I’ve written before about an often overlooked opportunity for retailers to easily increase and maintain the tail of their paid search keyword list. The tail is a commonly used name for the thousands of less popular keywords which get few impressions yet, in bulk, make up the greater number of terms. Your keyword list should have primary keywords (those obvious, popular terms) and a tail.Popular terms such as “BMW” or “Computer” attract more searches but they also have a greater quantity of advertisers bidding to achieve placement. Supply and Demand for these terms force CPC rates to remain high. Tail keywords for model numbers, product names, skus, and series titles are often overlooked by advertisers, ignored as being too difficult to manage, or simply don’t apply to their brand since not all of the advertisers on a broad keyword are relevant to a specific term. Finding an easy way to create and manage these terms increases your visibility in search while attaining placement on keywords that may deliver better performance and result in more actions or conversions (though not always). You have to be careful with the assumption that “tail” keywords are more likely to convert. Inexperienced search marketers make an assumption that if the keyword is more specific, the searcher must have greater intent with that term. The reality is often the opposite with users searching on specific terms to find what they want then turning to a generic search to act.
The easiest way for retailers to create a list of tail terms is to export their datafeed (Comparison Shopping feed) into excel and use the titles, skus, part numbers, and UPC codes as a keyword list. Do this a couple times a month to keep your list fresh (add new products and remove those discontinued) and you can quickly grow your list of a few hundred keywords to thousands.
To keep minimize the strain of managing thousands of terms, work with a vendor or, simply, use generic ad copy and a dynamic landing page. A dynamic landing page may be easier than it sounds. Ask IT if you can dynamically link into site search results (your own search results); in most cases you do this by adding the keyword to the URL for the search results causing the page to display the results relevant to that search. Use excel to view all the tail keywords from your datafeed and find/replace the term in the site side search URL with the tail keyword. Update the list every few weeks to ensure it remains accurate and you’re done!