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Podcast: How to choose the right keywords?

04 April 2022


Tom Morgan-Grenville 0:18
Good afternoon, everyone. How are you doing?

Harry Fielder 0:20
Well, I’m okay. I can’t speak for everyone listening. But I’m well,

Tom Morgan-Grenville 0:24
you are well, yeah, that is wonderful to hear. I am also doing pretty well today.

Harry Fielder 0:28
We’ve had all sorts of weather today. It’s been snowing, sunny, raining, all in the space about 45 minutes, four

Tom Morgan-Grenville 0:33
seasons in a day fully.

Harry Fielder 0:35
Quatre Saisons

Tom Morgan-Grenville 0:38
the Manoir, Quatre Saisons, there we go.

Harry Fielder 0:40
So what are we chatting about today? Tom?

Tom Morgan-Grenville 0:42
What I thought today, it would be a good opportunity to talk about how do I know what keywords to bet on? Because I think it’s a question that a lot of hoteliers, who are starting out with paid search ads have where they’ll see that there is an endless option of broad niche brand discovery keywords that you can bid on. But what are the what are the steps that you want to take to to decide for yourself? What’s good to bid on?

Harry Fielder 1:12
Okay, so keywords being just for the uninitiated, keywords? Are the search terms that when someone types into Google are going to result in our advert being shown on the for a given campaign? Exactly. I’ve I passed the first

Tom Morgan-Grenville 1:29
year, I realized that I have given a topic that is entirely in my wheelhouse. And I’ve just gone like Harry, come and let’s chat about this thing that I know about.

Harry Fielder 1:37
There we go. So your one to one chance to show me up there.

Tom Morgan-Grenville 1:41
Exactly. But yeah, that is exactly what a keyword is. It’s, it’s the trigger for the advert. And when deciding on what to what keywords you want to trigger, there are a couple of steps that we tend to use omy for clients. And basically, this is, I guess, a bit of a tips and tricks on how if you’re starting up a new paid search campaign, and you want to work out effectively, what keywords to bid on to use some of these tips,

Harry Fielder 2:13
right, then two steps. But to start with the first one, then two steps,

Tom Morgan-Grenville 2:17
steps, right? Well,

Harry Fielder 2:19
I think it’s a two techniques, a few techniques who are okay.

Tom Morgan-Grenville 2:24
So I’d say the first step is keyword research. Keyword Research is something that can be done to a lot of different degrees. So the way that I do it is I tend to make an almost exhaustive list of every single keyword plus suffixes and prefixes for those keywords around the hotel. This is for discovery research. And to put those all into the platform, we use sem rush for this and see how many of them get searched within those searches? How many of those searches have a potential for bidding on? And how many of those have the right sort of intent? Are they navigational? Are people only looking at it to find out information or to move to another page? Or are they transactional? Generally, you want to be bidding on the transactional terms. Okay, so I think some of these software’s are really good for making that distinction.

Harry Fielder 3:18
Okay, give me an example of a transactional term

Tom Morgan-Grenville 3:21
is very varied, because some terms will be transactional, for some areas, but there won’t be for others. So your hotel rooms in London is most likely going to be transactional. But luxury hotels in London might not be it might be an interest base term, people might be just trying to find out about luxury hotels, I understand. Okay. Okay. So the more specific to what you’re selling your keyword is, then the better it’s going to be? I think once so once you’ve done that, and what I’d say is, there’s never any harm in getting as many possible keywords at that stick, because it doesn’t mean you have to use any or all of them, or any of them even, you can really, you can whittle it down so much. And I would suggest that you do especially if you’ve got a limited budget, because the way that you want to structure an account is that you’re creating your ads. Each of your ad groups is created around a certain keyword that you want to target. And actually, to a further extent, if you’re trying to target an incredibly specific keyword, and you want to rank highly for it, and it’s a brand, it’s non branded, so it’s a discovery keyword. For example, we’ve been working with a gym in Notting Hill, who want to rank number one for gym in Notting Hill, which means that we’ve gone okay, we’re assigning specific budget to that we’re taking it out of all of the other campaigns. So that’s going to be entirely focused on one keyword. It’s a really successful campaign. It’s worked really well for them. It has meant that we’ve then reduced the amount of other keywords that we’re bidding on purely so you’re getting less dilution of that budget. And so I think that’s really really effective thing to think about? What’s your budget? And how many keywords? Can that realistically six sustain effectively competing for?

