Good afternoon, everyone! A very warm welcome to all of you who are watching this Live. If you are watching it on the later replay, then hello to you as well. For those who don't know who I am, my name is David Miles. I'm on a mission to help mortgage brokers and financial advisors to generate their own leads online so that they can take back control of their own marketing and the future of their own business and stop giving money to lead generation companies.
Now as you'll know, if you've been on these live streams before, I think that one of the really great ways to generate leads online and something that should be at the core of your online lead generation strategy is Google ads. The other day I posted a question in the Facebook group asking what kinds of things people would like me to talk about in upcoming Facebook live events.
One of our members, Paul, who I know uses Google ads said that he would like me to talk a bit more about keywords; how to find the right keywords and the ones that aren't going to cost a fortune. Then, that's what we're gonna cover today. Specifically, we're going to look at what keywords actually are in Google ads and why they're important in that context. We're gonna talk about how to find the ones that don't cost a fortune. We'll also talk about keyword tools. Whether you actually need to pay out money for keyword tools, or whether there are other perhaps better ways of finding the right keywords.
We'll be talking about the importance of something called search intent. The importance of using the same sort of language that your customers use, and also covering something very important in the context of keywords, which is something called keyword matching or match types. They are all the things that we're gonna look at.
I'm just gonna start the screen share here because what I'm going to be sharing with you today is a small segment from the online course I have for people who want to learn how to do more of their lead generation. Also, as some of you will know from my recent post in the Facebook group, the course is being revamped at the moment. I'm turning into more of a kind of group coaching program, which will help mortgage brokers develop all aspects of their marketing not just using Google ads, but all sorts of different areas of it. There will be as an accompaniment to that coaching program, a whole lot of online training materials.
What I'm using here is some slides actually from that. If you are one of the people who's thinking about looking at the coaching program, what you're getting here today is a little bit of a tester of the kind of backup learning resources that come with that, which you'd be able to look at in your own time if you were part of the program. Just before we crack on with that, it would be great to just reassure me that the tech is working. You don't how paranoid I get about this. If you could, if you're watching live, if you just post something in my comments just to say “hello”, so, I know that it's actually working and there are people out there.
Also, be quite good to tell me actually, whether you're using Google ads at the moment, and specifically, if you don't use Google ads right now, just put something in my comments and say, why not? Because that might actually give me some ideas for future topics to cover in these live stream events. As we go through, please do feel free to post questions in the comments and I'll try and stop every now and then and see what's been posted. If you are watching the replay, again, feel free to post comments or post questions because I will keep an eye on this over the next couple of days. I’ll come back and reply to any questions that you post there.
The final thing to say in the introduction is, do stick around to the end because at the end of this, I've got a special offer/giveaway for you, which I will tell you more about when we get to that. In the meantime, let's crack on and talk about Google ad's keywords.
Okay. The overall aim really with the keywords is to find ones which have got less competition. Now, what do we mean by that? Well, first of all, it's important to understand what keywords are in the context of Google ads. In simple terms, the way Google ads works are that as the advertiser, you tell Google a list of keywords, which are relevant to your business. You are saying to Google, if someone types in one of these things or something similar to it, I would like my advert to appear. Now, obviously, if you are a mortgage broker and you are bidding on a keyword like a mortgage broker, you're not gonna be the only person out there who wants to have their advert appear for that search term. Then, Google runs a kind of auction system, and each advertiser says how much they're willing to pay for each click on their ad when it appears in response to a particular keyword. That bid amount determines which ads appear and in which order.
It's a little bit more complicated than that. If you want in-depth detail, look up some of my videos and articles on how the Google ad auction works. But the point is, all you need to know for now is that, if there are multiple mortgage brokers, all chasing after the same keyword and all bidding on that same keyword, then like any auction, the more they are bidding, the more that's gonna push the price up.
Then, what you need to try and do is find the keywords, which aren't being fought over by every other mortgage broker out there. Those that have less competition are going to have lower click costs associated with them. The other thing you tend to find is those lower competition keywords. Very often are the ones which will bring you warmer prospects. They'll bring you clicks and people who are more likely to be ready to take the desired action, which is likely to fold you up or fill in an inquiry form and start down that road of getting some mortgage advice.
