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Mastering the science of researching and curating a keyword list for your PPC campaigns

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Mastering The Science Of Researching And Curating A Keyword List For Your PPC Campaigns

5.5 billion searches happen on Google daily and according to Wordstream, 97% of consumers now go online to find local products and services. For PPC and display ads, there are many techniques and ways to optimise your campaigns but choosing the right keywords for your audience is critical for a successful campaign. Keywords should always be at the centre of your search engine marketing strategy and can often influence your chances of receiving great CPA and conversion rates. But using the wrong keywords for PPC campaigns can create a missed opportunity for your target audience to find your services. 

Luckily, there is science when it comes to selecting the right keywords. Here are some of the most important steps to take when choosing keywords for your PPC campaigns:

1. Take time to research and understand different types of keywords 

Unfortunately, choosing the right keywords is not as straightforward as picking terms with high search volumes. The key to creating an effective keyword list is by choosing phrases and words that correlate with your overall campaign goal. There are five different types of keywords to consider when making your list:

  • Brand Keywords: keywords that include your brand’s name, these are indeed the most important ones, usually they have lower cost per click and most effective, not only they will help you give your brand maximum exposure but also by bidding on them you will make sure your competitors are not stealing any traffic from you using your brand terms.
  • intent based generic Keywords: Search terms made with the high intent of purchase.
  • Long-tail Keywords: Long phrases with specific and unique terms; usually these have lower competition and higher conversion rate.
  • Broader keywords: very generic, short search terms that usually have low commercial intent but a lot of searches.

2. Create branded keywords and Invest as much as you can on them:

Branded keywords have the highest intent and it’s usually the first keyword big International brands focus on, assume you are creating a campaign for Adidas, then your brand keyword will be Adidas itself, you may ask ,but it’s a short one-word keyword and it’s very broad!? well yes, it is. but it’s very relevant and since it’s highly related to the brand landing page the cost per click will be significantly low for you, sometime it is also a good Idea to include the misspelled versions of the brand term to make sure we are covering as much brand terms as we can, now that we are done with single branded keywords we should create some hybrid versions, for doing that we need to mix the Brand term with the product category term, for example Adidas(Brand) Shoes(Product Category) = Adidas shoes(Our keyword). we will do this for all the product categories: Adidas shoes, Adidas shirts, Adidas (any product category), These we call Hybrid Brand terms which are very useful and they will bring us very high quality traffic with the highest intent possible.

Hybrid brand keywords can also be a combination of other words with Brand terms such as Adidas reviews, Adidas Sales, Adidas website, Adidas new collection, and more.

3. Prioritise Intent based generic keywords to increase your conversion rate.

Generally, for PPC and display ad campaigns using commercial keywords is recommended if the goal is to increase conversion rates, as paid ads that include commercial intent keywords receive more than 65% of all conversions. Let’s say you are a hairdresser based in Sheffield, UK. When choosing a list of related keywords to bid on, terms like ‘short haircuts for women’ and ‘hair cutting style’ may have a high search volume, but people who are searching these terms are probably just looking for inspiration for a new haircut rather than a specific hairdresser. For commercial keywords, you can include locations, like ‘hairdressers in Sheffield’ or ‘hair stylists near me’ to help to target locals searching for your specific service. 

But how to even make this better? start creating your own Intent based generic keywords.

When your product is something very generic and there is a lot of searches for it finding the right keywords is key to keep the conversion rate high and cost per click reasonable, this is when using intent based generic keywords can help a lot, to do this you can use the list of broad generic keywords that you have researched and add intent terms at the beginning of each of them, for example if our generic terms are the following:

  • Blue shirt
  • Jean shorts

We can use the following intent based terms:

  • Buy
  • Purchase
  • Shop
  • Online

By simply combining them, these will be our intent based generic keywords:

  • Buy Blue Shirt
  • Purchase Blue shirt
  • Shop Blue shirt
  • Blue shirt online
  • