What is the purpose of a keyword? To make you money, nothing else. Take a look at your AdWords account. How many of your keywords are showing conversions? All of those rows with zeroes? That means the rest of your keywords are either losing money or doing nothing. It’s unfortunate that not every keyword you attempt to target in your AdWords campaigns will work. The good news: because PPC offers so many ways to analyze keyword performance it’s possible to identify these under-performers and take swift action. Sometimes, it’s as simple as just pausing keywords.
Keywords That Spend But Don’t Convert
This is probably the most immediately obvious example of a keyword that should be paused: keywords that are costing you money, but not converting. Even here there’s a bit more than meets the eye.
Imagine we sell replacement windows and every lead is worth $100. Obviously once a keyword spends something like a thousand dollars it seems pretty clear that it should be paused, but what if:
- The keyword is sending visitors to a poor landing page?
- The keyword could convert more profitably with a different (lower) bid?
- The keyword has recently been losing money, but generated a lot of conversions in the past at an acceptable cost?
Any of the above could mean that there is something else going on with your keyword. So before you decide that a keyword is bad, you want to look at a few different things:
- Different Date Ranges – Even though the term hasn’t performed in a 7 or 30 day window, it might have done well previously. If this is the case, what changed (bids, ad text, landing pages, season)?
- Landing Page – How effective is the associated landing page? What you want to confirm is that the landing page this keyword’s ad links to is actually associated with the keyword itself. There is nothing that will make a person hit the back button faster than looking for windows and landing on a page full of doors.
- Ad Text – The same holds for ad copy – maybe the ad you wrote has become stale and a new test would jolt your ad performance. Perhaps you should rotate A/B split testing ads sooner rather than later.
- Assists – Google’s new multi-channel funnel reports allow you to drill down to see not only last click conversions but also whether a term is driving conversions by acting as an earlier touch in the conversion process.
As you can see there are a number of factors involved before deciding to pause a keyword.
Keywords that Don’t Spend Much, Don’t Convert, and Have Low Quality Scores
Keywords with clicks but NO conversions are wasting your money.
These are the most dangerous type. Left untouched, they will eat up your entire budget without ever having shown the benefits of Pay Per Click advertising.
How Many Keywords Are Paying You Back?
At the end of the day you will find that there are only a few keywords that are actually able to convert. You need to work with these keywords.
As you analyze reports you will find non-performing keywords. Do not allow them to waste money and time. It would be better to concentrate on those keywords that are paying you back.
Find Some Synonymous
Users may use other terms than your keyword to search for your product!
Applying synonyms of performing keywords generally produces good results. You should find similar keywords in order to increase conversions.
Developing a System for Pausing AdWords Keywords
Ultimately, over time and as you’re managing a campaign, you’ll want to develop a process that takes all of the above into account and leads you to the right AdWords keywords to pause (keywords that have been given a fair shot to perform but are still dragging down your pay-per-click ROI.)
The Easy Way To Evaluate Keyword Performance
By using filters, you can discover how many of your keywords are doing what they are supposed to do. The screenshot below shows the three areas to look at: the keyword tab, filters and your filter options.
How many of them are wasting money?
These are the ones you should be watching closely. Keywords that get clicks but zero conversions will contribute to a high cost/conv. To find how many there are:
- Create a Filter to see all keywords that at least 1 click.
- In the filters drop down, click on “Conversions > Conversions (1-per-click)”
- Choose the “equal” sign then enter “0” in the field. This will show you all keywords that have at least 1 click and 0 conversions.
- Look at the result.
So there you have it fellow advertisers, time to put those non-working keywords to rest and start rewarding your performers! Being vigilant in pausing underperformers, especially after you do some keyword expansion work, will only net you profit in the end.