The reason I say that is because generally, these lower competition keywords are the more specific things. So, someone who just goes do it and types in a mortgage broker is on the whole less likely to be ready to do something. When someone types in a more specific search like, “mortgage broker for a first-time buyer with 10% deposit”, the more specific someone is, the more that indicates that they've already done a fair bit of research, and they're closer to the point of being ready to make an inquiry or make a purchase or whatever it is. This thing is about finding more specific, lower competition keywords. This is one of the reasons why I'm always saying that as mortgage brokers, it's really important that you find a particular niche or niches to work on within the wider field of the mortgage industry.
Again, if you've not heard me talk about niching before, have a look at the website, theppcmachine.co.uk/mortgagebrokers. You'll find articles in there, including one all about niching. Have a look in the video section of the Facebook group or on the YouTube channel. You'll see an interview I did recently with Rob de Costa, where we were talking about niching but it's about finding specific areas within the mortgage sector to focus on.
If you do that, it will help your business in many ways, but it will also make it easier for you to find those more specific, lower cost keywords within Google ads. Because for example a key such as, “mortgages for armed service personnel”, is going to be more specific, more niche and therefore cost less than a keyword like local mortgage brokers. That's one of the many good reasons why niching your business is important.
The importance of search intent
Then, the other thing we need to think about when we're choosing keywords is search intent. Also sometimes called buyer intent. It's basically a particular search term. What we're asking is, how much intent? What is the intention of the person who types in that search term and how much intent do they have for buying at the moment? When I say buying something, that can be buying a service like a mortgage device. Then to give an example, someone who types into Google "cheapest bank mortgage rates", they've probably got slightly different search intent from someone who types in, “mortgage broker in Northampton''. The person who types in “mortgage broker Northampton” very clearly has the intent of finding a local mortgage broker to help them with their search for a mortgage.
Whereas the person who types into Google cheapest mortgage rates, might be looking for a broker, but equally they might be looking just to find out the rates to try and do the whole thing themselves. Then, by thinking about actually trying to get into the head of the person who would be typing in the sort of keyword you are focusing on, that can be a really good way to try and decide whether a good or not. Even someone who types in just “mortgage broker” is showing more intent than someone who types in the mortgage calculator. Do keep that in mind.
That's kind of the ideal we're aiming for. We're trying to find low competition keywords that have the right kind of search intent and are specific to a niche that you are working in and which aren't, therefore, being chased after, by every other mortgage broker out there.
How to find cost-effective keywords
Now we know what we're aiming for. The next question is how do we actually go about finding them? Well, there are various ways that you can come up with ideas for keywords for mortgage brokers. I put a few of them on the slide that you can see now. The first one, there is the thing I mentioned earlier on keyword tools. There are several tools out there, bits of software and online tools, which will come up with ideas for you, for keywords.
Typically, what will happen is you are put in the address of your website, or you are putting a starter word, like mortgages or mortgage advice. Then it will come up with a whole list of related keywords. Some of those keyword tools, like the one that Google themselves provide, are free to use. Others are free up to a certain point and then you have to pay if you want more. A great number of keywords and things.
If you're interested in finding out more about keyword research tools, again, go to my blog, theppcmachine.co.uk/google-ads. One of the articles in there is called something like 40 Google ads tools, but it's a list of all sorts of different tools for Google ads. There's a whole section in there of keyword tools.
Personally, though I actually don't make a massive amount of use of keyword tools because I think that with a little bit of practice and a little bit of effort, it's actually just as easy, if not better, to come up with the ideas yourself. Through just brainstorming different ideas, thinking about the kind of clients you want to attract, just starting with a couple of ideas and seeing where you think around those ideas, what other things come out of that. I generally recommend that if you're just starting a team, if you're going down the route of brainstorming keyword ideas, do it with someone else because two heads are better than one.
Also, try and do it with someone who's not directly involved with your business. The reason I say that is because when we are involved in a particular industry, it's very easy to get sort of too close to it and not be able to take a step back and view things as a client would. Even if you're a sole trader and you work on your own, try and get a friend, partner, a client, anyone outside the business to help you with that process of throwing around different ideas and seeing what keywords you can come up with.
