Stop Paying for Bad Keywords!

Web analytics reports can be deceiving. They’re great at showing you WHAT visitors did on your website, but they can’t tell you WHY they didn’t do what you hoped they would.

But with the right process and frame of mind, it is possible to use web analytics to get insight into “why” your traffic isn’t converting — especially if you do pay per click advertising.

Here are some ideas for attracting more targeted traffic in order to get higher conversion rates and a much better return on pay-per-click (PPC) spend.


• Look at your top traffic-driving keywords (PPC and organic).

Are they highly relevant to the industry you’re in and the products you sell? Do these keywords clearly indicate that the searcher has a motivation to find your solution to their problem? Some keywords may have double meanings and could suggest that the visitor had a completely different search intent than expected. Someone searching “training videos” might actually be looking for “workout training videos,” “management training videos,” or a variety of other things. If the traffic from these fuzzy keywords is converting poorly, don’t be surprised. Stop buying and doing search engine optimization (SEO) for ambiguous keywords. The ultimate goal should be to figure out which key phrases specifically relate to your industry, product or service, and do some PPC and/or SEO to get listed for more relevant keywords.


• Don’t play the generic keyword game.

It both difficult and expensive to get traffic from the most generic keywords in one’s industry. Such keywords are much more competitive in the search engines. You pay more for text ads and it takes a lot of SEO effort in order to get listed organically for these keywords. A lot of these single-word keywords are really only attracting early-stage visitors who are not necessarily ready to buy, anyway! If I’m searching for “purses,” I probably haven’t yet decided on a brand or a style of purse and it could take me a lot longer to convert. When I search for “white Chanel purse,” though, you can be fairly certain I’m ready to buy. Focusing on phrases that are tailored to your product or service is what people really mean when they talk about “long tail keywords” [define] — and often it’s the difference between having visitors who are ready to learn and ones who are ready to buy.


Speak the customer’s language, not your own.

Sometimes, marketers get so focused on their own sales process that they convince themselves that would-be customers actually care about the words they use to describe their own products and services. When someone is searching for a solution to their problem, they enter search terms that sometimes don’t match up with what the company thinks people should be searching for.

Are you buying traffic for keywords that mean something to you but mean precious little to your customers? We’ve all done it before. Even brilliant marketers can assume that customers will think and behave as they do. This is what we like to call “Inside-the-Bottle Syndrome.” Although contagious, it is curable, but your web analytics reports alone can’t diagnose you.

Let us know if you’d like to optimize paid search from the customer’s perspective.

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