Nurturing, Relocating, and Firing Keywords

The keywords in your account are either making money or losing money. They can be optimized or sub-optimized for performance. And they can be restricted by budget or unrestricted. Your job is threefold:

  • Get all your keywords to make money.
  • Optimize your keywords' performance.
  • Get as much traffic for your ROI-positive keywords as you can handle.

Keyword performance in AdWords is a linear process. Each keyword must jump through four hoops, and in order, to be successful. Before you start trying to improve keyword performance, use the following four metrics to diagnose the problem:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks (CTR)
  • Conversions (Conversion Rate)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)

If your keyword generates no impressions, for example, don't focus on writing better ads. Similarly, if you're getting lots of clicks and not enough conversions, don't increase the bid price to appear higher on the search results page.

image Tailor your response to the weakest link in the keyword chain.

The next few sections discuss these four metrics in detail.


How often does the keyword deliver an ad to a searcher? A keyword that doesn't cause ads to be viewed can't generate clicks for those ads.

Think of impressions as the wind in your sails. Skillful sailors can harness winds of different strengths and directions, but they can't make the wind blow harder. If you have ...

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