It is a good idea when you're doing that process to focus on, as I talked about before, the niche or niches that you operate in. That will give you ideas for keywords and or any sort of USPs that you have. A very obvious one is if one of your unique selling points is that maybe your broker doesn't charge fees. Well, then that would lead you down the route of focusing on keywords, such as free mortgage advice, fee-free mortgage broker or things like that.
If you specialise in mortgage loans for adverse credit, then that opens up a whole load of more specific keywords than just the very generic mortgage broker type ones. Your location, and whether you want to attract local clients or not, can make a big impact on what kind of keywords you have now. I think this is a very interesting time at the moment, from the point of view of whether local services are going to have the same appeal as they have done in the past, because why does somebody want a local mortgage broker?
I know in the past, a lot we have done and a lot of mortgage brokers have sold themselves based on the fact that they are the local broker for whatever area it might be. Now, the main reason people want a local broker is so if they can go meet with them, sit down with them, etc. Obviously, in case you'll watch it, it's on YouTube and use to come on recording this in October 2010. We're in the middle of a huge global pandemic. People aren't that keen to see each other at the moment. Then, that whole attraction of being able to go meet with someone actually has doesn't have the same appeal that perhaps it did have a year ago.
Having said that though, some people, even though they're not planning to actually meet the broker, they still like that comfort factor of knowing that they're dealing with someone local because, rightly or wrongly, they might perceive that means the broker knows for local property market better, or things like that. It might give them that reassurance that they know if something did go wrong, they can actually go and see the broker even so they might not actually be, but it's nice when they've got the option to perhaps if they want to.
Again, some brokers, aren't particularly bothered about dealing locally and you don't want to deal nationwide, but if you are someone who's focusing on the local market, obviously that gives you a whole load of keyword ideas. If you were based in London, for example, you could have keywords like, “mortgage broker London”, but you could even drill it down into individual areas; mortgage broker Islington, mortgage broker Highbury and mortgage broker Tottenham. Whatever your sort of catchment area was because people will search on a very localized basis if the location is important
Sometimes you can think about the problems that you solve for people, and that can give you ideas for new keywords to try out. What I mean by that is so far, we've talked about the kind of keywords that describe the service or the offering that you have. Then, keywords like, “mortgage broker” or “mortgage broker for people with credit problems”, describe the service that you're offering.
Sometimes, people will go onto Google or another search engine and they are searching for something which indicates that they need your help, but they may not yet realize that they need your help. Someone might type into Google something, “I've been turned down for a mortgage loan”. Now, that indicates that they potentially need the help of a mortgage broker, but because they haven't realized that yet, they're not going to Google and typing in find me a mortgage broker.
Potentially with some of those searches, if you can have an advert and a landing page, which addresses that problem. An advert says, “If you've been turned down for a mortgage we might be able to help because we know far more lenders than you do.” Then, you could potentially take that person and turn them into someone who is looking for a mortgage broker and who is going to inquire about your website.
You tend to find with those kinds of keywords that they have a lower conversion rate because obviously, you're dealing with someone who's not actively looking for your kind of service initially. However, they also tend to have a lower cost per click. Sometimes it's worth trying those because you have to have more clicks to get a lead, but if the clicks are cheaper, then over the role. It still might be a viable way of getting more inquiries.
Then the next I've gotten here is to use customer language. Now, this is a really important one. It's one that people in all sorts of industries and professions tend to overlook at their peril. Basically, whatever industry we work in, we tend to have industry terms and phrases, which make perfect sense to us but are not the kind of expressions that the man or woman in the street will use when they're talking about the service you offer.
Sometimes by finding the customer language, rather than the industry language, you can hit on much cheaper keywords. To illustrate that, let me give you an example. This is an example that I might even have said to some of you before. I use it a lot because it's a really good one and it comes from quite a long time ago, actually.
About 10 - 15 years ago, I was doing some work with a client and they were a personal injury law firm. Their particular niche, what was they did in the industry is called medical negligence claims; i.e., people have been to the doctor or been to hospital and they've had a procedure done and it's gone wrong. This left them injured in some way or whatever. It's left them worse off than they were to start with and they want to claim compensation for it.
Now at the time when I started working with this client, I hadn't ever before come across the expression, medical negligence compensation. I could obviously work out what it meant, but I thought that's not a way that would've been in my personal vocabulary if I'd been looking for this kind of advice. Then, I thought to put myself in the shoes of the client. What if these people, sitting at home and off work because they've had this operation that's gone wrong or whatever, and they want to do something about it. What are they gonna type into Google? I thought about that and I came up with what I thought would be the most popular thing. I went back to this list and I said, right, what we're gonna do is we're going to try bidding on something a little bit different now.