Harry Fielder 5:08
Okay, and how would you sort of start assess? How would you know, the volume of the estimated volume? So we’re saying, you know, we’ve got a certain budget, but how would I know how much budget is going to be consumed by a given keyword?

Tom Morgan-Grenville 5:21
So these tools that you’re going to be using for your research, you’re going to be getting an expected cost per click? Yeah. And you’re going to get

Harry Fielder 5:29
how accurate is that those estimations, typically, relatively okay,

Tom Morgan-Grenville 5:33
it will give you the cost per click that you’ll likely have to pay to get on the page, right, probably not the top of the page cost per click, generally, for a branded, or for a discovery term. Yeah, the top of the page cost per click is going to be a lot, like you’re looking at 152 pounds, rather than for a branded term where it’d be 20 to 30 P, or getting on the page for a discovery term where it might be 70 P, okay, so these are very finger in the wind, you might have completely different setups for yours. This is just what I found over the last couple of years, is quite general, probably more specifically in London. So from that, you then also get an estimated search volume for that keyword per month. And if you times your cost per click by and you say best case scenario, we get a click through rate of 11%. So the search volume there, we need to have the budget to get 11% of that to click,

Harry Fielder 6:37
I understand. Okay, so it’s just a essentially estimated search volume times the click through rate times the estimated cost per click

Tom Morgan-Grenville 6:47
Exactly. And that will give you a budget that you won’t spend on that keyword if you want to be ranking for it 100% of the time, which if you want to try and compete on it, realistically you do.

Harry Fielder 6:58
Right? I understand. I understand. Okay, and then it’s, then it’s a case of once you’ve got that potentially large list of an initial keywords, it’s then about sort of distilling the ones that you feel are most have most affinity to the brand. But most How do I then once I know that?

Tom Morgan-Grenville 7:16
Exactly. So you’ve basically taken the next point of this perfectly, which is sense Jedi cue you up, you cued me up without even reading the notes made fantastic. You want to sense check all of those keywords. So you might have things that look good on paper, good search volume, the keyword difficulty, which is how competitive a keyword would be to rank for. It’s generally that’s an organic term. But you can also look at it in terms of if a keyword has high keyword difficulty, it’s going to be very difficult to bid on and most likely won’t have ads showing because it will be too generic hotel, you’re probably not going to unless your or something you’re not going to show up for. But since checking you want to go through and say okay, well, this keyword has a good level of search volume. It’s like the cost per clicks a exist because it could say there’s a zero cost per click, which just means there aren’t ads showing on it. Okay. And also then saying that, we think that people who are looking for that term, are really likely to be looking for our product. And that’s where you want to dig it down a bit.

Harry Fielder 8:29
Okay. Okay. Nice. I understand, you understand.

Tom Morgan-Grenville 8:33
So then the other bits are more, a bit further down the line. So it’s understanding your bid strategies, which I think is probably something to talk about another day. But just to touch on it, when you’re choosing these keywords, you’ll have a lot of different bid strategies through Google, one of which is to do it yourself manually, and to look at the cost per clicks that they’ve given, as estimates on your research and say, Well, let’s start off at those and move up or down depending on how we’re ranking. Google Offers maximizing clicks, maximizing conversions, bidding for impression share, and a few other things. Those tend to be from my experience, if you’re not an active like you’re not in the account every day changing bids, that’s going to be more effective.

Harry Fielder 9:24
And what is it worthwhile going for? Let’s say you’re kind of a high high volume, low numbers of transactions, let’s say a small boutique hotel luxury boutique hotel. Do you think the transaction volume through the booking engine and trackable conversions is going to result in an effective automatic bid strategy? Because if you’re low transactions, so we got let’s say we want to optimize for conversions. And that conversion is a very high ticket item that doesn’t actually convert that often. Yeah, right. Is that worthwhile? Or do there need to be focusing on micro conversions such as smaller? It’s smaller levels of commitment such as click through to the booking engine or, or things like that. How, what would you do that?

