PPC can be an incredibly fast way to generate customers for your business. However, if you want to succeed, you need to know how to properly do PPC keyword research.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to figure out which keywords you need to be targeting.
In fact, if you keep reading, you’ll learn exactly how to perform PPC keyword research that will generate a great return on investment for your PPC campaigns.
Pick a Platform
You first need to decide which PPC platform you are going to be focusing on.
Each PPC platform is going to demand different things from you. If you want to get the best results, it is important that you do not spread yourself too thin, by focusing on too many platforms.
For most people, there are two main PPC platforms:
AdWords is the most commonly used platform for PPC.
As a result, for the rest of this post, we are going to take a look at how you can perform PPC keyword research for AdWords campaigns.
Therefore, if you do not already have one, think about creating an AdWords account. This will make it so you can follow everything we are going to cover in this post.
How to Perform PPC Keyword Research
AdWords provides a free tool known as the Google Keyword Planner. You can use this tool to help you with PPC keyword research – or even for researching keywords for a SEO campaign. Keep in mind, you will need an AdWords Account to use this tool.
The best way to get results with this tool is by first providing it with a basic ‘seed’ keyword associated with your industry. When you do this, the tool will return a large list of related keywords. Alongside these keywords, you will see the estimated monthly search volume.
You will also see something known as CPC. CPC represents what other advertisers are willing to bid so that their website is shown when a certain keyword is typed in. Generally, the higher the CPC bid, the more likely it is a keyword will be able to produce customers. Otherwise, the advertisers would not be willing to bid so much.
If your business is a ‘local business,’ you need to make sure you select the relevant location, when researching a ‘seed keyword.’ Doing so will ensure you are shown results and data that accurately represent your target audience.
The Different Kinds of Keywords You Will Come Across
When you are performing PPC keyword research, you will be presented with a variety of keywords. Aside from what we’ve covered earlier, each of these keywords will be fundamentally different from one another.
It is important you understand how to identify these keywords, so you can create a solid PPC strategy.
Let’s take a look at these varying types…
These are keywords that represent a certain brand. So if you sell sneakers, an example of a branded competitor keyword might be ‘Adidas.’ You might target branded keywords if you are trying to generate some awareness for your business. Though these keywords tend to be cheap, you need to be careful.
These keywords don’t always produce customers and they tend to achieve a lot of search volume. That means you can get a lot of clicks on your ads, without achieving many, if any sales.
As mentioned, though, they’re very good at bringing some attention to your business. That’s because they are shown to people who represent your target market.
Product keywords represent a specific product. If you sell mobile phones, an example of a product keyword might be ‘iPhone X.’
You might want to target product keywords if you want to highlight how your product is better than a competitor product. Let’s go through a hypothetical example to help explain this. Suppose you represent the marketing team for the Samsung S9.
You might target the keyword, iPhone X, to showcase how the Samsung S9 has a better battery life than the iPhone X. This strategy can lead to customers, because people might be typing in the keyword iPhone X, to learn more about the phone.
If they’re looking to buy the phone, battery life might be one of the key factors affecting their buying decision. If your ad shows that the S9 has a better battery life than the iPhone X, you’ve just given them a reason to buy Samsung.
If you want to get great results with this, you might want to be more specific with your keyword choice, to avoid a lot of pointless clicks. For instance, you might target ‘iPhone X battery life.’
This will give you the chance to market to people who are researching phones, based on battery life.
Generic keywords are keywords that represent a specific kind of product but don’t necessarily have any branding associated with them.
Suppose you sell gym clothing. An example of a generic keyword is going to be ‘running shoes.’ As with many other forms of PPC marketing, precision and relevance are going to help you here.
Suppose you sell running shoes designed for marathon runners.
Though you can target the keyword ‘running shoes,’ you may get better results if you target the keyword ‘running shoes for marathon.’
If someone types in that keyword and they see your ad, they’re going to find it highly relevant. Hence they’ll be more likely to click on your ad and they’ll also be more likely to eventually buy from you.
You can discover new keywords like this by typing in a generic keyword into the Google Keyword Planner. That’s because if you type in ‘running shoes’ into the tool, you’ll be able to see all the different kinds of running shoes people are searching for.
You’ll also see the subtle differences in phrasing people use when essentially searching for the same product. All of which can help get you in front of people who are going to buy from you.
Related keywords, are keywords that are relevant to your niche – but won’t necessarily lead directly to revenue generating opportunities.
Let’s take our example of gym clothing from earlier. A related keyword here would be ‘how to run faster.’ At first glance, it might seem a little bit pointless targeting these keywords. But if you have the right strategy, these keywords can yield some brilliant results.
For instance, if you sell running shoes, you can target this keyword and promote a free guide that teaches people how to run faster. In order to get this guide people will need to provide you with their email address.
Once you have their email address, you can them send them offers for your running shoes – which will encourage them to buy. This is a good strategy because these keywords tend to be relatively inexpensive when compared to the other keyword variations we’ve covered.
If you want to learn more about finding ‘related’ keywords, when doing PPC keyword research, you should learn about the Buyer’s Journey.
No matter how much PPC keyword research you do – you will never know how good a keyword is going to perform until you run some ads targeting it.
Because of this, it is essential you track conversion rates, whenever you are running a PPC campaign. This will help you figure out which keywords are producing customers and which ones are just costing you money.
You can then use the information you’ve learned, to improve your future PPC keyword research efforts. In order to monitor conversions, you will need to install a piece of code on your website.
This can be a technical task. If you do not feel comfortable adjusting the code on your site, speak to a freelancer who can help you. Because it is a relatively small job, it should not cost you a lot of money to get it done.
You’ll also want to keep a close eye on some of the metrics that will be supplied to you. If you find keywords that have a high CTR but low conversion rate – your landing page might need improving. If you find a keyword has a low CTR but a high conversion rate – you might need to improve the copy for the ad.
In general, you don’t need to leave a new keyword running for more than 3-4 days, to have reliable data. Whatever the data is telling you, make sure you act quickly, to prevent wasted ad spend.
Proper PPC keyword research is essential if you want a PPC campaign that is going to be successful. However, the world of PPC keyword research can become overwhelming if you’re not careful.
In this post, we’ve taken a look at some of the things you can do to improve your knowledge of PPC keyword research. Google Keyword Planner can help you find new keywords. The points we’ve covered should also help you understand how to approach the varying ‘kinds’ of new keywords.
In any case, make sure you are tracking conversions. Only then will you know how to identify future keywords that are going to deliver promising results.
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