I was just reminded yet again how important it is to pay attention to detail when bidding on keywords in a pay-per-click campaign.
In a recent blog post, One of Google Adwords’ Best Kept Secrets, I described how to check the Search Term Report to learn exactly which phrases triggered your PPC ads. Today I was doing just that for a client who sells gardening tools. It was remarkable to note how often the singular version of a keyword was profitable, while the plural was not. So for instance, garden trowel was profitable, while garden trowels was not; garden cultivator was profitable, while garden cultivators was not.
I suspect that people who search on the plural of a term are in the early innings of shopping, and they’re checking out options, while people who search on the singular term are closer to actually buying. That’s only a suspicion, but the reason doesn’t really matter. The important thing is that it was a consistent pattern, for this client anyway. By eliminating searches for plural variations, we’ll make their PPC campaign more profitable.
The specifics may be different in your case, but the principle still holds. Regularly inspect your Search Term Reports and look for common threads among search terms that aren’t profitable, then use that insight to refine your campaigns.