Wasteful Wednesday

Wasteful Wednesday #24 Keyword of the Week “Definitions”

Watch Episode 24 on “Definitions”:

← Watch Episode 23 on “Login”

Read the Transcript on Episode 24 on “Definitions”:

What’s up friends, Wil Reynolds here for another Wasteful Wednesday.

This week, I’m back to talk about definitions.

As you know, on the show, what I try to do is show you ways that I pour through millions of search terms and all of the rankings that show up for them to combine PPC and SEO data to give our clients and our team competitive intel when we’re managing PPC accounts.

Every so often, I like to take one of the things that we found, share it with you, so you can save the same money that we save for our clients.

Keyword of the Week: “Definitions”

When I talk about definitions, let me go ahead and show you how just negating words like “define” and “synonym” might not be enough. If you’re not negating those words, there’s a good chance that those words are underperforming for you.

If you are negating them good for you, but let me show you some other ways you might be missing out on knowing what the customer intent could be around definitions.

Once again, I’m not saying to negate, I always say, look at the clue, process the clue, make your own decision as to whether or not it makes sense for you, but at the least you will better understand your customer by joining PPC and SEO data together.

So let me go ahead and give you a couple of examples here.

Example Walkthrough: Identifying Opportunities to Negate in Power BI

I picked the domain Merriam Webster.

Why? Because they are a site about defining things.

Then I said, only show me where they’re in the top 10, and this was across us looking at three and a half million search terms. We pulled the top 100 for those 3 million.

So you’re looking at 300 million rows of data that we’re just sorting through to find either opportunity to save our clients money or to better understand their customers.

So slicing through all that data, I’m down to $192,000 spent on keywords where Merriam Webster was in the top 10 organically, you can see it’s 1,591 keywords have triggered that.

What we also like to do here is to look at well, is this a big deal or not?

What percentage of my client’s total cost is coming in on keywords where Merriam Webster’s in the top 10? For this client, it’s almost 4%. I can also see that their CPA is about 15% over their typical CPA, but for other clients, they perform well on those.

That’s why best practices suck because for some clients they’re slightly over, for some clients they’re doing just fine. But for other clients, it’s a really bad signal, right?

Then what I can do is I can click on any of these clients and then I’m going to get a list of all the different search terms that are showing up for it.

I could see that Merriam Webster is showing up and what position they’re showing up on and how much we’re spending and whether or not we are converting for those words. Got it? Good.

Example Walkthrough: Synonyms

Query: “another word for tutor”

As usual, Google has stopped showing me a lot of ads on page one because I’m not clicking on them or something funky. So I had to go to page two for some of these, but “another word for tutor”.

I found that because Merriam Webster and thesaurus sites like that are going to be on the first page, right?

So I already know a little bit about the intent there, and you can see the company is paying for that word and might pay for that click when the person searching for it really is just looking for a synonym.

This is why just negating the word Synonym might cause you to still get some clicks that you didn’t want.

Query: “cash out”

There’s another way to look at this too, even for a keyword like “cash out”.

You can see that people are putting in different words and people are bidding on words…

…and there’s cash app and cash app,

…all those different things, but way down here, I start to see Merriam Webster.

So what it doesn’t mean, is it doesn’t mean negate, negate, negate, negate, negate.

It just means take a look. That’s a clue. It helps you to understand something a little bit more about your customer.

If you’re building a landing page around cashing out, maybe you want to be more definition focused in landing page copy, because Google’s already learned that some of the people searching for that just might be looking for a definition.

Query: “customer experience synonyms”

Then hello darkness, my old friend, customer experience is the kind of word that people love to go after.

You put the word “synonym” after it and you probably don’t want to show up for it. Let me show you an example.

I had to search Bing for this because Google’s starting to not like me searching so much. But as you can see, there’s different sites showing up for customer experience, but when somebody puts the word synonym next to it, it’s probably not what they’re looking for, right?

Example Walkthrough: Definitions Ranking in the Top 10

Query: “after school”

Even for words like “after school”, I was surprised to find out that one is a girl group, that’s pretty important to know.

Also you can see this word, meaning is down here, which means that Google has already learned that some of these people are looking for things like that.

So also looking for words like “meaning” in the related searches or in the suggestions helps you to find out more about what your customer is looking for.

Query: “mailing”

Heck, even the word “mailing”, you got USPS right, and then Merriam Webster’s right here.

So if your company is going after words related to “mailing”, it’s just important to realize that Google’s looking at all of these clicks for the word “mailing”, it’s searched for hundreds of thousands of times a year.

They can look at what people are clicking on, and they’ve learned that some of those people just might be looking for definitions. So you probably want to take that clue and bring that into your testing and decision-making process as you’re building out landing pages and campaigns on the paid side.

All right, my friends have a lovely Wednesday. Take care.


Key Takeaways

  • Negate words like “definitions”, “synonyms”, etc. to save PPC dollars.
  • Combine SEO and PPC data to identify domains that give intel into user intent when searching for a specific query.
  • Leverage our Saving Benjamin™ Lite tool to find more negative keywords in your PPC accounts.
  • Keep watching Wasteful Wednesday episodes here!


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