Tom Morgan-Grenville 10:11
Absolutely, you want to so we found this recently, we’re working with a property who is opening quite soon, and no one’s booking it because A, there’s no availability. But we are launching ads, we’re putting ads out to try and get people involved and get people interested. So what we’ve put on, there are a few interactions you can make with the site, not necessarily looking engine related, some of them might be, they’ve spent more than five and a half minutes. So I pulled it down over the last month and looked at the 5% dynamic. So five and 5% of users spend more than five and a half minutes or 5%. And users click on more than six pages. And using those, you can then say, well, I feel if someone is in that top 5%, you can count that as a micro transaction, but they are a valuable customer. And then also things like engaging with room categories on the state pages or signing up to a newsletter or submitting any sort of contact. Okay, all of those are going to be valuable, not necessarily financially, but they might,

Harry Fielder 11:16
but ultimately, all of those things show intent and are part of the journey to a transaction. So yeah, I think it’s it’s just from my from my experience, I think it’s very easy to get very focused, become very, very focused on that end transaction that purchase in the booking engine. But actually, if that’s your only goal, and you don’t look outside of all of the other things that are actually combined to create that transaction, you’re missing a lot of optimization opportunity. Yeah, both from a website optimization perspective, but also a campaign optimization perspective, I think.

Tom Morgan-Grenville 11:52
And I think with the way that we optimize campaigns are booming, particularly, is to look at conversion rates. If you’ve got somewhere where it’s low value, high volume, we can literally just say we’re going to pick one conversion, it’s just gonna be transactions, and we want to optimize to that. Fantastic, makes a campaign that work for like a hostile chain. Yeah. Okay, a hostile chain or a hostile is going to have a huge turnout, because we’re going to have a high comparative number of beds to sell. And it’s going to be a low ticket items, that was much more of an impulse buy. Yep. So we’ll have a lot of different transactions. And therefore Google will have a lot more data points based on what a user who is likely to convert with them looks like. And we can build up a demographic image. And we can build up an image based on audiences that we’ve imported. And we can build up that image and say, Well, this is who we want to bid on. And this is where we want to adjust the bids higher,

Harry Fielder 12:48
right? If would you say that if something’s more of an impulse buy, there, the journey between advert and purchase is much shorter. Arguably, therefore, the journey length, like when it’s a much more considered purchase, perhaps more in the luxury space, or something that’s has so many more like other parts of the travel travel journey, so flights and things like that? Would you say it’s harder to optimize when the purchase journey is longer? Or do you just add, you just have to treat it in a very different way, and

Tom Morgan-Grenville 13:24
you change your optimization strategy. So what you need to do is look at those microtransactions. And we can say, you know, it’s it is harder to optimize for an end goal conversion, because there are so many more factors at play. But we can still optimize for things that we see as linked to NGO conversion. Okay. Okay, as I said before, all those little transactions on a site. So I think that’s really important. And then the final thing to talk about is just to understand your KPIs, and that links in with these things. So if you’re setting up this campaign, to try and build brand awareness, it’s unlikely that conversions are going to be your main source of like your main interest. If you’re just trying to build brand awareness, you’re looking for getting users on the site, getting people to see what you’re up to. If you’re looking to do a branding campaign against, a, your keyword selections can be really easy. But then it’s more of a case of how do you optimize for it because having, like a successful branded campaign is not just about having your brand term and bidding on it. It’s about making sure that you’re getting the best cost per click possible, and that you’re getting to the right sort of users. So it’s picking those KPIs basing your optimizations on those and reviewing your keywords, probably monthly bi monthly if you haven’t got the time. Making sure that you are always bidding on a keyword that’s that you’re not wasting ads. You’re not showing up on keywords that aren’t actually converting.

Harry Fielder 14:57
Yeah, raise it you know what I think the listeners are Got two podcasts in one today? I think we’ve done a, we’ve done a lot of keyword research in the first place. And then we’ve really done a lot about optimization as well. I think we definitely want to dedicate one to optimization and really deep dive into that. Yeah, as well. Because I think that’s such a, you know, a set and forget is just absolutely, absolutely a no go on this one. Because it’s I think setting and forgetting without that ongoing, those ongoing tweaks is just a surefire way to lose quite a lot of money quite quickly. I

Tom Morgan-Grenville 15:31
think that’s everyone’s sort of, I wouldn’t spend money on Google ads, because I’ve been stung in the past. And it’s those campaigns. It’s those set and forget where you put something in and you’re like, Okay, we’ll bid on these keywords and see what happens. Yeah. You are the you’re the master of your own destiny. And this sounds incredibly powerful. Exactly, somehow. And Thursday’s,

Harry Fielder 15:51
there’s an empowerment as well. Thank you so much. I’m, I’ve learned a lot today. And I don’t know, I do learn a lot normally. But that’s been really interesting to chat to you. Thank you very much for sharing all that. I think we’ll do. We’ll certainly explore the intricacies of bid management soon. So many other topics that we want to cover on this because there’s just there’s just so many different facets to digital advertising, among all the other things that we do so we’ll catch you on the next one and stay tuned for some cool content. Have a good one.

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