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How not to have your keyword disabled for low click thru
Using [ ]

 4:48 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think that a few people out there are really missing out on a BIG tip for adwords. I am always seeing people wondering how they can keep their keywords from being disabled due to low CT. Most people just use the negative words, but ladies and gentleman... there is another way.

It is a tad more time consuming but it will help you to avoid the $5 charge.

Rather than telling Google what not to list your ad for, tell Google exactly what to list your ad for. Look up your phrase in either wordtracker or overture search tool (be careful of the alphabitizing). Cut and paste all the phrases that appear related to you keyword and then slap a [ & ] around each phrase. When you do this, your ad will only appear when someone types in that exact phrase. Be sure to recheck your list about oncea month to see if any new keyword phrases have popped up.

This accomplishes 2 things. First, all those clicks that appeared on your original one keyword phrase are now spread out over 6, 10, 20 or how ever many keyword phrases you find. Your time to 1000 clicks D-Day is greatly prolonged.

Second, you don't have to worry about unqualified impressions. You know exactly what your ad is showing for.

I know, I can hear it now, but I will miss out on those dozen or so weirdos who type in something that only they and no one else in the US in the past 30 days has typed. How much money were you going to make off them anyway? More than you will have to pay to have your ad keyword continually reinstated? Only you can answer that.

If you are really worried, try a combination of both this method and neg words. Leave the brackets off, add the negs on. It is almost the same effect.

I hope this helps a few of you out there.



 6:05 am on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good one hannamyluv.

More tips to avoid getting those dreaded mails from Google -

1) Group a set of similar keywords (ideally around 5 keywords) and put them in an AdGroup. The ad for your adgroup must be customized for your keywords.

2) The keyword should obviously be in either title or body of the ad or both. Sometimes AdWords team does not allow this because of repetitions - especially when you are repeating a complete keyphrase.
Solution-> Do not repeat the keyphrase, just seperate them. For example -

Persian Carpets (TITLE)
Excellent deals on Persian
Carpets. Click Here (BODY)

The above ad would probably be disapproved by the AdWords team because the phrase "Persian Carpets" is repeated in both title and body. However, this particular ad will not be disapproved -

Persian Carpets (Title)
Carpets for sale! Excellent
deals on Persian variety (BODY)

In this case, when the visitor types "persian carpets", FOUR words in the advertisement will be highlighted.

3)Get to the top 3 positions by bidding high for a few days. Once you get into AOL, your CTR will stay high. You can reduce the maximum CPC later.

4) Keep changing the ad copies till you are satisfied with your CTR

5) Take a look at your competitors' ads before you create one.


 11:02 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

GREAT post, Hannamyluv!

Cut and paste all the phrases that appear related to you keyword and then slap a [ & ] around each phrase. When you do this, your ad will only appear when someone types in that exact phrase.

This also helps make your metrics more exact by telling you what phrases are really producing. This is great information for tweaking your buy later.

I also keep all my metrics to see if there is a 'seasonal' trend in phrases. (Don't laugh, it happens.)


 11:43 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

This must be Christmas for all the advertisers struggling to get ads working for them.

I'd say do some of these things also to boost CTR :

Use exact match and phrase match for the same phrase so this would be :

[blue widgets]
"blue widgets"

What Google will do is it will check the phrase for an exact match, if it is, you get an impression and hopefully a click. As hannamyluv says the speed to 1000 impressions should be a lot slower. You'll probably get the same number of clicks, but because their are much fewer impressions the CTR will be that much greater. We have several exact matches on lots of campaigns with CTR in excess of 15%.

Obviously, if it isn't an exact match then your phrase match will catch it and you get less impressions because the exact match takes a bite out of the pie. You will get a lower CTR but will pick up the searchers who obviously are looking for your product/service but added some weird phrase to their search.

If you add in some tracking software that will monitor the search strings used in your phrase matches, you can add extra exact matches to reduce the stuff that hits the phrase match.

I like to think of the phrase match as a catch-all.

In some industries, it might be more cost-effective to pay th e $5 re-activation fee, but, you need to factor all of that into your ROI.

One last thing, try not to run too soon. You might have 100 keywords to deliver traffic from, but if you hit Google with them all at once without giving the campaign time to bed in then 20 searches on 50 of your keywords with no impressions and your hit with strike one, plus you've got a mark against some of the keywords already and your campaign has only been live for 20 minutes.


