“Keep your eyes on the prize…hold on.”…Bruce Springsteen

Many of the paid search accounts that I’ve worked with contain a geographical component and I have a well-used spreadsheet that contains the names of the biggest U.S. Cities, States, and State Abbreviations for those accounts. I often combine this list with my “core” keywords so that my ads can reach the geographical paid search long tail.

But, as I was examining the conversion keywords on one particular account, I had the following paid search epiphany:

“IN” is not only the abbreviation for Indiana but is also a very common adverb / preposition.

“OR” is not only the abbreviation for Oregon but is also a common conjunction.

I was getting conversions with “Keyword + ‘in’” or “Keyword + ‘or’” that had nothing to do with geography. Instead, these were unique long tail searches that I not likely would have captured but for my inclusion of “in” or “or” with my keyword. The remainder of the queries weren’t accounted for in my campaign and I would have had a much lower chance of landing the visitor except in the unlikely event that I would have captured them with my much more competitive generic keyword.

When I do searches in AdWords that contain “Keyword + ‘in’” or “Keyword + ‘or’”, I notice that my ads are in higher relative positions vis a vis my competitors.

Therefore, if you are looking to get some additional long tail exposure with your paid search campaigns, try combining your core keywords with prepositions and conjunctions. I think you’ll find the additional ad exposure to be quite worth it.

12 thoughts on “A Minimalistic Paid Search Tip

  1. I like the idea Todd and I would be interested to see more data. One thought I had though: The real gold mine would be the 3rd word(s) wouldn’t it? Nobody searches Keyword + IN. They search for Keyword + IN + Place. Seems to me that mining your search query reports or analytics would provide the real value as you discover and add the locations (for IN) or alternatives (for OR) that searchers associate with your targeted keyword.

    Robert Bradys last blog post..Twitter Tirade: Abusing #FollowFriday

  2. I discovered this trick about a year ago, when I gained a client who runs an online shop for dog products and his own AdWords campaign, told me that the best keyword for him is “for dogs” (para perros in spanish). So, everyone searching for a product “for dogs” would see his ad!
    Since then, I use “for”, “in”, “to” etc. and it really works well!

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