Before jumping in I’d recommend starting out with our article explaining the difference between keywords vs. customer search terms (CSTs).
You’ll need a solid grasp of the distinction between the two in order to get the most out of this article.
Here’s what we’ll talk about…
We Did a Little Experiment to See If Our Team Could Predict Customer Search Terms
Have you ever looked at your Search Term Report and felt like you were reading a different language?
We certainly have!
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It happens time and time again that the keywords that we think are going to be our top converters are totally different from what customers are actually searching for.
For example, we sell a product similar to the one below. It’s what might commonly be called a plastic coffee cup lid.
We did a little experiment around the office and asked everyone to come up with their top 5 keywords for this product. Then we asked them to rank them in the order of what they thought would be our top search term converters (in an exact campaign).
Here’s what they came up with.
Coffee cup lid
To go cup lid
Disposable coffee cup lid
Throw away coffee cup lid
A perfectly reasonable list, right?
Well, here are the actual top 5 search terms by sales for this product.
Some of these maybe you could have seen coming, but how about “hot cups lids”?
Let me show you one more.
We also sell a product similar to this one below. You might refer to it as “hamburger patty parchment paper” or something like that.
Here’s what our team came up with.
Burger patty paper
And here are the highest converting search terms by sales…
Smash burger?? Really?
For whatever reason when people are searching for “smash burger” they’re apparently looking for burger patty paper. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So, if even highly experienced PPC experts still have this problem how are you supposed to deal with this?
Use it to your advantage!
Using Keyword Farming to Optimize Your Campaigns
The way we deal with this is by using a method that we call “farming”.
To put it into one sentence I would say:
We generate a huge list of keywords that we put into broad campaigns to help identify high-performing search terms and then move those into exact campaigns.
Using this simple (but grossly under-utilized) method can ensure you’re maximizing your campaigns by leaving no stone unturned.
Because missing even one or two high-potential keywords can mean that you’re losing out on thousands of dollars in revenue over the lifetime of the product.
As far as how we handle this for clients, here’s what our entire 6-step farming process looks like in a cute infographic.
The result is that you get a list of extremely high-potential keywords that have a proven track record of converting for your specific product that we can then use to maximize your profit.