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Plurals, ad groups, and minimum bids

12:08 am on Sep 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm fairly new to AdWords, having started my campaign two months ago. We're in a highly niche market with not many advertisers competing, and I have some questions based on what I'm experiencing.

I'll use the word "contractor" in place of our actual keyword(s). Also, we want our keyword(s) to be region specific. For example, "California contractors".

Currently, our Ad Group contains both "contractor" and its plural form "contractors" in the same keyword list. The Ad has the keyword "contractors" in both the title and the copy. Google has us at a minimum bid of $0.50 for "contractors", but $1.00 min bid for "contractor".

1. On average, there are only 3-5 advertisers for "contractors". Why would our minimum bid be as high as $0.50 per click? And, why can't I lower the minimum bid to be at a lower position?

2. There are NO advertisers for "contractor". So, why would Google charge us a minimum bid of $1.00? I'm baffled by this. I thought the fewer advertisers, the lower the cpc...Can someone explain this?

3. Should I create a separate Ad Group for "contractor", the singular form, and a separate one for "contractors"?

4. I've seen ads where they have the name of a city in the ad's title. For example, "Find contractors in Boston". Does this mean that I should create an Ad Group for each individual city? How is this done? What's the best methodology for targeting specific cities, regions, etc.?

5. Why is it that I have the keyword "contractors", but if I do a search on "contractors in London", our ad does not show up? I have to actually create a keyword phrase "contractors in London" in order for the ad to show up. Doesn't the broad match cover something like this? Can someone explain?

Thanks very much for your help!


3:21 pm on Oct 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
votes: 212

I don't know that I have time to answer all your questions, but -

The AdWords QS seems to be somewhat confused and disoriented when it comes to plurals and singulars. I run into this too. Generally speaking, I don't know of a way around it. If the word is important enough to me in both forms, I run it at the higher price. You could try to create an alternative landing pages targeting the singular version and the plural. I haven't tried that, so I don't know if it would work.

"Contractor" is an enormously generic word, even when you qualify it to a region. I can't believe you'd only see 3-5 advertisers for it, unless it's been determined by Google to be *too* generic to show many ads on it. Kind of like "Consultant". If your market is that highly niche, I'd try more focused keywords.

As far as the city names - you could try creating separate Ad Groups, or you could use dynamic keyword insertion, and put a list of cities in one Ad Group - it would look like "Find Contractors in {Keyword:Your City}" and the Your City would be the alternative text that displays in case the city name is too long to fit. But you might run into QS score problems that way. Depends on how many cities you are targeting, I guess.

All I got time for now -

1:03 pm on Oct 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

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joined:June 11, 2007
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Thanks for taking the time to answer. You were still a big help. Although, I was just using "contractor" as the example. That's not our real keyword, which is much more targeted.

In any case, I'll have to keep tweaking. So far, it appears that the plural form is getting more impressions than the singular. So, I may just phase out the singular keyword.

Also, I wasn't aware of the dynamic keyword insertion. I'll have to do some more reading up on that.

Thanks again!


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