Do you feel like your search engine marketing (SEM) strategy just isn’t working the way you’d hoped? Maybe you’re only seeing vanity metrics improving, like click through rates, but not bottom-line conversions and sales? If this sounds familiar, it may be time to start making some tweaks to your SEM.
A great way to start improving ad performance is to make sure your ads are serving to the right audience. One easy way to do that? Utilize niche keywords—which ensure you’re giving more of your attention and spend to keywords specific to your niche instead of relying on buzz phrases or big industry keywords which often bring too much noise and not enough focus.
What Is a Niche Keyword?
This is a very specific, long-tailed keyword that pertains to your brand or service. These phrases tend to have a lower search volume because they are so specific, but that specificity is what makes them valuable. By using insider terms that only people who are truly searching for something like your service offering would use, you’ll get higher quality traffic on your ads.
Let’s look at an example. At B&Y, we’re a marketing agency, so we could bid on the term “marketing agency.” Or, we could bid on a niche-driven keyword instead, such as “media strategy planning.” This term likely has a lower search volume but is one only a marketer would use — so we know that anyone typing in this phrase is going to be a much closer match to our potential customer. To put it a different way, this whole strategy is about quality engagements over quantity.
How to Find Niche Keywords
To try this out for yourself, you’ll need to follow a few easy steps to identify, research and select the right keywords to give yourself the best chance at the results you’re looking for.
- Dig deep. A great place to start is to think critically about your business, your industry, the services you offer and the problems you solve. Continuing to use ourselves as an example, when we think about the services we offer to our clients, we need to go a step below “marketing” or “advertising” and dig deep about what we really do: branding services, logo design, media strategy planning, digital marketing, etc. Apply this strategy to your own company by making a list of potential terms that will be the starting point for your research.
- Do some keyword research. Once you have a few ideas, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner another third-party tool like Semrush or SE Ranking to help with this. When looking for niche keywords, start with one of the big industry terms you’ve been using. Then look through the list for long-tail keywords that fit into the smaller subset you’ve defined. This gives you a starting point of suggested terms that are closely related to the ones you’re already targeting.
- Narrow down your list. Analyze your list of niche keywords, focusing on their cost-per-click estimates. Then select a few keywords that have potential for a big return and start targeting for your next campaign.
Watch & Adjust
When you change the target keywords for your campaigns, let them run for a few weeks. Then look for improvement in your key metrics, like verified cost-per-impression or cost-per-action. Are people seeing your ads and taking meaningful action?
If you’re still not seeing the leads you’d like from your campaign, go back to your original, broad, short-tailed keyword and put it into the keyword planner again. Look for different, perhaps even more specific, long-tailed keywords to try. Remember, just because your first set of key phrases might not provide the results you want, it doesn’t mean that SEM is wrong for your business—it’s a process of trial and error.
With some creativity and strategic thinking, you can use niche keywords to put your brand in front of the right people with more accuracy than before.
Looking for a partner to help hone your digital marketing strategy? Let’s have a conversation about your goals.