Lock in on your best pay per call keywords

Best pay per call keywords

Back in the day, retailers and service companies had to guesstimate the success of their ad campaigns through customer comments and clipped paper coupons.

That evaluation process has since become a science for many businesses. Since programs like Google Adwords and its Website Call Conversions have made their debut, companies highly dependent on the phone for sales leads can easily see which of their pay per call (PPC) ads is producing the most bang for their buck — right down to the best keywords.

Here is a sampling of some of the best strategies for choosing winning keywords:

– Think like a customer and consider words and phrases that describe the main categories of your business. “Think about the problem your product or service solves, and how a prospect might ask about it,” advises Melissa Mackey on “If you’re a local business, directional searches like the ‘lunch restaurant near 5th and Main’ typically work well. If you’re selling a magazine, bid on the magazine type: ‘poker magazines’ or ‘magazines about poker.’”

– Some sources say to avoid word repetition, but it works fine within phrases as long as the meaning of each phrase is varied, according to Michael Mothner on “In other words, dog food and dog food online are basically synonymous, and the content one might expect to find associated with both keywords is the same,” he explains. “However, ‘dog food reviews’ and ‘dog food comparison’ indicate somewhat different content and therefore are appropriate to be used in tandem as keywords.”

– Google advises that five to 20 keywords per ad group is most effective, as well as keyword phrases of two or three words. “My frustration with this term (keyword) is that it quite simply implies a single word,” adds Mothner. “(That’s) rarely the strategy we employ when doing keyword research and selection.”

– Walk the line between being too broad or too specific. Mackey notes overly broad keywords can be interpreted different ways, and you’ll end up paying for calls that don’t apply to your business. Broader keywords also tend to be more expensive. On the flip side, too-specific words limit your potential callers.

– Take advantage of the addition of negative keywords to rule out inapplicable calls. For example, new-car salesmen could place the word “used” on their negative list, notes Mike Williams on

When in doubt, try out different keywords and then adjust your campaign to their success. Make sure to allow each campaign several weeks to gain traction.

“You shouldn’t expect immediate results overnight,” says Williams. “Wait for a month or so with a particular campaign before writing it off. If you’re not willing to put in that kind of time and effort, maybe a paid pay per call promotional campaign isn’t the right fit for you and your business model.”