Bear in mind that, at that time, the cost per click for things like medical negligence compensation was around £20 a click. I said, we're gonna try, I bidding on suing the NHS instead. Then, the solicitor said to me, “Oh, well, I'm not sure about that. I don’t know if that's really quite the kind of message we want to be giving. That sounds a little bit, it sort of cheapens what we do sounds, a bit grubby.” And I said, “Okay, but that is what you do, isn't it? You help people sue the NHS.” He said, “Yes, that is what we do.” And I said, well, it's £4.50 a click rather than £20. Then he agreed to give it a try.
We did and for quite a while, until obviously other people caught onto it, it worked really well. People would come onto Google type in NHS, an advert would pop up, which said, something like, “want to sue NHS, we can help”. Bear in mind, this is in amongst all these other ads that are talking about medical negligence and clinical negligence and all these other high polluting stuff.
This ad really stood out and resonated with the target audience. Again, applying that kind of thing to the mortgage industry we talk about things like, we mentioned adverse credit just now. Is that what the man or woman in the street calls it? Or, do they talk about credit problems, bad credit, or things like that? Don't get sucked into just focusing on the industry-specific terms. You can bid on the names of your competitors. I wouldn't recommend it for most of you at this particular stage.
Another thing you could look at doing is bidding on your own brand and your own business name. Again, I won't dwell on that for now, but there is an article in the Google ad section of the website. There is an article called something like seven reasons to bid on your own brand name. That explains the reasons why you might want to do that.
Questions from the feed
I'm just gonna try and have a look at the feed and see if we've got any questions to come up. I'm conscious of the fact that I've been talking for a while and haven't been keeping an eye on this at all. See if I can do it without setting the sound off this time as well. Where's it going? This was actually open on the screen before I started. For some reason it's closed itself, which is slightly annoying. Try it on the phone, here we are. Right, here we are.
We have got some comments here. Paul says calculate as a word that drains your account. Yeah, it is. It's probably worth talking actually this point about a couple of words, which you might think of using as keywords, but actually in most cases, again, with all these things, there are no hard and fast rules. You can test these things with your own sight and your own audience, but by large, a word like mortgage calculator or mortgage payment is not a good keyword to bid on because again, it's about search intent.
The kind of person who goes to Google and types in mortgage calculator, probably don't want to speak to a broker or speak to anybody at this stage. They just want to get an idea of what their repayments would be for a certain size loan at a certain interest rate. Or, maybe even if someone who's not looking for a mortgage at all, but they've already got a mortgage and they're looking to see, how much quicker they pay off their mortgage if they increase their repayments by £50 a month or whatever.
A mortgage calculator generally doesn't get great results. As Paul said, drain your account. Similar again, I think I touched on this a little bit earlier on, but for people who search for a mortgage rate, it's generally speaking, they're the ones who are looking to do things themselves rather than get professional help from a broker. Something else you might wanna be careful of as well is, again, test it, because I have seen some instances where it works well and somewhere it doesn't.
People will search for things, they'll search for the names of the mortgage lenders. They'll go on to Google and search for things like Barclay's first-time buyer mortgages, Santander re-mortgage offers or whatever. In most cases, those people are not looking to deal with a broker in my experience. You could test them to a small extent. But again, I wouldn't go and give those kinds of keywords, huge amounts of the budget until you've shown, whether they do or don't work for your particular audience and your particular website.
There's a question from Ian as well. Can you add the keywords to your own webpage? I'm not sure I quite understand the question Ian, but I think I think what you're saying is, should the keywords that you're focusing on in Google ads, should they appear on your web pages as well? The answer is yes because one of the things that's important to do in a Google ad is to make sure that you send someone to a landing page, which is relevant to the keyword they searched for.
Then yes, if someone is searching for first-time buyer mortgages, you would send them to your first-time buyer page. If they're searching for mortgages with credit problems, you'd send them to your page that talked about subprime, adverse credit mortgages. Therefore yes, you would want to have the keywords as part of that page because that's what would make it relevant to that particular thing.
