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AdWords Contextual Targeting – Another Keyword Analysis Tool for PPC and SEO

| Posted in category Google Keyword Research PPC Advertising SEO Tools

Getting the right keywords - the more I’m in SEO, the more obsessed I am with the idea of finding better and smarter keywords. Good for me and you, Google AdWords has launched one more keyword tool to bring light into the darkness. Both pay-per-click guys and SEO fellows, I have something to tell you about it!

The reason why Google invented one more AdWords tool is obvious - so many guys have tried the ad placement option for their pay-per-click campaigns and failed. I remember how disappointed I was to get CTR lower than 0.1% in just a couple of days after launching an ad group.

Besides, this CTR is considered by Google when calculating the overall account CTR, which made me even sadder, as it took me so much time and effort to raise it to 1%.

I guess my experience was typical. In a conversation with an AdWords strategist responsible for reviewing my account and making suggestions, I learnt two things:

  1. Google knows its network placement leaves much to be desired
  2. Google doesn’t want to lose this slice of the ad pie

Is it much of a surprise for me Google unveils the Contextual Targeting tool? Not really, as it might be just vital for the whole placement network to survive. Now let’s see what this tool can do and how you can use it.

Getting themed keyword lists

Let's face it, there's no exact recipe for your PPC success. The only recommendation we get is that our ad groups must be as targeted as possible, and now Google tries to show what it means.

To get to the tool, login into your AdWords account, click on the tab "Tools and Analysis" and choose "Contextual Targeting Tool."

After that, you need to type in your target keywords in the required field, choose the country and language options.


The Contextual Targeting Tool settings


For instance, if you sell flowers in the UK, you will get something like this (see the image above). The SEO software analyzes your keywords and builds themed groups. You can expand each group to see even more detailed ones. If you are satisfied with the suggestions, you can easily add groups to your existing campaigns or export them to AdWords Editor.

Additionally, for each group you get a list of websites where you can place a relevant ad. You can review each website separately and then choose the ones that suit you best. The "suggested bid" value gives you an idea of how much you will spend for each ad group.

Thinking about the keywords Google suggests, I had an idea that those keywords have good CTR (and probably even conversion!) rate. Why would it show poor-performing phrases, when it can suggest the words that get actual clicks and earn more money? So, in this case you have to be careful. If the keywords are so popular, they might bring a lot of clicks (which will increase your ad spending), but not necessarily customers. Therefore, I'd recommend switching one more powerful tool, your brain, and thoroughly filtering Google suggestions :).

SEOs, you are welcome as well!

I can't find a reason why SEOs should neglect this tool. Don't you need keywords? Are all your pages 100% optimized for search engines? Hesitate? Then you are welcome to use the tool, too. Moreover, I have at least three reasons you should definitely give the tool a try:

1.    If keywords (and groups of keywords) chosen by Google are good-performing in pay-per-click campaigns, they might be good for your organic campaigns.

2.    The way Google splits the keywords into groups can help you better understand its logic and tune up your on-page optimization.

3.    If you are challenged to do SEO with foreign languages you are not really good at, here's your chance to get a quick list of keywords and groups targeted for the certain region and language.

Keyword groups for "sushi restaurant" in Japanese:


Contextual Targeting Tool for Japanese keywords results


Although the Contextual Targeting Tool is still marked as "Beta" in Google AdWords, I think it does have a future. Probably it will be integrated into the common Keyword tool - then we'll see a really powerful free search and (!) targeting instrument that will help SEOs build themed keyword lists in a couple of minutes. Who knows? But until that happens, I'll stick with Rank Tracker and  WebSite Auditor for my SEO strategies!

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