5 Tips for Getting Results when Search Volume Is Low

While a properly managed PPC campaign can work well for most industries, some niches are more difficult than others to see results in. Some products and services just don’t receive a significant number of search queries, particularly in B2B niches where the audience is tightly defined.

Perhaps a business maintains highly specialized machinery for industrial settings, or sells software targeted toward C-level individuals in credit unions. Or, the business may only service a narrow geographic area, limiting potential search volume.

Here are 5 ideas for getting results from PPC campaigns when search volume is low.

Try Dynamic Search Ads

While you may have a tightly defined list of keywords, a dynamic search ads (DSA) campaign is worth testing to pick up on keywords you might not have included. I’m consistently surprised to find out how many different words and phrases people can use to describe a product!

Depending on the scale of your site, you may want to start by using select categories or uploading a page feed of specific pages you’d like to target. You’ll also need to watch search terms closely, adding negative keywords as necessary. In the meantime, watch for new keywords to bid on in your general search campaigns.

Combine RLSA with Broad Keywords

If you’re like me, you probably cringe at the very mention of “broad keywords.” But broad keywords can work well to expand reach when layered with the proper audience in an RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Audiences) campaign. If you know you’re targeting the right people, you can allow for looser matching in the queries they search, in order to gain more volume.

You can either target remarketing audiences from your website, or upload customer match audiences. For instance, you could upload emails for existing sales prospects, webinar attendees, or newsletter subscribers.

Note that this tactic does require efforts from other channels (like social media) in order to build audiences. Let’s talk about that further.

Create Demand Through Social Media

If the search volume isn’t there, create demand first, and people will start searching! Whether promoting a highly niche product, or a brand that’s overshadowed by big industry players, creating upper-funnel awareness is a crucial step. Social channels are beneficial for building brand recognition and driving more people to search later on.

Here are a few suggestions for using social media channels to create demand:

  • Facebook: Target those interested in publications related to your product niche.
  • LinkedIn: Find groups relevant to your target audience. Often group targeting is more cost-effective than specific job titles.
  • Quora: Find relevant questions or topics to target.
  • Twitter: Target hashtags related to your product.

In addition, if you have a solid list of existing customers, upload that and create a lookalike audience to target. At the time of this article, Facebook, Quora, and Twitter all have a lookalike feature available, and LinkedIn currently has it in beta.

Use Custom Intent Targeting

Google Ads custom intent targeting allows you to reach people who have previously expressed interest in topics related to a list of keywords or URLs that you supply. For the display network, this type of targeting includes broader activity across the web (from search to general web browsing behavior), while for YouTube, this targeting specifically reflects search behavior.

Test custom intent targeting to reach people who either previously searched for topics related to your niche or looked at relevant pages. Once you get these individuals to the site, you can then continue to retarget them across platforms to keep your message in front of them, even if they’re not searching.

Add In-Market Audiences

While volume might be low for your keywords, you want to make the most of the moments when the right people search for them. In-market audiences (available in both Google and Bing) have some highly granular categories, even for B2B, that may apply to your customers.

Even if an in-market audience doesn’t seem to directly apply, it doesn’t hurt to layer it in to see how it performs. Just be sure to use the “observation only” setting, and watch the data to see if it converts. If you find that a particular audience is converting well, add a positive bid adjustment so ads are more likely to show to those individuals. Conversely, you can use negative adjustments to avoid wasting spend on audiences that don’t convert.

Boost Up Your Low Volume Accounts!

If you’re working with an account that has low search volume and want to expand, try these tactics! Perhaps it’s time to test new campaign types, like DSA and RLSA. Or maybe it’s time to branch out into new channels like social media, display, or video. Start testing!

What are your favorite ways to boost search volume? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Comments (1)

  1. I’ve had excellent results using broad match modified keywords combined with broad match on low volume accounts. I use the modified broad match to require certain words in my query and then let Google and broad match to do the rest. Lots of conversions with one click one conversion 🙂

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