Google Search Campaigns are based on keywords.
So, what are the best keywords to target? How do you find them?
And once you find them, how can you find similar untapped ones?
The sooner you start preparing your keyword list before running your PPC campaign, the better off you’ll be.
It will take some time to learn what works and what doesn’t, but I’m hoping this Google Ads PPC Keyword Research guide will help get your Google Search campaigns up and running.
Quick Navigation To Google Ads Keyword Research Guide 2021:
- Step 1. Brainstorm The Keyword List for Your PPC Search Campaigns
- Step 2. Explore KeyWord Ideas With Google Trends
- Step 3. Get Competitors’ Insights On KeyWords
- Step 4. Discover Search Volumes And Expand The KeyWord List With Google Keyword Planner
- Step 5. Refine Your PPC Keywords List
- Step 6. Sorting and Organizing Your PPC Keywords
1. Brainstorm The Keyword List for Your PPC Search Campaigns
Brainstorming a list of potentially relevant keywords is usually a starting point for effective PPC search campaigns including Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
You can use this list as a starting point for brainstorming ideas or you can create as many as you want based on your specific PPC campaign needs.
From my experience, I would suggest you will always be better off comparing and contrasting different ideas and then developing your own lead generation keyword list based on that work.
Some ideas how you can find a list of keywords for your PPC campaign to target:
- Search engine autocomplete features. Type each of your seed keywords into Google and see what comes up for autocomplete — enhancing your understanding of longer queries customer might be making.
- Look at “related search” suggestions at the bottom of Google’s (and other search engines’) search results.
2. Explore KeyWord Ideas With Google Trends
Google Trends began as a way to analyze and aggregate user interest in various topics or fields. It has now morphed into a big data utilization tool that can offer storytelling on a much grander scale, including gauging public reactions to real-time events or other news stories within the short-term future.
How to Use Google Trends for Keyword Research
2.1. First, navigate to Google Trends page
2.1. Enter a search term or topic you’d like to explore for keywords (for instance: home devices) ➜ Enter the country/geo you’re interesting in ➜ Select the time range
Now Google will show you how people are interested (searched for your keyword/keyphrase) over time in your
Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.
You can add different keywords/search terms to compare how they perform to each other.
Scroll down to the Related queries section and find out a list of related queries to your search terms users also searched for.
2.2. Download these queries to a CSV file ➜ then import them to Google Spreadsheets
3. Get Competitors’ Insights On KeyWords
Before you start using a keyword tool, try to get insights into the strategies used by your competitors to attain high SERP rankings. Find the keywords your competitors are bidding the most on and include them in your campaign.
Discover the keywords they are ranking for with the help of SEO tools such as SpyFu. Along with providing in-depth research about competitor keywords, SpyFu also gives the following insights:
- CPC keywords your competitors are using
- The price they are paying per click
- Their monthly ad expenditure
- Ad position and searches they appear in
You can use this data to outbid your competitors. List the keywords you get through competitor insights and add them to your brainstorming list.
So let’s start with utilizing the SpyFu tool to find more keywords and even real ads that your competitors are on the search network.
3.1. First, navigate to SpyFu.com
3.2. Type in your competitor’s website
3.3. Navigate to the Google Ads History tool on your menu
Discover For What Your Competitors Are Paying
Now you’ll see current and past ads your competitor ran on the search network, including metrics like ad position, overall clicks, cost per click (CPC), and coverage.
Analyze metrics like coverage to see what percentage of searches return that specific ad.
Use these as jumping-off points in your next campaign for both keyword and call to action ideas that can help you improve performance without the need to experiment on your own.
4. Discover Search Volumes And Expand The KeyWord List With Google Keyword Planner
How to use Google Keyword Planner For Keyword Research?
It comes free of cost with a Google Ads account and helps with keyword research when you set up an ad campaign on Google. You need to sign in to your Google Ads account to get the best results from Google Keyword Planner.
Among other features, it gives you cost-per-click pricing of each keyword and keyword ideas for your static website.
Let’s say you’re promoting the best home devices page and you’ve brainstormed the following keywords:
- best home gadgets
- home gadgets
- new home gadgets
- best smart home devices
- smart home gadgets
Now you should paste these keywords into Keywords planner to find out similar keywords, new ideas, and monthly searches for these search queries.
To create a new keyword list and to add it to your Google Search campaign, just follow the instructions below.
