Keyword research is one of the most critical and often overlooked aspects of any online marketing campaign. By understanding the keywords your customers are using to find your information, products, or services, you can plan your budgeting and messaging accordingly, making sure you're targeting the right people with suitable ads.
Before you ever spend a dollar on Google ads, you need to do your homework. This means performing keyword research. Keyword research should fuel every digital marketing campaign and supply the foundation for your Google AdWords strategy.
Every dollar spent on a PPC campaign is a dollar of investment into your business – so it's going to be important that your money goes towards targeting the right keywords.
Simply put, the keywords you target with your PPC campaigns will determine the success of that campaign. If you aren't targeting high-quality keywords relevant to your offer, it doesn't matter how much money you spend on advertising because it will be less likely those clicks will result in conversions or sales.
Here is our step-by-step guide on how to find the best keywords for your next PPC campaign.
Start With the Basics
One of the easiest ways to get started with your keyword research is to start with a list of related keywords. These are the search terms your customers might type in when looking for a product or service like yours.
The best place to start is by going through the products and services you offer and generating a list of all the related words and phrases that come to mind, using them as an initial base to start your keyword research.
For example, if you were a landscaping company, this is what some terms on your list might look like:
● Lawn Mowing Service
● Landscaping Company
● Backyard Renovations etc.
Once your initial brainstorming is complete, it's time to start doing some keyword research! Several free and paid tools will help you generate a list of suggested keywords based on your original keyword list.
Tools For Keyword Research
The easiest is to use the Google Keyword Planner – this tool allows you to see how many times people have searched for different keywords and phrases in a given month and even the average search volume for these terms.
You can use the Keyword Planner Tool to find keywords and phrases that customers might be using to find your business – and if you're smart about it, you can even use it as a starting point for creative copy.
This is by far the easiest and quickest way to get started with keyword research– especially if you are not a creative person.
Another great free tool is the Google Trends website, which allows you to enter any keyword and see how its search volume has fluctuated over time. This can be very helpful in determining whether or not that particular term is worth targeting with your PPC campaign. It also helps you plan your campaign if you have a more seasonal business.
If you want to invest in making your research easier, some great paid keyword research tools are available for purchase.
Paid tools such as SEMrush have a suite of SEO and PPC tools to help you uncover more complex data about keywords. These tools go beyond just search volume and include competition levels, cost-per-click stats, and a whole range of other metrics that can help you understand the true value of each keyword.
Selecting Your Keywords
Once you have all your keywords, it's time to start narrowing them down into the most relevant and valuable terms. These are the ones you will spend on during your PPC campaigns – they are what should pilot your overall strategy.
The first step is to determine your campaign goals and the keywords that align with those. Once you have a list that meets your objectives, it's time to filter them based on a few factors:
How likely is it that people searching for these terms will actually click on an ad?
How competitive are the other advertisers targeting this keyword?
Is it worth bidding on this term? (You can find the average cost per click and competition levels by clicking the "Ad group ideas" tab in Adwords).
Campaigns & Budgets
Are you already using any of these terms in other campaigns? If so, filter them out–only target brand new keywords with the highest potential.
Once you complete this process, your list of keywords should be much smaller but laser-focused on what you want to accomplish.
Now that your list is finalized, it's time to create the actual ads! Just remember, this next step depends significantly on how well researched and targeted your keywords were. The better your keywords from the beginning, the easier this step will be.
If you do it right, doing keyword research BEFORE your next PPC campaign can save you a ton of time and money – as well as make your ads more effective!
Using Keyword Research For Budgeting
When starting to put together your PPC strategy, doing your keyword research will prevent wasting advertising dollars on low converting keywords and make your campaign more cost-effective.
You can begin by looking at keywords already generating traffic within your account and adding new terms based on the strategies you learned in this article. Once you have a starting point, see if there are any additional terms to target based on your business's geographic area or other specific characteristics like products or services you offer.
When budgeting and planning your campaign, you should aim for either a set number of keywords or a certain cost-per-click amount.
When you do your keyword research, it is imperative to determine how much advertisers pay for clicks on specific keywords you consider. This way, you can set a bid that ensures that your ad will be shown with the most relevant search results and that fits within your budget.
Google has no problem with spending your budget. If you are not thoroughly doing keyword research, your budget will be spent fast, and you may be unhappy with the results you get. Particular niches have higher competition than others, so you may need to adjust your bidding.
If you are advertising in competitive niches, it is crucial to check out the average CPC data before setting your budget to make sure it makes sense for your industry and ad group.
Keyword Research is the Secret to Successful PPC Campaigns.
When it comes to Google ads, keyword planning is essential. You must be clear on the keywords you want to target before starting your campaign and consider how they fit in with what you are trying to accomplish.
If you jump right into a campaign without having a plan, the chances of spending your budget with little to no results will more likely happen.
Not only will doing proper keyword research guide you when it comes to your ads, but it will also help you plan when it comes to budgeting and planning out the rest of your ad campaigns.
You should choose your keywords with a purpose in mind. Many tools like Google's Keyword Planner can help you find what you need and the best ways to target your audience.
Once you've decided on a few quality keywords, make sure they all work together, plan how they fit in with the rest of your campaign, and you're ready to go!