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PPC Keyword Research the Smart Way

Don’t skip any steps! Get started on your killer PPC campaign by checking out Part 1!

So you’ve completed a team think tank session, taken a long hard look at your website and have your budget limitations in place. So what’s the next move to get your Pay-per-click campaign off and running? I always start with the basics. So grab a pencil, a sheet of paper, and follow along as I help you structure your pay-per-click campaign.

Good Old-Fashioned Brainstorming

Sometimes pen and paper is the best approach to brainstorming

Sometimes pen and paper is the best approach to brainstorming.

If you’re a visual learner like myself, nothing beats a good old-fashioned brainstorming session. My brainstorming session always starts off with narrowing down what AdWords campaigns I would like to run. Start writing down the different options you have for campaigns. Even if the ideas you put to paper don’t fit in your current budget, that’s okay. Even if you aren’t physically running ads for that service or product, mapping out your entire strategy from the start will give you a clear direction to move toward in the future.

Defining Your PPC Ad Groups

After you pinpoint what campaigns you want to target, it’s time to decide on the ad groups within each campaign. The number of ad groups is going to depend on the campaign. Some campaigns may end up with seven ad groups, and another with two. However, make sure that the division of ad groups makes sense with the classifications of your keywords, which we will discuss in a moment.

If you feel lost about where to start, don’t worry. We have all had those moments! I have always found that the best place to start is with the website itself. It might seem like common sense, but your website’s navigation bar is a great place to start when outlining your ad groups. You’ve spent hours creating that website in a way that makes sense for the products or services you are selling. Don’t let this extremely valuable tool go overlooked. Use it as a launch point to propel your PPC campaign forward.

Analyzing Your Competition

After you’ve structured your campaign, you’ve got to figure out what keywords fit where. It’s important that you be organized with your keywords and keep your research structured.  Where do I start with my keyword research? I go back to my pen and paper and start jotting down keyword ideas for each ad group.  This allows me to keep track of where I want my keyword research to go.

The second thing I do is competitive research.  Now, there are two types of competitors out there – the ones you know and the ones you haven’t even thought off. While the ones you know are easy, the latter requires a little extra work on your behalf. This is where keeping your keywords organized comes in handy. Type one of the keywords into Google and see who pops up. While you’ll definitely find some names you know, you’re just as likely to find a few you’ve never seen before.

Now that you have a list of competitors, it’s time to go right back to Google. This time, search for websites that will give me digital marketing information for any website, specifically, what keywords they are ranking for.  One by one, I will type in the competitor’s websites and look for their top ranking keywords.  Not only is this information important so that you can understand what your competitors are ranking for and use those keywords in your own campaign, but it can also give you ideas of additional keywords to look into as you expand your digital marketing efforts.

PPC Keyword Research

Once you’ve checked out your competitors it’s time to get into Google Adwords, specifically Google’s Keyword Planner. If you haven’t been into the Google Keyword Planner, then you are missing out on a wealth of information.  The best place to start is simply by typing a keyword into their search.  Information for that specific keyword will populate.  Things such as competition level, average monthly search volume, and estimated cost per click. If all that information looks good, then scroll down the page.  Google will populate the rest of the page with suggested keywords based on your keyword search.  This can save you a ton of time! You may see keywords that you didn’t initially think of, but would be useful to your campaign.  After I have scrolled through the related keywords and decided which to use, I will type in another keyword and repeat.  You want to make sure that you have at least ten keywords for every ad group to start.

Useful Keyword Planning Tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Insight on competition levels, average monthly search volumes and estimated cost per click on specific keywords

  • SEMrush: In-depth analytics reports that provide insight into your competitors’ ad strategies and budget

  • SpyFu: Discover your competitors’ most lucrative keywords while leveraging historic data to create better ad copy

After picking my keywords, I use the review plan button.  This is a great tool to use and if you haven’t used it, you should.  This will give you forecasting based on your daily budget and keyword selection.  Here Google will tell you their estimation of clicks, impressions, and so much more.  This allows me to review the keyword plan I have put together as a whole.  If I noticed that my estimated clicks per day is two, then I need to go back and find keywords with a higher potential click through rate and average impressions.

If you want instant, targeted traffic coming to your site that drives revenue like no other, PPC is a no-brainer for your brand. When executed to perfection, a PPC campaign can be one of the biggest marketing channels for your brand, attracting interested customers to your services and converting leads into sales . At Eyeflow, our devoted PPC specialists optimize your campaign to run like a well-oiled machine. Take the hard work out of your campaign management and rely on the experts at Eyeflow to turn your PPC campaign into a refined marketing engine.

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Here at Eyeflow I work in both project management and PPC management. My favorite part about working at Eyeflow is seeing my clients receive increased business. I currently live near Pittburgh with my two dogs and my fiancé and am busy planning for an October wedding!

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