Your Guide To Keyword Selection For PPC Campaigns

It goes without saying that the success of a PPC campaign depends on a number of different factors, but get your keywords right and you’ll see your clicks and conversions rocket in no time. The fundamental principle of crafting a good set of keywords that will get you results is research but understanding your customer, predicting their search journey and realizing their intent, all help too.

A Quick Recap Of Keywords:

A keyword is a word or a string of words that a user will type into Google (or any other search engine) in order to generate information that will help settle a query. The results page will display both organic results or paid for advertisements that all relate to the words entered into the search box.

The best keywords are those that are most relevant to your campaign and that will direct highly targeted traffic towards your advertisement. However, the more competitive a keyword, the more expensive it will be to bid on. This is why its necessary to conduct thorough keyword research before you begin spending.

Once you have established things like campaign objectives, your overall budget and a target number of clicks/conversions, it’s time to start collating your keywords.

Start With The Obvious

A logical place to begin is your landing page from which you should be able to pull a number of keywords, including your brand terms. You should keep your list organised by grouping your keywords into themes, such as the different services or products you offer.

Seed Words & Long Tail Keywords

From this preliminary list, you should then select a number of ‘seed’ words, which are keywords that will maintain their meaning irrespective of any other words that are added to them. Your seed words will probably be those describing what products or services your business offers. To illustrate this point with an example, if you sold shoes, your seed word would be ‘shoes’ and your keywords might be ‘red shoes’, ‘running shoes’, ‘high-heeled shoes’ and so on.

Once you have your seed word list, you can begin to build it out. Think about what somebody searching for the products or services you offer would type into Google, including generic or basic terms to describe what they’re looking for, Consider what the consumer’s search intent, or what the desired outcome of their Google search will be. Sometimes users will use ‘long –tail keywords’ which are keyword phrases that contain three or more words, such as, ‘best running shoes for women’. These kinds of keywords are much more specific and tend to be less competitive to bid on so it might be useful to think of a few of these if it’s applicable to your business.

Use Free Tools To Help You

There are a number of free keyword tools that you can use to aid your research and expand your keyword list. Google AdWords has a free Keyword Planner, which will generate keywords that are most relevant to your business based on what words you have entered into it. A portion of the results won’t be relevant to your campaign so you will have to sift through the list and pick out the best ones. This tool will also show you bid estimates, how regularly keywords are used in search queries and how this search volume fluctuates over time to help you make your decision. Keywords with high search volumes and low competitiveness are the most ideal in terms of budgeting.

Match Types

The next step is to determine the match type of your keywords. Generally speaking, the broader the match type, the more traffic it will bring in. Depending on your campaign objectives, however, this may not always be the best strategy. The various match types are outlined in the table below:

Match Type Special Symbol Ads will show on searches that
Broad Match none Include misspelt words, synonyms, related searches, relevant variations
Broad Match Modifier + keyword Contain the modified term, close variants but not synonyms, in any order
Phrase Match keyword Are a phrase or close variations of that phrase
Exact Match [ keyword ] Are an exact term and close variations of that exact term
Negative Match keyword Are searches without that term

Location Targeting

You can use location and language targeting so that your ads will only show for customers searching with your keyword in certain countries, cities or regions or within a set radius of your business premises. This step will again require you to think carefully about whom your target audience is and what they’re likely to be searching for.


The last thing to remember is that your keyword list is never complete and will require regular revisions. Your consumers and their searches will always be changing; this could be to do with seasonality, trends, geographical factors or changes to your business. Ensure that you are routinely doing new keyword research, updating your lists and bids, pausing keywords that aren’t getting results and refreshing your keywords to keep them as relevant as they can be to your campaign.



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