Launching a pay-per-click campaign without strategic keyword research is like a falling tree with no one around to hear it – technically, there’s noise, but the impact is lost.  

For a successful PPC campaign, it’s best practice to start with solid PPC research. By picking the right keywords, you get the highest chance of getting clicks and conversions.   

If you’re launching your next PPC campaign and need a guide for thorough PPC research, this blog is for you. In this post, we’ll explore the basics of PPC ads and uncover how effective keyword research is the key to successful campaigns.  

What is PPC and How Can You Supercharge Your Campaigns with Keyword Research?  

PPC, or pay-per-click, is online advertising based on visitor clicks. Whether on search results, websites, or social media, platforms like Google Ads use keywords to match your ad with relevant searches.   

Choosing the right keywords improves “message match” and “audience match,” ensuring your ad makes sense to visitors and reaches interested viewers. However, selecting the wrong keywords may make your ad seem irrelevant or even spammy.   

Getting Started: Brainstorming a PPC Keyword List  

If your website has well-written content, you likely have a good set of keywords. These fall into four types:  

  • Brand terms: Keywords with your brand name and trademarks.  
  • Generic terms: Words related to your products or services.  
  • Related terms: Not directly linked to your offering but searched for by potential customers.  
  • Competitor terms: Your competitors’ brand names.  

This categorization helps organize and optimize your keyword strategy.  

Why is Keyword Research for PPC Important?  

It’s crucial for maximizing your ad strategy’s ROI. With a $2 return for every $1 spent, that equals a 200% ROI. PPC also brings in double the website visitors compared to local SEO. To be part of these successful stats, you must have a well-aligned PPC keyword research plan in place.  

Paid Search Keyword Research Tools  

Choosing the right PPC keywords is crucial for your business’s growth. Utilize these free and paid tools for effective keyword research:  

1. Google Keyword Planner  

A free tool within Google’s platform, allowing direct addition of keywords to campaigns and customizable research options.  

2. WordStream Free Keyword Tool  

An all-in-one, customizable, and downloadable PPC keyword research tool. Simply enter your website URL, industry, and location for a detailed list of relevant keywords, including volume, cost, and competition data.  

3. Google Trends  

While not a dedicated PPC keyword tool, Google Trends provides insights into term popularity over time in specific locations, aiding in estimating keyword popularity.  

4. Google Search  

Surprisingly helpful in brainstorming PPC keywords, Google Search displays relevant results and suggestions as you type. Explore the People Also Ask sections for additional keyword ideas.  

Paid PPC Keyword Research Tools:  

  • SEMRush  
  • SpyFu  
  • Moz  

Consider outsourcing your PPC keyword research for more advanced results.  

10 Easy Steps to Do Keyword Research PPC 

Learn the process of conducting PPC keyword research effortlessly with these 10 simple steps:  

1. Define Your PPC Goals   

Approach your PPC keyword research with clear goals, aligning your chosen keywords with your business’s advertising objectives. For instance, if your goal is to boost newsletter sign-ups, focus on keywords related to information-seeking, ensuring your traffic aligns with your desired actions.  

 2. Identify Core Products/Services   

Compile a list of your main products or services, considering popular offerings in your industry. Whether in a niche market or broader industries like home services, healthcare, etc., create a foundation for your keyword research.  

3. Categorize Keywords   

Organize keywords into four categories: 

  • Brand terms (business name or trademarked terms) 
  • Generic terms (typical keywords for products or services) 
  • Related terms (customer needs) 
  • Competitor terms (competitor brand names) 

This categorization helps diversify your keyword strategy.  

4. Utilize PPC Keyword Research Tools   

Input your initial keywords into a reliable keyword research tool to uncover long-tail keywords and refine your list. These tools provide insights that may not have been evident during the initial brainstorming phase.  

5. Validate Keywords with Google Search  

Verify the relevance of your keywords by conducting Google searches in incognito mode. Understand the competition and assess if the selected keywords align with what potential customers might be searching for.  

6. Analyze Competitor Keywords   

Explore your competitors’ strategies to gain insights into potential PPC keywords. Although you can’t access their bids directly, understanding their keyword choices can inspire and refine your selection.  

7. Finalize and Organize   

Trim down your list to a few keywords that best align with your goals. Effective organization is key for a streamlined and targeted PPC campaign.  

8. Assign Match Types   

Determine the match types (broad, phrase, or exact match) for your keywords. Consider the balance between visibility and relevance, as different match types offer varying restriction levels.  

9. Incorporate Negative Keywords   

In addition to what you want to show for, consider what you don’t want to appear for.  Integrate negative keywords into your strategy to enhance precision in targeting and avoid irrelevant clicks. 

10. Continuous Optimization  

Keyword research is an ongoing process. Regularly revisit and refine your keyword strategy using data and insights tools to ensure the effectiveness and relevance of your PPC campaign.  

Expand and Refine Your List with Keyword Research Tools  

Once you have a good list of terms to bid on, the next step is to use keyword research tools to figure out which keywords to keep and which ones to drop.   

Instead of relying solely on instinct, these tools help you pinpoint the terms people are actually typing into search engines. There are various tools available, such as:  

  • Google’s Keyword Planner (found within Google Ads, formerly AdWords)  
  • WordStream’s free Keyword Suggestion Tool  

Each tool has its unique features, but the essential metric to focus on is search volume. The higher the search volume, the more people are searching for that specific term each month.  

 Tweaking Your PPC Budget  

Your bidding costs in PPC vary based on the keywords you target, forming a crucial part of the process. Utilize Google Keyword Planner for initial budget planning, estimating keyword costs, and providing a cost projection in the Plan Overview window.  

However, CPC is not the sole determinant in your PPC budget; factors like cost per conversion and conversion rate also play a role. Workshop Digital’s PPC budget calculator can be a useful tool for this purpose.  

Maintain control over your PPC costs by establishing a regular schedule to monitor ad expenses and sticking to it. As you run more campaigns, identifying patterns will enable you to better manage and optimize future costs.  

Ready to Dominate PPC? Discover the Secrets of Effective Keyword Research with BrandLume  

Mastering PPC keyword research is a cornerstone for any successful digital advertising campaign. With a commitment to precision and results, BrandLume is your trusted partner for creating targeted and impactful campaigns that drive real business growth. Contact us now