Pay Per Click Keyword Research Tips
Written by Christine Chung Thursday, 31 May 2012
Keyword research is an integral part of any PPC campaign. Learn how you can create a comprehensive keyword list in 6 easy steps.
Step 1: Identify Campaign Goals
Begin by outlining campaign goals. This will help you tailor your keyword research efforts. Are you trying to drive sales, generate leads, or perhaps encourage users to download a newsletter or a free trial of your product?
Let’s say you work at an information technology company that sells computers, laptops, and servers. Your company’s ultimate goal is to drive sales.
Step 2: Brainstorm
Think about your goal and create a list of words and phrases that describe your product or service.
Sample Keyword List
- Desktop computers
Step 3: Leverage a Keyword Research Tool
These tools will offer you keyword suggestions related to your original list of keywords. They also offer performance statistics.
Please see below for step-by-step instructions to use Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
1) Begin by entering your keywords (Figure 1).
2) Set the match type (located in the left nav) to [Exact] match (Figure 1).
There are 3 keyword matching options. Please see below.
- Broad match allows your ad to show for searches on similar phrases and relevant variations.
Searches that can match: computers, laptop computers
- Phrase match allows your ad to show only for searches that include the exact phrase, or close variations of that exact phrase.
Example: “buy a computer”
Searches that can match: buy a computer, where to buy a computer
- Exact match allows your ad to show only for searches that use that exact phrase, or close variations of that exact phrase, and no other words.
Example: [buy a computer]
Searches that can match: buy a computer
3) Check the box “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” (Figure 1).
4) Set your location, language, and devices under the Advanced Options and Filters dropdown (Figure 1).
5) Review and export your findings. Be sure to pay attention to Local Monthly Searches if your products target the US market. If you offer international goods, reference “Global Monthly Searches.” You can adjust your columns in the column drop down (Figure 2).
Step 4: Fine-Tune Your List.
Your initial data export will provide hundreds to thousands of keyword suggestions. For example, a search for “laptops” brings up more than 700 keyword suggestions (Figure 3). Comb through the list and discard irrelevant terms. Identify relevant terms, dig deeper, and begin segmenting.
The keywords and phrases you choose will determine the cost of your ad so be sure to consider the search funnel. Think about the terms your customers are searching for at each phase of the conversion funnel.
Step 5: Organize Keywords into Ad Groups
After finalizing your keyword list, organize your keywords into relevant ad groups. Ad groups should represent different keyword themes. Each ad group contains a specific ad and the keywords related to that ad.
Step 6: Test and Refine
From bids to match types, PPC keywords offer plenty of testing opportunities. Implement multiple match types for the same keyword and learn which match type has the best performance. Pause match types that perform poorly. In addition, try adjusting your keyword bids per match type to see how performance is affected.
With PPC, it’s important to continue testing and refining different elements in your campaign. Stay tuned for part 3 of our PPC lessons.