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How To Collect A Semantic Core For Contextual Advertising And Get Maximum Outreach

How To Collect A Semantic Core For Contextual Advertising And Get Maximum Outreach
Stacy Mine
Andrey Belousov
Growth Hacker at Serpstat
Gathering a high-quality semantic core for context advertising is exactly the stage that saves your advertising budget. If you have a proper semantic core, you have appropriate traffic and, accordingly, relevant clicks.

Of course, the advertisers understand what kind of advertisement they want to show, and by what words users should reach it. However, it is not so predictable. Here you cannot do without specialized tools and some magic :)

Two opposing goals to achieve when collecting semantics

The collection of semantics is the first and most crucial step in contextual advertising. There are two key points here: filter out the maximum of rubbish impressions and maintain as much reach as possible.

Unfortunately, both of these goals cannot be achieved at the same time, and you have to compromise. Therefore, there are two different ways of selecting semantics:
Leave some rubbish, but get maximum reach. For this, you should use AdWords' broad match, and add many negative keywords.
Sacrifice reach by filtering out all rubbish. For this, you should use AdWords exact match.

What is broad and exact matching of keywords

Broad match
By default, systems have broad match of keywords. This means that your ad will be shown for those queries that contain all the words of a set keyword plus other words (except negative keywords). For example, if you set the keyword "buy a house," then users will see your ad will on requests buy house, buy air conditioning for house, etc.

In this case, the rule "All that is not prohibited is allowed" works. Additional words in the request don't prevent the ad from showing if these words are not in the list of negative keywords.
Exact match
If you choose exact match in AdWords, then users will see your ads by keyword only if there are no other words in the request. For example, if you specify the phrase "buy a house," your ads will not be shown for "buy air conditioner for house," and so on.
What type to choose
Most advertisers underestimate reach. However, it allows you to save costs and get the same result cheaper. Let's see:
We have 100 clicks per day, daily cost = $100. CPC = $1.
We doubled our reach, and we now have 200 clicks per day for $1.
Reduce bids, for example, by half and get 100 clicks, but at $0.5. As a result, the expense is halved from $100 to $50.
It's easy to change bids, so it's better to imagine the effectiveness of advertising not as a point but as a curve. You just need to change the rates to move from one point of the curve to another.

From the very beginning, we were on a blue curve. After doubling the reach, the performance curve grew vertically. The graph shows that the blue curve is not only higher (you can buy more clicks for the same CPC), but also to the left: you can buy the same number of clicks cheaper.

Therefore, reach is important because it greatly affects performance. Almost always double coverage allows you to get the same result, at least half the price.
Using exact match reduces the reach by about a half:
The share of new queries on Google is about 15% −25%. In other words, almost a quarter of the traffic comes from ultra-low-frequency requests (less than 1 per year).
Another quarter comes from requests with a frequency of less than one request per month.
Thus, using an exact match costs you at least half the reach.
At the same time, the proportion of rubbish is not more than a few percent (if you work with negative keywords.) Therefore, using negative keywords is much better than the exact match.
However, there is a compromise - to use both exact and broad match, but with lower bids. This option is best for AdWords, as Google's help says that you can increase your Quality Score and, therefore, your ad's position.

Advertising position depends on the Quality Score. It may decrease if the keywords match too many queries.

However, it is not so simple. Many factors influence the Quality Score and the predicted CTR, but this is a topic for another article.

You can try to add keywords in exact match if they have a better quality score. Almost certainly, this method will not reduce the effectiveness of advertising.

How to collect the main keywords

Main keywords will be those that, with broad match, increase the reach. The remaining keywords (which are subqueries of other keywords in the ad) will be extra.