Okay. Right. Press on. I do keep the questions coming in. If you have any others now or as we go through. The next thing I wanna say is once you've come up with those sort of ideas as you go through that sort of brainstorming process, quite often, you'll come up with just one idea, but you can then expand on that. Let's say, for example, you were niching into mortgages for people in the armed forces. Just from coming up with that one idea, mortgage for armed forces, that I've put in the top row there. Well then, you could start to expand on that and think, okay, mortgages; we do mortgages, but we also do remortgages.
Then, you put remortgages in the first column alongside mortgages. And then you think, well, what are some of the other things that would describe the service we do? Or, we are mortgage advisors, but people also search for mortgage brokers. They also want mortgage quotes. You could put all those in that second column, and then you could think of other ways of describing the armed forces; military, army, soldiers, navy, RAF etc.
Once you've done that, from those three columns, you can actually take all the different combinations of them. Build quite a long keyword list just from that one seed idea of mortgages for armed forces. Then, looking at the kind of table I've got on the screen, there we'd end up with a list of keywords that mortgage for armed forces, mortgage for the military, mortgages for the army, mortgages for soldiers, a mortgage broker for soldiers, mortgage quotes for the navy.
All those different combinations. You're gonna have a huge list of keywords there, just from that one simple idea. Again, if you want to speed up the process of doing all those combinations, have a look at that article I mentioned. That's all got the 40 different Google ads tools. At least a couple of the tools in there are ones that are specifically designed for this. You put in those kinds on three or four columns and it will automatically make all the different combinations for you.
The final thing to talk about is the difference between search terms and keywords and how this impacts something called keyword match types. Oh, that's good. Ian has said, “Yes, that's it”. So, I did interpret his question correctly. That's good.
Search terms and keywords. As I've put on the slide there, what we've talked about so far is for the keyword, the thing that you as the advertiser are bidding on. But there's this other thing called the search term. The search term is which is what the user, types into Google, which is potentially going to trigger your keyword and make your advert appear.
A lot of the time when people are brand new to online advertising or brand new to Google ads, they assume that, if they're bidding on a keyword like a mortgage broker, they are only going to have their adverts show up if someone goes to Google and types in mortgage broker, but the reality is that's not the case. When you bid on a particular keyword, you'll appear when someone searches for that keyword, but also for a variety of other search terms, which are in Google's eyes relevant and related to that keyword that you are bidding on. Then, to control how flexible Google is in determining whether the user's search term matches the advertiser's keyword, you can use something called match types to give Google a bit of giving it rules basically as to how to be on determining whether there's a match.
The four match types
There are four types of matches; broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match. I'll give you some quick examples now of the impact of those. But the important thing to be aware if you just put your keywords in a plain format like that one at the top there. Like I've got a mortgage broker, it will be treated as a broad match. Most of the time that is going to be a bad thing for you as the advertiser.
The most precise match type is actually, just going back to my list, the one at the bottom list, the exact match. One where you put your keyword when you are entering your keywords into your Google ad account, you put it in square brackets. That says to Google, I want this treated as an exact match keyword. As the name implies Google will then only show your ad.
If someone goes to Google and types in a search term, which exactly matches, or then very closely matches the keyword you're bidding on. Your ad will appear for mortgage broker obviously because that's an exact match to what your keyword is. If someone searched to his mortgage brokers, plural, you'll still show up because Google treats single and plural the same. It will also do slot variations where the stem of the word is the same. It will treat someone’s search of a mortgage brokerage would potentially see your ad because Google knows that a broker and a brokerage are, basically the same thing.
But your ad won't show up for various other searches, which might be perfectly valid searches for you. If you only use exact match and someone came along and typed in local mortgage broker, then your ad wouldn't show up because that's not the exact keyword that you are bidding on. If they searched for mortgage brokers for first-time buyers, or if they put a word in the middle like protection, your ad wouldn't appear. An exact match gives you a lot more control, but you are gonna have to do a lot more. You just put a lot more time and effort into thinking up all the different things that somebody might type into Google, which you'd want to appear for
The next level along which relaxes things a bit more it's called phrase match. If you go for a phrase match, then by putting your keyword in quotes, Google will show your ad as long as the user's search term includes your keyword somewhere in it as an unbroken phrase. With phrase match, you would show up for local mortgage broker because the phrase mortgage broker still exists as a distinct thing within the user's search term. You would appear as a mortgage broker for first-time buyers. But if someone does a search term where the phrase doesn't appear or where the phrase is broken, by putting other words in the middle, like mortgage and protection broker, then your advert wouldn't appear. Also, you wouldn't appear for that mortgage calculator, because that's not the same as a mortgage broker.
