To use keyword intent to drive PPC performance

To use keyword intent to drive PPC performance: –

Configure for keyword success (and profit) by understanding the impact of the auction price, customer journey factors, and volume/value potential.

The option to actively target a keyword instead of allowing associated queries to happen naturally through other terms is an ever-evolving equation of:

  • Auction price.
  • Association perceived in the client’s journey.
  • Volume / value potential.

While no component should decide where the budget and account structure are going, it’s important to understand the impact of each, as well as the strategies that will be put in place for keyword success.

Let’s dive into the triforce of keyword planning.

Auction price:

The paid search philosophy largely revolves around balancing the auction prices of keywords with the expected value of the customer.

Auction price factors include:

  • Industry.
  • Close variants.
  • Devices.
  • Locations.
  • Weather.

Each industry has different auction prices, or what advertisers in that industry are willing to bid to ensure clicks.

A lawyer, dental surgeon, and IT company will have drastically higher auction prices than a gym, shoe store, and hotel because their client values ​​are drastically higher.

When someone is in a high-cost industry, it is vital to base keywords on the specific vertical for the service.

It’s also important to note when a keyword is a “mobile-first” keyword or is biased to be searched on a mobile device rather than on desktops or tablets.

Mobile devices must bid for position n. 1 because only the first ad is guaranteed to fully serve to the top half of the page.

A keyword concept with a wide range between “top of the page” and “first position” is likely a keyword concept that prioritizes mobile devices.

Depending on the keyword budget, as well as the mobile sales funnel, those keywords may be better served on the Bing desktop search network.

Since the average cost per click is 45% cheaper, one can also open keyword concepts that would have had to be compared due to the bid-to-budget ratio.

Locations and hours:

Few advertisers consider location and time when planning their keywords, but both have a decisive impact on the auction price.

If someone is targeting the US, Google will put the budget in California, Texas, Florida, and New York, in different orders.

If those locations aren’t the place to do the best business, or if the auction prices aren’t ideal, someone might want to adjust them through bid adjustments and exclusions.

Different industries will have different times when competition is high.

Depending on the keyword concept, someone may decide to limit ad scheduling to prime times, rather than 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Customer journey:

Customer journey factors include

  • SERP analysis.
  • Strategic approach.
  • Hearings

Keyword intent largely comes down to the quality of search engine results pages (SERPs).

There are a host of keyword planning tools, but none provide information like evaluating the SERPs for the keywords who are considering.

A SERP will rank somewhere on the scale between research-oriented and transactional.

Research-oriented SERPs will have mostly organic listings, with some ads at the bottom (or none at all).

Transaction-oriented SERPs will have at least 2-3 ads on top (if not the full four-pack).

Mobile devices blur the line, as Google tends to run “research-oriented” mobile SERP ads.

The rise of voice search and conversational inquiries has played a large role in the prominence of mobile ads (mobile inquiries have an urgency that payment methods are predisposed to serve).

To deliver the best user experience, Google correctly targeted users’ shopping journeys starting with mobile.

This is why excluding mobile devices from campaigns can cause performance glitches: while the conversion can take place on the desktop, the relationship-initiating interactions occur on all devices.

Types of matches and clues of intent:

Most advertisers avoid broad match and extol exact (or the phrase if they are risk-averse and don’t like the new exact rules).

Depending on the stage of the account/campaign the keyword is serving, there may be a place for broad keyword/match type concepts.

The more specific the keyword/query, the easier it will be for Google (and Bing) to decipher the intent, and in turn, to feel more confident serving ads on the SERPs.

The more “transactional” searches performed, the more likely they are to receive ads (even if different ads are served). If searches remain “research” oriented and no ads are clicked in the process, the keyword will not trigger ads for that user.

Honoring the intent of the keyword:

Some keywords are designed to work well (branded), while others have to help missions (competitor terms).

Both brand and competitor keyword concepts belong to their own campaigns.

All ad groups end up in the same campaign and there is too much auction price range.

Result: The budget cannot cover all parts of the business, and the search network cannot be forced to allocate the budget to the highest value products or services.

Campaigns are created for every part of the business, but quotes cannot support auction prices.

Result: Nowhere in the business is doing well and all the advertising seems wasteful because campaigns can’t get enough clicks per day to drive conversions and value.

The value of locations is not taken into account, so all locations are eligible.

Result: No attention is paid to how different regions search / think and budgets are forced to deal with a wide range of auction prices (and potentially time zones).

Before scrapping a keyword, ad group, or campaign, consider whether it has the potential to generate value and whether it was set up for success.


Audiences are the way we put any question about the intention to bed.

When Google and Bing launched audiences to market, get the most valuable tool for distinguishing between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) traffic.

Instead of putting up with the waste of crossover audiences, exclude unwanted intent and increase the bid for the desired audience.

Volume vs. Value:

The factor of volume versus value: what keywords will give what someone needs.

Certain keywords are predisposed to being part of a volume or value strategy, and it’s important to know what the account needs to deliver results upfront.

Many gravitate towards “long tail” keywords because they can give the search engine context.

There is a place for “common denominator” keywords that can attract unique forms of search.

As a rule:

  • Single-word keywords only need to be exact (especially now that implicit words are allowed).
  • Two-word keywords can be exact and phase-specific because it is important that locking on the order or common denominator provides enough value on its own.
  • Three-word keywords can be in the mod. broad, phrasing, and exact, but one must take into account the mixed intent with the mod. large.
  • Also, the phrase may start to lose its effectiveness because three words are required.
  • Five-word keywords are those where broad can enter the equation.
  • The keywords are soldiers in the war for maximum profit and ROAS.
  • If one part of the business is biased towards higher profits, that is where it should focus.
  • Audit keywords and their implied intent to see how well they align with high-benefit products/services.
  • Respect the factors that increase the likelihood of making a profit, and if one stands out, spend time developing campaigns focused on that (for example, keywords that honor the different ways potential customers search different locations).


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