For example, you have only one keyword in your ad group called "semantic core":
if you add "semantic core for Direct" and it doesn't increase coverage, it means it is extra;
if you add "collect semantic core" and it increases the reach, it means it's main.
First of all, you need to select the main keywords. The distribution of campaigns, ad groups, negative keywords, and even ad texts depends on them. At this stage, it is vital to get maximum reach as the effectiveness of your advertising depends on it.
To collect synonyms, we use the Serpstat report Keyword Analysis → SEO Research → Keyword Selection:
Collect related keywords. The Serpstat report Keyword Analysis → SEO Research → Related Keywords will help with this.
Look what keywords your competitors use to launch an advertising campaign. Use the report Keyword Analysis → PPC Research → Competitors. We see all competitors in paid results (they differ from competitors in the organic).
We look what keywords our competitors use to launch ads and take note of their experience.
Look at what keys your competitors are ranked in the organic search.
To do this, we find competitors in organics: Domain Analysis → SEO Research → Competitors:
Click on competitors from the list and check their keys:
Negative keywords
Be sure to work with negative keywords. Enter each word to Serpstat, WordStat, or Keyword Planner, and remove all rubbish. Very often makes almost half of the words. For example, if you enter the keyword "buy conditioner," then most of your impressions will be for people looking for conditioner for hair or linen.

Therefore, it's essential to work with negative keywords. Google AdWords doesn't understand the morphology of negative keywords, so be sure to add them in all possible word forms.

You can also collect negative keywords using the Serpstat API Console.

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How to collect extra keywords

You should add extra keywords or clarifications to existing keywords in the following cases:
You use Exact Match. In this case, you will increase your reach.
You are using an ad template. The longer the keyword, the bolder the text will appear in the ad, and the higher the CTR.
You are trying to improve Google Ads Quality Score as described above.
You want to place bids more accurately and add keywords containing "buy" or other similar words.
Extra keywords can be collected using the Google Ads keyword planner, Serpstat, or Serpstat API Console.

How to collect keywords via Serpstat interface

To collect extra keywords using Serpstat, we go to the main page of the service and enter your keyword in the search bar. We get a list of keywords in organic and PPC.
To get the report as a list, you can export the data, open the file in MS Excel or Google Sheets, select the corresponding column, and copy.

However, there is a problem here - each main keyword needs to be checked separately if you use Serpstat interface. But we have a solution to do batch data export - through the API Console.

How to collect keywords using Serpstat API Console

You can check all the necessary keywords through the console. But there are also some nuances here:
This utility is on the Alpha version of the development and is an example of using the Serpstat API. Each user can create a similar script for their individual needs.
To use the console, you must be a paid Serpstat user.
If you are on the Lite plan, then set the limit to 1 request per second.
To collect keywords through the API Console, go to your Serpstat profile and copy the API token there.
Go to the API console and enter token.
Select the database.
Select Keywords method.
Enter a list of keywords in the Queries field.
Load data.
To see how many lines will be spent, set the line limit to 1, click Get Data and look at the Total field after loading:
If you want to get only a list of keywords in the finished report, then after Download select TextArea and select the column keyword.
You can post-filter keys by positive and negative keywords. There is a list of the most frequent words on the right.
After clicking Apply Filters, keywords containing negative keywords will be removed from the summary table. This way, you can quickly select negative keywords and copy the final list into AdWords.

What are automatic keywords

Contextual advertising systems have a built-in display of ads for similar keywords. There are two types:
Disabled. In Google AdWords, it is disabled by adding a plus in front of each word of the word in broad match: + key + word.
Non-disabled (synonyms, typos). They are usually more relevant. You can remove them only with negative keywords. But for this, you need to know which negative keywords to add. That's why you need first to show ads, and then check keywords.
Automation allows you to expand the semantic core of ads. Therefore, ideally, you need to use this option:
From the very beginning, don't disable automatic keywords.
Wait for a couple of days and look at the report with search queries.
Add rubbish to negative keywords. You need this step to be safe and not lose much money if there are too many rubbish impressions.
Wait for a couple of weeks. Look at the search query report: add rubbish to negative keywords; if the synonym is relevant, then add the appropriate keyword.
So we finally polish the semantics in contextual advertising!

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