 12:40 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

great tips guys!

One point though. We use negative kyywords a lot when one of the terms in our keyword phrase attracts those mega expensive min bid rates, though we are actually trying to target a group to which that word has a different, less popular meaning. (I know this is obtruse but cant post the specific terms here!) As you know adding a word to a phrase which already has an expensive word in it, does not reduce the min click price, due to the way Adwords is set up.

So we only use the cheaper word in the phrase and use neg words extensively to reduce exposures to those who are obviously looking for the more expensive "meaning" of the keyword phrase.

I hope you know what I mean!

Agree completely that using smaller campagins with say 4 or 5 phrases rather than a dizen or more, and diff ad groups for each targeted group is one good way to reduce exposures.

Dis anybody else notice that during xmas/new year CTR went down badly - presumably because people were less primed to buy (we are in a b to b area and most businesses are on holiday), beacuse they are "just browsing". It may help to not panic because of low CTR's during holidays by just pausing or slowing down campaigns.

Having said that, we still find the well thought out use of neg keywords really do help us. Do a search on Google for your Adword phrase, and note all the words in the summaries etc that are extra, that are ones that you dont really want.
I know this is less direct than other methods mentioned above, but helps when like us, your keywords are very specialist and dont appear in OV or other "popular keyword" query tools.


 8:08 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I used all the techniques above but it did not help me. I must have spent at least 20 hours trying to get it right and in the end I gave up.

The problem occurs if you have a main keyword that is very popular but borders the 0.5% cutoff point. For example my keyword JAPAN was searched by about 687,400 people in one month and I received 3892 click-throughs.

The CTR for this keyword bordered on the 0.5%, so it kept getting cut off. The adwords system samples the CTR every 1000 impressions so I had 684 times where the CTR was ok and 3 times where it went below 0.5%. Even so I was cut off.

<If you have something to take up with Google, please take it up with them. This is not the place to do it. -Grnidone>

[edited by: grnidone at 5:50 pm (utc) on Jan. 6, 2003]


 8:29 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

criss cross.. I aggree that in some cases the .05% is too restirctive, especially for info sites like yours and mine, which are not directly selling consumables. We just border on .05 many times. I know that there is one business reason for google doing this - they dont want people using adwords for almost free and getting a lot of free branding!, and they want to make sure that those ads on their pages are the ones making them the most money!

When you think about there are probably 50 or more links on every SERP page on average, counting listings, directory links, other adwords, internail links and other paraphenalia. That means even if adwords had the same chance of being clicked on as normal SERPS and internal links (which they surely don't!) on average your clickthough would be 2.0% minimum. Not much to work with.

I think there is a case that min clickthrough rates can be reduced to say 0.3 in some cases, especially if there are not many adwords for a certain query.


 12:33 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I hope this helps a few of you out there.

It certainly helps me hannamyluv, cause I wasn`t aware of this "trick" using brackets around the phrases. Thank`s for sharing.. :)


 6:12 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

crisscross I'd be interested to know why you'd be interested in just that one keyword on it's own.

The whole thing with Adwords is relevancy, if you get less than 0.5% CTR then you've either written the ad wrong, or are using th wrong keywords, or using the wrong context.

The fact that the word Japan was searched for 687000 times it could have been "Japan" on it's own 10 times and "Japan noodle bars" the rest, if you have used the exact match i.e. [japan] what did that tell you?

You need to go more niche to get the eyeballs that you want, because it's a generic topic you will have lots of inventory to make up for the numbers on just the one word.

Giving up doesn't solve the problem.

I think there is a case that min clickthrough rates can be reduced to say 0.3 in some cases

chiyo is right, if you think about it, if you are the only one prepared to pay for a keyword that you have fallen across that is popular then it would make no sense for Google to not take your money, regardless of what the CTR is, but in competitive arenas they want as many advertisers on the front page as possible and if someone is there often but not paying their way then Google quite rightly take them out of the picture.


 6:40 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

It is a tad more time consuming but it will help you to avoid the $5 charge.

What $5 charge? Somehow I never noticed that


 6:45 pm on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanasus.. When you get the dreaded email from google thats says a campaign has not met the CTR minimum, you get two chances to modify the campaign to perform better for free! If it fails a third time, you get a smack on the bottom and told to pay a 5 buck reactivation fee.

..And its off to Adwords university for you for some serious cramming... ;)

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