Best Practices of Conducting Keyword Research for a PPC Campaign

The frank Agency September 20th, 2017
Magnifying glass highlights keywords for PPC

Pay-per-click (also known as cost-per-click, or CPC) is one of the most widely used methods of online advertising, and for good reason. The PPC model is one in which an advertiser pays a publisher only when their ad is clicked. When done well, PPC can be a highly effective method to conserve ad dollars and only drive in the most effective traffic. What, then, is the best way to build your PPC ads? And how do you know that your ads are going to effectively perform against the competition?

It all starts with the following steps for effective keyword research for your PPC campaign:

1. Know your audience

Not all of your online traffic will interact with your content in the same way. Some consumers are only in the beginning stages, and simply learning about what’s out there. Others are ready to convert and soon. Adjusting your keywords to meet people at any stage is paramount to keeping your ads effective. As you begin to brainstorm keywords, try putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. Which words would you use to describe your product? Present them with ads and keywords you would want to see as a consumer at any stage.

2. Start with high-level keywords

With your audience established, start by assembling all possible keywords and search terms. This will be known as your seed list. Don’t hold back. Put to paper every keyword you can think of — you really want to cover all of the bases here. Here are a few categories you definitely need to account for:

  • Audience keywords:These will be your search terms that emulate what your audience will be searching for. Get creative with these and think outside of the box.
  • Current search terms:Hop on your analytics tools and see what people are currently searching for to get to you. Take the top-performing keywords and leverage them to your advantage. You’re already capturing this data — perhaps via several different platforms — so start putting it to use.
  • Competitor’s keywords:Understand your competition and the set keywords that will directly compete with theirs. Keep in mind that these will need to be generalized and free of trademarks. There are many platforms that offer competitor keyword research, though you can also get to it on your own by either scouring a competitor’s website and source code for keywords or even using Google’s Keyword Planner, which allows you to search for any and all new keywords using either a phrase, website or category.
  • Autocomplete results:Certainly you’ve noticed that the Google search will deliver several pre-populated searches of words it thinks you may be looking for. This can be a great hack for determining relevant keywords. Play around with keywords that may yield relevant results. There’s a good chance that those auto-complete results are likely to drive quality traffic so don’t neglect them.

3. Narrow them down with keyword research tools

When zeroing in on final keywords, keyword research tools are your best friends. There are plenty out there, though Google’s Keyword Planner is likely your best starting point as it’s completely free. Keyword research tools such as Keyword Planner will allow you to quickly understand how many times people are searching for your keywords, how competitive those keywords will be, and how much you should anticipate paying. From here, you’ll be able to quickly boil down your seed list to a final list of effective keywords that will drive results at overall low costs to you.

4. Start building your campaign

By now, you’ve settled on a list of keywords and you’re ready to go. Next, the fun part of assembling your ads and turning them loose begins. You’ll move from drafting keywords to working out budgets, creative, and other ad elements to finally bring you campaign to life.

While PPC is a time-tested method of online advertising, it can be a complex beast. With so many different angles from which your audience can discover your pages, it is critical that you stay focused, organized, and calculated in your creating and managing of campaigns. If you find yourself struggling, call in the professionals.

The frank Agency are experts in PPC advertising and work with advertisers of all shapes and sizes. When PPC advertising seems like a strategy you’re struggling to master, contact us today and learn about our many services, from branding to app development.

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