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Repeat After Me

Keyword lists and beer popsicles.

5 PPC Keyword Challenges

Optimizing keywords for paid search campaigns can be difficult to get right. Here’s how to approach 5 common challenges.

Challenge #1: How many keywords should you have in your account?

The answer is simple: as many as necessary. By using keyword planning and competitor keyword tools, you can build a large list of potential keywords to narrow down and ultimately integrate into your account structure.

Challenge #2: Variants, variability & redundant keywords

Keyword phrases can be quite similar, with only slight variance in the order of words. Google has recently moved to flagging keywords for redundancy, but the fact is that even similar keywords can perform very differently. Consider testing both, so long as they have estimated search volume.

Challenge #3: Head terms vs long tail variants

Start by adding long tail keywords (4+ words), which are more specific and less costly than broader head terms (3 words or fewer).

Challenge #4: Match type myopia

These days, broad match can be too broad, targeting search terms that are not relevant to your business. Instead, try phrase and exact match terms first. After sustained success over time, you can expand into broad match.

Challenge #5: Keyword list maintenance

It’s not a crockpot—you can’t set up your account and forget it. Your keyword list needs regular maintenance to optimize performance. Make sure your keywords are still relevant, identify new versions to test, and analyze your best and worst performers to improve.

Check out WordStream’s guide for a deep dive into PPC.

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