<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PD29XS" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

The Daily Stream

Advertising News for the New Media

Subscribe! Subscribe to our blog and get daily digital marketing insights right in your inbox!

Clean Up Your PPC Keywords with These 4 Steps

April 14, 2016 // By: Dan Gaughan

With the seasons changing and the arrival of warmer weather, there’s no better time to clean up your PPC campaign to make sure that you’re set up for success. While there’s plenty to look at and evaluate in your campaigns (e.g., ad copy, site links, extensions), your keywords are a great place to start. As you begin your keyword cleaning, keep the following steps in mind.

  1. Check Your Campaign Structure:

Start by examining your campaign structure. Your ad groups should be organized according to themes. Each ad group should contain 10 to 20 tightly themed keywords.

After your structure is set, make sure to have relevant ad copy for each group so the keywords used in a search match what’s shown in the ad. Searchers are more likely to convert if there are similarities between what they search for and the ad that appears.

Another great way to organize your keyword is by match type. This will help you down the road to optimize and remove any underperforming keywords, which leads us to our next step.

  1. Remove Underperforming Keywords:

To ensure that your PPC campaign is running optimally, look at your keywords and begin removing ones that are irrelevant or not performing well. You can use personal preference, but it’s usually a good idea to check the last two to three months of data when evaluating keyword performance. If, in that time period, a keyword has received low or no impressions, it’s probably a good idea to remove it.

Next, look at the keywords that seem to be converting at a high rate and adjust your bid strategies accordingly. A good strategy for bidding effectively is to bid highest for exact matches, then phrase and broad match. This strategy will ensure that you’re bidding highest for the most relevant searches.

  1. Add Negative Keywords:

Negative keywords are vital to your PPC success, as they help to manage your resources by reducing costs on keywords that don’t perform as well. A good place to start is in the Dimensions tab, looking at the search terms report. The report will allow you to see what terms people are searching for that are triggering your ads. After determining the terms that are attracting irrelevant traffic to your site, negative match them so you can control who sees your ad.

  1. Check Your Quality Scores:

Check the Quality Score of your keywords and remove or improve your Low Quality Score keywords. Consider some of the following questions: Are there Low Quality Score keywords in your ad copy? Which match type gives you the best Quality Score? Is your landing page relevant? The answers to these questions should help while you’re optimizing your campaign and help you to maximize your PPC efforts.


Stream’s Kick-Start Step

Review the search term report in the Dimensions tab to get some insight into which keywords are providing the most quality traffic and then use that information to optimize your keyword list properly.


Ready to discuss ways to improve your marketing? Let’s talk.

—Dan Gaughan is a Paid Search Strategist at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.

Topics: Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing, ppc, PPC Secrets