Bidding on popular keywords can give you a serious case of sticker shock. It’s why Google is pushing towards the $80 billion mark in revenue.

In case you’re wondering, the most expensive Google keyword continues to be “Business Services,” which is marching toward the $60 mark. They’re so expensive because of how frequently they are used in searches. The scary part is that you can spend big bucks on these keywords and still not get traffic. There’s a better approach

Key phrases

Even the massively expensive “Business Services” is two words. Successful marketers have learned that we’re not really using keywords to do searching anymore. We’re using key phrases. Those key phrases also tend to focus on the problem they want to solve, rather than the solution.

Ahrefs reports that 1-word keywords account for only 2.8% of all the keywords people search for. There’s something else contributing to the shift away from single keywords – and even short key phrases – for that matter. Blame it on Alexa and Siri if you like.

Half of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020. Most of these searches will use what’s known as “trigger words” that must be added to the key phrases you choose if you want to increase your rankings. If you take a closer look at these trigger words, you also see that they are often more frequently used in searching for information about a problem or pain point. Less expensive key phrases that incorporate trigger words can – in the long run – perform as well as extremely expensive competitive keywords.

Helping with the why

Key phrases – especially those that form questions – help people to search for information about problems. Those key phrases also can help you because they form the foundation of your explanation why you understand and can help with that problem.

Key phrases help you be less ambiguous, too. Many expensive keywords are too broad, which means you could be charged for prospects that see your message and have no need for your product or service. A key phrase that specifically identifies how you relate to a problem may generate less leads, but those leads will be highly qualified.

Key phrases are also easier to integrate into your inbound marketing content because they are more descriptive and tend to sound conversational – especially those used in voice searches. Learn how we can help you optimize lead generation so you’re connecting with prospects rather than suspects. Our clients often see a reduction in click costs ranging from 25% to 75%. Learn more.