Google advertising? A dozen keywords is far too few

Advertising on Google’s PPC (pay per click) Adwords network means you choose a group of keywords, the words and phrases that will cause your ad to be displayed in response to searches by your prospects. If you sell bridal gowns, you choose “bridal gowns” and “wedding dresses” as your keywords, and when a Google user searches for those keywords, she’ll see your ad — and probably the ads of many others who sell bridal gowns.

You should know that two keywords is not nearly enough. A dozen isn’t enough. Fifty might be nearly enough. A hundred is enough.  The big time advertisers might use a thousand, or more.

You’d be surprised at the words your prospects use in their searches. How about “gown for my daughter’s wedding,” or “wedding dresses at discount?” It’s true that most prospects search for the more obvious keywords, but there are plenty of prospective customers out there who search for the less obvious keywords. And by including the less-used keywords in your list, you may have a better chance to compete for some customers. Why? Fewer of your competitors use those keywords, so your ad doesn’t have to fight against theirs for attention. And if it happens that a keyword doesn’t attract prospects, no big deal. You’re paying per click. No clicks, no cost to you.

OK, where can you find fifty keywords that make sense? Or a hundred? Google has a keyword tool you can use, and for free. It will suggest up to 800 possible keywords for you, and tell you how many times each has actually been searched.

If you invest advertising dollars in PPC, pay careful attention to keyword choices. It’s terribly important. A haphazard keyword selection can waste much — if not all — of your ad budget.

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