How I Met Your Ridiculous Search Queries

AT-how-I-met-your-ridiculous-search-queriesAs SEMs we run into a lot of strange and irrelevant search queries that have actually converted into leads for our clients. It is our job to weed out the keywords that are counterproductive to our campaigns and to begin to utilize the keywords that can have a positive impact for our clients. Kenshoo’s “Suggested Search Terms” tool makes our job much easier. This tool effectively makes a list of search queries that people have entered, and that eventually led to a conversion for our client. Once we have that list, it is our job to go through it and rule out the search terms that are not going to help in our campaign. It is important to remember that, although a search query has actually resulted in a conversion, this does not automatically mean you should be spending your budget on that search term. Instead, you need to also consider the costs associated with your list of converting keywords, and allocate your budget to those terms that provide the greatest return on your investment.

After going over these search terms for the last few weeks, I have found some easy ways to eliminate the less relevant keywords. Of course there are the obvious ones like the disgruntled housewife who searched: “how to find out if my husband bought a new truck”; or the person who has way too much faith in the internet: “find the car I want” (these are actual converted search terms). There are also some broad categories that help us eliminate unnecessary keywords. We work with a lot of automotive clients, and there are a lot of keywords that are related to toy model cars. Yes, these will occasionally bring in a conversion but this is not something we should be targeting. Also, depending on the client, there are a lot of queries that are related to classic cars (‘67 Chevy, etc.) and these will usually be left out. We leave these out because those keywords do not actively contribute to our clients’ goals of selling their newer cars.

Understanding the intention of the searcher is crucial to keyword analysis. Incomplete sentences, words, and thoughts are pretty common in keyword analysis and can make it difficult to understand their intent. Once you’ve figured out their intent you can make a decision on whether or not to include that search term. Many times we will run into people who are looking for auto parts or some type of service station. Yes, they converted, but they’re probably looking to get more information, and not looking to actually buy. This is not creating a valuable lead for the client, and it is our job to target as specifically as possible the people who might actually be looking to buy. Most of our clients are more interested in generating hard vehicle leads as opposed to service leads.

After poring through keywords for the last few weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that roughly half the population can’t spell, and the other half does not understand how the internet works. This is fine, as long as we continue to create valuable leads for our clients.


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