And then to relax things a bit more, you would go for the broad match modifier, which is where you put a plus sign in front of each of the words that make up your keyword phrase. Then, what broad match modifies does is, it says to Google that it's okay to show your advert as long as the user's search term includes all the words in your keyword in any order. Now, we would appear for mortgage and protection broker because the search term has the word mortgage in it and has the word broker in it.
In a broad match modifier, It doesn't matter that the phrase is broken up with the word protection in the middle. We'd obviously still appear for all the things that we've already seen under phrase and exact, but you still wouldn't show up for the mortgage calculator because that search term doesn't have the word broker in it. We've got a broker in our keyword with a plus sign in front of it.
Now, the broad match is where Google can go really quite wild with the matching. Also, potentially the user's search term only has to have one word in common with your keyword and Google could still show your ad. The benefit of broad match is you'll appear for a lot of different that you might not have thought of, but you'll also potentially appear for some really irrelevant things like mortgage calculator because it's got the word mortgage in a common, insurance broker. After all, it's got the word broker in common. You might appear for things that just aren't available anymore, like 125% mortgages, people looking for a completely different service from yours and mis-sold mortgage compensation, but Google could potentially show that because the word mortgage appears in the user search and the word mortgage appears in your keyword.
I strongly recommend that you do not use broad match. Now bear in mind that broad match is the default. Then, if you don't know this stuff and you just go in and start up a Google ads campaign with all the defaults, you will be using broad match and you will be putting a lot more money in Google's pocket when you need to. If you take nothing else away from this, take away this fact, using the broad match is a bad idea and will cost you a load of money.
Also, regardless of what matched ups, you're using, because for search terms that people put into their ad will vary from the actual keywords you're bidding on. It's important to look regularly at something called the search terms report in your Google ads accounts. Use that to find any irrelevant searches that you've appeared for and then add negative keywords to block those out.
That's a bit of a whistle-stop tour through the idea of keywords and what they are. Hopefully, completely those of you like Paul, who is running Google ads, has now got some ideas there for things to do or not do. Go and check in your accounts and see if you've, for example, got broad match keywords in there, but you shouldn't have.
Conclusion - Giveaway
If you've got any final questions do put them in now just when I'm wrapping things up. Also, I did say that there would be a giveaway at the end. The giveaway is, as I was mentioned the new coaching group program earlier on, I'm aiming for that to launch in the next four to six weeks. Then, once the exact time scales are confirmed, those of you in the Facebook group, will I promise to be the first to know.
What I'd like you to do is if you are even vaguely thinking that something might be of interest to you, there's no commitment to this, but what I'd like you to do is just drop me an email and tell me what at the moment is your biggest marketing challenge. Specifically, the biggest marketing challenge that you would want this coaching group to try and solve for you. What’s the one thing where if I said to you, this group will help you achieve X. What is that X thing that would, where you think I really wanna be part of this? Send me your thoughts on that. Put “My Challenge” as the subject line in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The giveaway is on the responses I get, I will pick one person at random from those, and they will get, if they want, to join the program. Their first month of it for free as a thank you for the feedback.
So, I hope that's been useful. Just check and see with any final questions. No, that's it. Thank you. Glad you found it. Interesting. If you think of questions afterwards, as usual, put them in the comments. If you're watching this on the replay, put them in the comments and I will check back over the next couple of days and put any answers in there.
If there are, like Paul, you've got special requests for what you'd like in future Facebook lives, send me a message. You may put something in the group as well because I want this stuff to be relevant to you guys as that's the whole point of it. Similarly, I'm thinking about interviewing; doing some more interviews on here, so if there are particular people or types of people you'd like to see interviewed on the Facebook lives, either people from within the industry, people got expertise in other areas of digital marketing or whatever it might be again, send both suggestions in and I will do what I can to make that happen.
So, thank you very much for watching and I will see you again in two weeks time for the next live stream. Thanks so much. Bye.