It used to be – in the old days (okay the “old days” in the search engine marketing (SEM) world was 2 years ago) – that large pay-per-click (PPC) does-ppc-size-mattercampaigns with thousands of keywords were the way to go.  The bigger the better.  Some of the older Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing accounts that I’ve taken over have had over 50,000 keywords!

Now, according to Google AdWords and what we’ve seen in our own management efforts, it is a much better idea to start with a smaller PPC advertising account and expand slowly.

There are two reasons for this. 

Quality Score

First is the need to establish a good quality score.  Using extremely targeted terms and matching them carefully to your ad copy is the best way to establish a high quality score in your account.  There are other factors, of course, but these are the most controllable aspects of the quality score calculation.

The 80/20 Rule

Second is the smart use of your time and money.  Business owners are busy people.  The methods that you use to grow your business should be chosen carefully with respect to your time and your expenses.  What we see again and again with all of our clients is that 20% of the keywords in a PPC account (actually, it’s probably more like 5-10%), make up 80% of the traffic and conversions for the business. 

What does this mean to you?  For the best effect, you should focus your time and expense on those 20%.

The Catch

The problem, in many cases, is that we don’t really know what the 20% is until we test them.  Yes, keyword research and competitor research reveals a lot of data on what the top keywords are for a particular industry.  However, until those keywords are tested with your ad copy, your call to action, and your business model, we don’t really know which ones will be in the top 20.  It has to be  tested.

So, for the best PPC results and the best use of your time, you should start with a small, targeted account with tight ad groups and focused, effective ad copy.  But – this tight campaign should then be expanded based on the actual results. A qualified PPC Management Company will provide a complimentary consultation to help you determine the best route for your PPC Campaigns.