At Rothman PPC we have a mental model that allows us to make our weekly scans of the search terms report incredibly easy and effective.
Anytime we come across a search term that we’re not yet targeting, we ask ourselves a question, should we target it, or block it?
Say we’re running an AdWords campaign for a Kansas City bowling alley, and we showed up on the following search terms that we weren’t targeting as keywords:
bowling alley near me
where to bowl
kansas city bowling alley
local bowling places
The “target it or block it” mental model helps us quickly go through this list. It helps us choose only the best search terms to target, and we quickly decide on which search terms to block as negatives, because if it’s not good enough to target, then we should block it.
The italics below show this mental model in action with what I would be thinking on each search term:
bowling league – Not something we want to target because we want people who want to come bowl, not people high in the funnel looking for information on leagues, which we don’t run, we only host them. Let’s add “league” as a negative keyword.
bowling alley near me – Nirvana. The perfect search. Let’s target it and add it as a keyword.
where to bowl – Too high in the funnel. I don’t want to target this search and spend precious budget on it when I could be spending all the budget on searches like “bowling alley near me.” I’m going to block the word “where” as a negative keyword.
kansas city bowling alley – Sweet baby girl, this is the one that I want! Great search term, let’s target it.
local bowling places – This is the kind of search I want to be showing on. Let’s target it as a keyword.
So that is how the “target it or block it” mental model helps me efficiently run through the search terms report each week. And while running through the report, I add and block search terms using the kind of thinking I displayed above.
Remember, if a search term is not good enough to target, then you should probably block it.