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The wisdom of added every conceivable keyword?

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# 1
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I'm looking at PPC management companies because I don't at the moment have the time to look after the account myself.


One company said that the way they would manage the campaign is to add, as an exact match keyword, every search term that had ever been entered, thereby giving 'more control' of the bids for searches.


Now, to me, this just seems like a terrible idea.


Sure, if there's consistently significant traffic for a particular keyword, add it. But if you're specifying exact matches that only generate less than 10 clicks per month, then it seems to me that any results you'd get are too statistically insignificant to draw any conclusions from.


Say a particular keyword gives you 10 clicks and 1 sale = a 10% conversion rate (I should be so lucky) in a month. Then you increase the bid by 20%. It would be a month before you could assess any changes, and you might have 12 or 14 clicks, you might have 10, or 8. You might have 1 sale, or 2 or 0. It would fall within normal variance and would not represent statistically significant results.


On the the other have if you had some well chosen modified broad matches which generated 100 clicks and 10 sales, then it gives a greater sample on which to base decisions.


Is it just me that thinks that the way this company proposes to structure the keywords is a terrible idea? I'm wondering if maybe they do it that way because it makes it much harder for you to bring the account back in-house?

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Accepted by topic author angryhobbit
September 2015

Re: The wisdom of added every conceivable keyword?

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# 2
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Hi angryhobbit, I'd echo every single word you've said.


AdWords works best when optimised for performance and adding every conceivable keyword is entirely the wrong approach.  It's much better to start with a core - possibly a very small core - of highly relevant, frequently searched terms then, if necessary or practical given concerns like budget and product delivery, adding to them over time or even deleting.


You're also spot on with the need to consider time and the significance of data - they're two of my favourite soap boxes.  AdWords is a "long game", particularly when dealing with higher value products that may convert very infrequently.

Sounds to me like the client/agent relationship is the wrong way around here Smiley Happy



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Re: The wisdom of added every conceivable keyword?

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# 3
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Hi it seems that you have a good grasp of the basics of how to set up an account. The best way to have your account structured is based on

So this is the starting point before you decide on your keywords. When you are deciding on your keywords you can use the Keyword Planner in the "tools" section of your account. However, you are right to say that there is no point putting in loads of exact matching key terms as a lot will not show at all. You are better putting in the obvious ones as broad match and if there is a word that you really need to be in the query then put a "+" in front of it and it will mean they have to put this in.

Any more questions feel free to ask.

Kind regards


Re: The wisdom of added every conceivable keyword?

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# 4
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Good morning.


First, let me point out that different agencies have very different strategies for managing campaigns. If the agency you've talked to is not using a strategy you feel comfortable with, perhaps you should be talking with a different agency.


Second, there is nothing inherently "wrong" about using only exact match keywords. Some of them, as you say, might be low traffic but if those few searches are month are done by the precise people you're hoping to sign up as customers, then that's a good thing. If the keywords were carefully chosen, it won't matter that it takes a month to accumulate a lot of data--for instance, you'll be able to tell after a very few impressions whether or not your bid is high enough to get the ad positioning you want,


The real question here are your creatives--it will take time to a/b test different ad messges but that always takes time anyhow. It may take a bit longer with this approach but in the meantime you won't be wasting money on unwanted clicks--you don't have to worry about whether or not your negative keyword list is blocking all the searches you don't want.


The entire point of a keyword list is to identify and service searches being made by potential customers. If you feel you've already identified what those search terms are, then there is no reason to serve other searches just to produce data.


I'd say it's a legitimate strategy. It may and/or may not work well for your business, only you can decide whether or not you're interested in giving it a try, but the approach is not fundamentally wrong. 


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