellingham Physical Therapy.")

What I think is happening is that the "broad"-ness includes things that aren't really related (at least, *I* don't think they are, being involved in the industry). I will review my negative keywords again.

Also, I've been getting clicks for things like "lynden raspberry festival," which is very strange since this phrase is no where near any of my search therms. We are promoting an event at the raspberry festival on our website and with Google+, but we have not included it in our paid advertising. Also, "raspberry festival" is NOTHING like any of the broad match terms, and "Lynden" is not a stand-alone keyword. When I use the diagnosis tool, no ads are displaying for any variation of "lynden" "raspberry" and "festival." So I am very confused with that one. (I've added "raspberry" to our negative list.)
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Jamie H
September 2015

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Rising Star
# 9
Rising Star

When you use a phrase composition such as "bellingham physical therapy" in broad match, Google will look for those words individually upon user search, so you'll have the words 'bellingham', 'physical' and 'therapy' as individual keywords running on your bank and any user search containing one of these words, may trigger your ads.

 

Terms like "dog therapy" or "physical properties" may activate your ads (unless you have 'dogs' and 'properties' as negative keywords).

 

If you want to have a little bit more control over this, you'll have to play and work with phrase match type variations for the word "bellingham physical therapy", like just "physical therapy", "bellingham physical" and that kind of thing and see what happens.

 

It's the same for "lynden raspberry festival", you probably have one of these words (lynden, raspberry or festival) in a sentence used with broad match type, or let's say that you only have "raspberry festival" as a phrase, since "lynden" came before the role phrase, it activated your keyword.

 

The important thing here is to check 2 things at Search Terms:

 

  1. The volume of clicks from that word. If is just 1 click one for a period of a month, then it should be just an casual trigger of your ads, nothing to worry about.
  2. There're kinds of variations that may trigger your ads, if Google understand that the keywords in you bank are any how related to them. I've seen cases that the word "roses" trigger the word "flowers", since Google understand that those keywords have a connection. For things like that, it usually show a status like "proximity variation" or something like this (sorry, english is not my native languave I don't know how it appears on english interface)

 

If you are using DSA (Dynamic Search Ads), it may be using words from your website as keywords, and usually terms that you wouldn't thing of.


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Re: Do the words in my ads count as soft keywords?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
You're right about the DSA. They were my problem all along. They were using terms from my website as soft keywords, which resulted in matches that were way too broad. Thanks!

This whole thing is a great learning process. I'm working on giving my campaigns a tuneup right now to avoid similar problems and get a better reach in the community.