Of all the important decisions that go into a successful Pay Per Click Advertising program, the most critical one is which keywords to target. Choosing the right keywords will drive a continuous stream of qualified buyers to your site at affordable CPC's. Choosing the wrong keywords will negate even the most well planned Pay Per Click Advertising strategy.
Going Beyond The Obvious:
At first glance, choosing keywords for your Pay Per Click Advertising program seems easy. Anyone can come up with a list of obvious keywords related to their web site. The problem is, because the keywords are obvious, all your competitors have come up with the same list of words. This can lead to price inflation for these keywords on the Pay Per Click Search Engines, making it difficult for anyone to profit from these keywords. The key to a successful PPC Advertising strategy is to identify targeted, hard to find, niche keywords that drive profitable traffic to your site.
Monetizing The “Keyword Tail"
The enormous number of queries that fall outside the obvious keywords is known as the “Keyword Tail". An advertiser's ability to mine the “Keyword Tail" for profitable nuggets of Search terms is often the difference between a successful Pay Per Click Advertising program, and one that loses money.
Examples of keywords that fall into the “Keyword Tail" are singular, plural, and misspelled versions of keywords, and keyword terms related to the obvious keywords for your site. For example, if you own a site that sells fishing supplies, you may come up with the following list of keywords:
Obvious Keyword: Fishing
"Keyword Tail": Fly Fishing Equipment
Fly Fishing Gear
Many of the Pay Per Click Search Engines offer tools to help advertisers identify hard to find keywords related to their sites. Overture's is the most advanced in this area, but Google's works well too. The leading third party tool to help advertisers uncover profitable keywords is offered by a company called WordTracker. WordTracker not only helps identify good keywords for your Pay Per Click Advertising program, but it also tells you how many times the words were searched on across all the major Search Engines. This is important, because the more niche the keyword, the less traffic it will generate. It doesn't do any good to find a perfectly targeted keyword if it only generates a few clicks a month.
Because each targeted, niche, keyword by definition will only produce a small amount of traffic, it's important to identify as many as possible so their combined traffic will have a meaningful impact on your Pay Per Click Advertising program.
The beauty of Pay Per Click Advertising is the more targeted the keyword, the less you'll likely have to pay for each click. This is opposite of how every other form of advertising works. If you use direct mail, magazines, TV, or even other forms of online advertising to market your products, the prices rise as the audience becomes more targeted.
To succeed you must take advantage of this unique dynamic of Pay Per Click Advertising by using every available tool to help you think “out of the box" to create a comprehensive, targeted list of keywords to drive a steady volume of profitable traffic to your web site.
Stan Hauser is a leading expert in internet advertising, with a particular emphasis on Search Engine Pay Per Click Advertising. He has worked in senior management roles at a top 10 Media Metrix property for over seven years, and is the creator of http://www.pay-per-click-advertising-guide.com