The fine art of PPC involves a clever balancing act between nailing core, competitive keywords and branching out to discover the underdogs: long-tail keywords.Hands up all those people familiar with the “SoLoMo” lecture of social, local and mobile activity revolutionising the way people search, buy, meet up and everything in between. Everyone? I thought so. The basic premise is that digital advertising needs to be built with a social, mobile user in mind who will engage favourably with relevant, localised services. You may think that applying this theory to your PPC campaign is a no brainer but in practise, you may find you meet with some annoying drawbacks on your route to PPC perfection.In theory, searchers using long-tail keywords are likely to be well informed, genuine customers that are well worth paying for. For example, someone searching for “personal injury solicitors in bath” has a clear searcher intention and should be met with ads for local solicitors firms in Bath.Upon finding this search query in your reports, the logical response would be to add the phrase as a new keyword, with a “Bath Personal Injury Solicitors” ad text to match. You then prepare to send your click through and conversion rates through the roof, with teeny weeny click costs and all around brilliance... Well good luck because in reality, your clever-clogs plans are more likely to be met with this message:

According to Google, “low search volume” keywords are associated with very little global search traffic. The result of “low search volume” keyword is a suspended ad that won’t receive any impressions. This can make life more than a little frustrating for those on the quest to maximise on the “Lo” search that we all know is out there. Instead, Google chooses the larger volume, more generic (and by no coincidence, more expensive) keyword that is never going to be as relevant to the search query.Using long-tail keywords can be a vital tool for finding traffic that is high quality but very cheap. This should bring with it high ad positions with low click costs, high conversion rates with low acquisition costs and the general outcome of a happy looking client. Alan Mitchell, who blogs about all things PPC, points out that search queries longer than 3 words in length can sometimes account for up to 20% of all impressions within an account. Whilst on the surface the volumes attributed to long-tail keywords are individually insignificant, a large PPC campaign with thousands of them can have a real boost of high quality, low cost traffic.There doesn’t seem to be much in the world that Google can’t master but showing the most relevant ad text in an account, no matter what the keyword is should be the basic ABCs of PPC.Catering to modern search patterns that have resulted from the SoLoMo revolution requires an understanding of how people search. To win this game, Google needs to be the very best version of the Yellow Pages that ever existed and with this, comes the need to cater for the specific, localised search of a savvy SoLoMo-er.

...A few days after publishing this post, we discovered a possible solution. Head here to find out more.