4.1. Click Tools & Settings ➜ Navigate to PLANNING ➜ Choose Keyword Planner ➜Select Discover new keywords
4.2. Select the language and targeted location of the queries, and then Enter the list of keywords you’ve brainstormed before ➜ Click GET RESULTS
Now Google will show you a table of the following results:
- Chart of monthly searches for the keyword terms you’ve provided
- Average monthly searches for the keyword terms you’ve provided
- List of keyword ideas you might want to use in your search campaign
- Level of competition for each of the search terms
- Top of page bid (low range)
- Top of page bid (high range)
Next to “Average Monthly Search” column you would see “Competition” column with 3 main ranks:
A high competition rating means that more advertisers are bidding on these terms, which means you’ll have to pay more to get your ad to the top positions.
High-volume, low-competition keywords are the sweet spot you should be looking for – keywords that will drive substantial traffic without costing you a fortune.
Top of the page bid low and high. These are the amounts of money you need to bid (per click) on each keyword to be at the top of the first page or the bottom of the first page.
These two metrics will tell you exactly how much money you need to bid to feature on top of the first page or bottom of the first page. When you are just starting out, these figures will help you understand what it costs to run your ads effectively.
If you want your ads to feature in the first position, you need to pay attention to Top Of The Page Bid.
This gives you an idea of what you can expect to spend on keywords.
The quickest possible plan of action to use these keywords for your Search PPC campaign is the following:
4.3. Sort monthly searches from high to low ➜ Select most appropriate to your campaign’s goal keywords ➜ Click Plan for adding these keywords into a new campaign or Existing campaign for adding into an existing campaign
4.4. Select Plan ➜ Add keywords
4.5. Navigate to Saved keywords
4.6. Click Create Campaign
4.7. Enter Campaigns name and Daily budget ➜ Click SAVE
4.8. Your campaign has been created with a list of keywords you’ve selected in the Keyword planner ➜ Click VIEW CAMPAIGN
to navigate to your Google Search campaign and finish its creation
5. Refine Your PPC Keywords List
Now, what you may want do with your Keyword list is to exclude all Brands from the list of keywords.
5.1. Navigate to the right sidebar Refine keywords ➜ Expand Brand or Non-Brand menu
5.2. Leave just Non-Brands keywords checked
Most search queries can be subdivided as follows:
- Informational: how to, what, when
- Orienting: best, review, compare, etc.
- Transactional: product searches, price, buy
The most important lesson takeaway is that not every search has the same value.
A visitor coming from a transactional search query will have a higher conversion rate and therefore higher value compared to an informational search query.
So if you have to pay for each click, it makes sense to focus on the most valuable searches.
6. Sorting and Organizing Your PPC Keywords
By now you should have a pretty impressive keyword list. It’s now time to sort your list into small, targeted groups of keywords that are closely related to each other.
These groupings will correspond to your ad groups in Google Ads (or Bing Ads, etc.).
PPC Keywords can be organized into the following types:
- Brand terms – any keywords containing your brand name and trademarked terms.
- Generic terms – terms relating to products (e-commerce keywords) or services offered.
- Related terms – terms that don’t directly relate to what you’re selling, but that users who want your products or services may be searching for.
- High intent keywords – high-intent keywords refer to search terms consumers use that indicate a higher likelihood to take a particular business action — typically one resulting in a transaction, or intent to buy.
- Competitor terms – the brand names of competitors who are offering similar products and services to yours.
If you’re selling a straightforward list of products or services, a good rule of thumb is for your ad groups to mimic the structure of your website. For example, if you’re selling gadgets, your campaign might look something like this:
|Type of keywords||Keywords|
|Generic||Home smart gadgets|
|Related terms||Cheap smart home gadgets|
|Brand||Google home gadgets|
|Brand||Coolest Alexa devices|
|Brand||Samsung smartthings hub|
|Brand||alexa smart home|
|Brand||alexa smart home|
|High intent||cool gadgets to buy|
|High intent||best gadgets to buy|
|High intent||buy gadgets online|
The tighter and more focused your ad groups are, the easier it will be to analyze and optimize them later:
- Measure the performance of each keyword
- Prune or expand your lists if necessary
- Create highly specific and relevant ads
This last point is especially crucial. Small, tightly organized ad groups have multiplying beneficial effects on your account.
Well-organized campaigns have more relevance, and higher relevance leads to higher Quality Scores, which (as we’ve told you many times) simultaneously increase your ad rankings and reduce what you pay for each click and each conversion.
Healthy PPC accounts always have healthy Quality Scores, and strong keyword organization can go a long way toward improving your scores.