A Beginner’s Guide To Keyword Research For Your PPC Campaigns

The art of a successful pay per click campaign relies heavily on the keyword research before you get started, so you’ll want to get it right. To give yourself the best chance to find the best performing keywords, you should use the tools at your disposal. By tools we mean:
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Website landing pages
  • Your CRM data (if you have one)
  • Your brain
The tools are important to give you data which help inform making decisions but using your brain will be crucial too.

Planning Your Keyword List

A keyword list is a selection of phrases your potential customers use in order to find your services or products. In regards to making this list of keywords before refining it, you should roughly categorise them into the following:
  • Brand terms – any keywords containing your brand name and trademarked terms.
  • Generic terms – terms relating to products (e-commerce keywords) or services offered.
  • Related terms – terms that don’t directly relate to what you’re selling, but that users who want your products or services may be searching for. This could be a question or FAQ-type search term.
  • Competitor terms – the brand names of competitors who are offering similar products and services to yours. [Note: temper your expectations with this as it can be expensive and can use up your budget with very little return at times – think, is it going to be worth the investment?]
Some other things you should consider at this stage is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what kinds of words they might type or speak in order to find your website.

Expand Your List With Available Tools

Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the best free tools at your disposal and highlights suggestions based on your list but it also gives you brilliant data on volumes of people searching for these phrases. It also gives you what the cost per click might work out to be based on the competition and historical data.   You will also want to use the data you already have within Google Analytics and Google Search Console as this will give you information on what people are ‘actually’ searching already to find your website.   What you’re looking for during this stage is the high volume keywords with low to medium competition. This is easier said than done but it is possible and could be the amber nectar of your PPC campaigns. If you have a budget and want to get the best out of it, it might be worth avoiding high competition keywords or keywords with very low search volume.  

Start Organising To Create Your Campaigns & Ad Groups

Once you have the bulk of your keyword list, now you should start segmenting them and grouping them by theme so it can be easier to optimise them in the future and allocate the right budgets right from the outset.   The more focused each campaign/ad group is, the better the performance and the easier it will be to make tweaks. Doing this will also improve your accounts Quality Score too which could reduce the cost per click.  

Make A List Of Keywords You Don’t Want To Show For – Negative Keywords

Whilst making a list of the keywords you do want to show for is really important at the start, so is making a list of those you don’t want to show for too. A Negative Keyword list might include phrases like ‘free’ and ‘cheap’ and will preserve budget for the keywords you do want to show for. Try not to overdo it on these negative keywords though as it could limit the reach of your campaigns but if you definitely don’t want to show for a specific phrase, regardless of its impact, then add it to the negative keyword list.   Once you’ve reached this stage, you’re pretty much ready to roll! It is worth getting a second opinion though, whether that’s from someone inside the business or someone who doesn’t know your services or products. This will give you a good sounding board and could be a huge help with refining before spending any budget.   If you’d like some more information on how to construct a brilliant keyword list, contact one of our experts today.