Choosing The Right Keywords

What a PPC campaign hinges on more than anything, is the keywords that are chosen to bid on. The right keywords can lead to increased conversions and exposure for your business, while the wrong keywords could mean wasted investment and time. The goal of a PPC campaign is to have consumers see your ads, and that requires you to choose keywords that your target audience is likely to search. If you choose keywords that they aren’t searching, or even worse, keywords that a different audience is searching for, you’ll find your campaign severely underperforming.

To determine which keywords would work best for your campaign, consider what your target market is interested in. Think the way that a consumer would think, choosing keywords related to your industry that are still simple and accessible. The more relevant and simple the keywords, the likelier you are to see your conversions increasing. It’s important to note that PPC is not like SEO marketing, and it follows a very different keyword suggestion process. With SEO, keywords fulfil a large number of purposes. They may be feeding into consumer curiosity, informing and educating them, or even attempting to engage them. PPC has only one purpose, and that’s to sell consumers on your business, products, and services. That means that your keywords need to be focused around selling consumers on whatever you’re offering, and intriguing them to click through to your website.

A great way to begin this process is to compile a list of potential keywords that consumers may be searching, in no specific order. To do this, you can look over your website and the websites of your competitors, paying special attention to words that stand out. These will be words with direct relevance to the industry itself. If you’ve done some kind of SEO work, and if your content is geared towards being relevant, your website should be full of useful keywords that you can add to this list.

There really is no guideline to what makes a good keyword. This is completely dependent on the market that you’re trying to hit, the products that you offer, and the methods through which you sell them. Let’s say that your industry is automotive, and your business sells car supplies. There are multiple ways in which you could choose keywords, ranging from specific to general. For general keywords, you would use words such as “car”, “supplies”, “Auto”, “Tires”, etc. You could also use brand names as keywords, and implement names of popular car and car accessory brands into your keywords. You could also be much more specific, and use keywords such as “air fresheners”, “cup holders”, and “blind side mirrors”. It all becomes a question of which keywords are likelier to sell. A consumer typing in “Toyota” into google is probably less likely to buy than one typing in “Car air freshener”, just based on how specific of a request they have. Certain businesses will even use the names of competitors as keywords, allowing their ads to show up when competitor names are searched.

Because it can sometimes be hard to know where to start, Google offers a service which helps you identify common keywords, showing you how often they’re searched, how expensive they are, and how likely they are to boost your conversion rates. Using such tools can save you the time of identifying keywords yourself, although it’s always good to use them in conjunction with your own work.

Because PPC is meant to sell, pose your keywords as phrases, and not as questions. Question keyword-strings are best left for SEO, where consumers will be searching to find questions for their answers. When a consumer searches a question, they probably won’t click on a displayed ad, believing that it will try to sell them on something rather than to inform them. When consumers are looking to buy, they understand that being sold on something is part of the process. That’s why they click on ads, and that’s also why they search specific terms and not questions. Using these potential terms in your keywords is the quickest way to get your ad displayed.

You should also be taking the time to constantly test your keywords, and ensure that they’re working effectively. Google has so many offerings and tools that help you do this testing that there’s really no excuse for not testing. When you neglect to test your keywords, you may end up running words that are no longer relevant, or that are not performing the way they should be. Testing is integral to running a successful PPC campaign, and especially to having the right keywords in your arsenal.

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