How important are keywords to your paid advertising campaigns?

Extremely important!

Keywords are the core of your paid advertising campaigns and an integral part of the customer acquisition process when it comes to your ROI from paid advertising. Getting this part of your campaign prep correct is crucial to not only how your campaigns will perform, but which types of search queries your brand will be associated with.

We’re sharing some of our top tips on how to find the best keywords for your PPC campaigns and how to ensure you’re using the correct keywords to bring you the best possible return from your spend.

Let’s start with keyword intent

Firstly, it’s super important to consider the intent behind the keywords that the searcher types into a search engine. This is simply because it is high intent keywords which indicate the customers likelihood of making a purchase or requesting more information about a product or service. Low intent keywords are indicative that the searcher isn’t yet nearing the end of their buyer journey.

Choosing keywords with the wrong intent could result in a failed campaign and a wasted budget.

Search queries are categorised into 3 basic search types. These are:

Informational – these searches are usually, educational. They are performed to find out further information on a product or service. Low intent

Navigational – these searches are performed to locate a particular website. Low intent

Transactional – these searches are performed with the intent to make a purchase. High intent

When defining key words for a PPC campaign where the outcome is to convert sales, high intent keywords must be used.

So, how do you identify the right keywords?

Brainstorming your initial ideas

Start by picking out relevant keywords from the landing page(s) that the ads will be linking to. These pages should contain enough info for you to compile a decent starting list of relevant keywords. Ensure your landing pages are SEO optimised beforehand though.

A good idea is to organise your keywords into the following types:

Brand terms – keywords containing your brand name or trademarked terms. (i.e.

Generic terms – keywords connecting to products (e-commerce keywords) or services offered. (social media marketing)

Related terms – keywords that don’t directly relate to your products or services, but that your prospective customers may still be searching for. (increase social media following)

Competitor terms – names of your competitors

Brand TermsCompetitor TermsGeneric TermsRelated Terms
Headland MarketingJo Bloggs MarketingPPC campaignsIncrease brand awareness
Headland Marketing ServicesJo Bloggs Marketing ServicesSocial media managementIncrease social following
Headland Marketing blogJo Bloggs blogContent marketing servicesBecome a thought leader

Use a keyword planning tool

The fastest and easiest way to do this is to use a reputable keyword research tool and analytics data, to help you identify the keywords that are going to help your campaign perform to its best ability.

Although you’ll likely have an idea of the keywords you want to use which are relevant to your business, products and services, it’s important to use a keyword research tool to ensure you’re choosing the right ones. Some of our recommendations are:

This tool is free to use

When searching your keywords on one of these tools you want to initially analyse the results based on these two most important factors:

  • High Search Volume
  • Low competition

Investing in high search volume key words is going to cost you, however, these types of keywords are the most likely to bring you the best return.

What about long-tail keywords?

It’s also important to factor Long-tail keywords into your PPC strategy to obtain maximum results and ensure you’re covering all stages of the funnel. Long-tail keywords are longer more specific phrases that customers are likely to use when performing a search and are ready to convert.

Although high-search volume keywords typically work best, these can be very expensive. Long-tail keyword have a lower search volume, but they have less competition, are cheaper, and have higher conversion rates.

Image: Seopressor

It’s time to get organised

Once you’ve got all your keywords figured out, it’s time to sort through them and get them organised into small and targeted groups of keywords that are closely connected to each other. These groups will correspond to your ad groups in Google or Bing Ads.

Ensuring your ad groups are super focused will make it easier to measure performance, scale your list if necessary and give the ability to create highly targeted and performing ads. Taking these steps will give your campaigns more relevance. This will lead to higher quality scores, which subsequently increases your ad rankings and will reduce what you pay for each click and conversion.

Always remember the importance of negative keywords

Negative keywords are the words that you don’t want your ads to show up for. Without considering negative keywords your campaigns won’t perform to their best ability and you will wind up wasting a lot of money. Not only could you show up in a completely irrelevant search, but you may also have your brand associated with potentially damaging search terms if you don’t filter these keywords out.

Tips for identifying negative keywords include:

Monitor search query reports – you can keep track of words which aren’t good for your ads and start to build a list from this.

Know your negative match types – generally, you want to be using broad match negatives to exclude any query that contains your negative term. The match type that you assign to a negative keyword impacts what traffic it blocks.

Act before the campaign goes live – acting before your campaign goes live will save you money and minimise unnecessary budget wastage. Take advantage of the array of tools available to help identify your negative keywords.

Finally, developing your keywords is a continuous process. Analysing data and campaign performance will help you tweak your keywords to obtain maximum results going forward, so be sure to check your keyword groups regularly.

Stay on top of your keyword game and as time goes on, you’ll find yourself with strong and highly performing PPC campaigns.