If you’re spending money on keywords and you happen to rely solely (or mostly) on broad match terms to generate impressions and clicks, it’s highly likely that 10% or more of your clicks are a waste. Google doesn’t publish the actually query that led to your ad being clicked on and the associated keyword. They simply give you statistics on the keyword such as impressions, clicks, CTR %, etc…
It’s important to find out precisely what people are searching for, researching the various variants of these “critical queries” and implementing phrase and exact matching on these terms. This minimizes the possibility that your ads will be exposed to less than qualified clicks when Google displays your ad during questionable queries. Recall the concept of a negative keyword. Which is essentially a guard against your ad showing if the keyword you’ve specified as negative appears in the searcher’s query.
So we have two options:
1) Do exhaustive KW research and implement phrase and exact matched terms which greatly reduce the potential of unqualified clicks.
2) Use Broad match and use a free keyword research tool such as Wordtracker’s Free Keywords Tool and implement obvious negatives right from the start based on likely unqualified queries for which your ad will be exposed. Perhaps take some high volume terms and use exact match on these. Also experiment with embedded match negative keywords. For instance if you’re bidding on the term sales invoice factoring, use -[sales invoice] as an embedded match negative. So the broad match term sales invoice factoring won’t show is someone simply searches for sales invoice.
3) Use Hittail – that’s right, if your site doesn’t rank naturally it’s especially good. Even if it does and you have optimized PPC landing pages you’re using install the HitTail code on these pages only! It will record most of the queries that led to the clicks which took the user to that page. Daily, venture into HitTail & dig through the queries. In another window have your campaign summary window open in Google and begin to edit campaign negative keywords.
Of course, for a truly optimized PPC campaign, it’s best to arm yourself. Use exact match on high traffic qualified terms. Use phrase match sparingly as well to broaden your results a bit. Use broad match for your long tail PPC keywords and review what the exact queries were that cost you money at day’s end with HitTail and build your list of negatives. If you keep wasting money even after all of this, tighten up your match types.