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Duplicate keywords. Our first guest contributor for Search Spring Cleaning Week is John Fraze, the VP of Search at Spark Foundry, who takes us through why duplicate keywords is an important thing to watch in your search accounts.
Sometimes less really is more.
That statement is no truer than in the case of duplicate keywords. Having the same keyword in multiple ad groups or campaigns within your search accounts only serves to potentially decrease Quality Score, increase costs, and create confusion for your customers.
In the spirit of SEM spring cleaning, let’s dig into why you should scrub your account of duplicates – and how you can do it.
Duplicate Keywords – Why Does It Matter?
Some SEMs might think having duplicate keywords running is a trivial matter – if an ad serves for a query, everything is working, right? It’s true. You will serve an ad from somewhere in your account even if you have a keyword in multiple places. The key here, though, is control of efficiency and user experience.
Let’s assume you are selling amusement park tickets. Here are some specific issues you might face with duplicate keywords:
Quality score issues. Serving an ad with lower CTR out of Ad Group A for query amusement park tickets instead of serving out of Ad Group B with a higher CTR ad will decrease your quality score, thus increasing your CPCs in the long run.
Cost control issues. Serving randomly for the same amusement park tickets query with [amusement park tickets] at a bid of $1.00 in Ad Group A and +amusement +park +tickets in Ad Group B at a bid of $1.25 will cause you to lose granular control of keyword costs.
User experience issues. Serving an irrelevant ad and landing page experience for query yearly amusement park pass in Ad Group A with keyword +amusement +park +tickets when it could be captured in Ad Group B by [yearly amusement park pass] with a better-matched ad and landing page experience will cause issues with user experience and affect your conversion rate.
Duplicate Keywords – How Can You Fix It?
Fortunately, reducing keyword duplication is pretty simple. There are a few ways to troubleshoot:
Keyword cannibalization report. Skai offers a simple solution with its Keyword Cannibalization Reporting Tool. The tool gives recommendations on pausing keywords to reduce duplication. This is one of the easiest options available if you are already using Skai!
Consult your editors. Both Google Ads Editor and Bing Ads Editor have a feature for finding duplicate keywords. Just open up the application and select Tools > Find Duplicate Keywords. From there you can set your search criteria, narrow down match types, and more.
Negative keywords. Having a thoughtful and organized negative keyword strategy will help eliminate softer keyword duplication that might arise from match type conflict.
Don’t forget to pay special attention to which keywords you keep and which you ditch when resolving your duplication issues. Not all keywords perform equally – removing duplicates haphazardly can have a negative impact on performance.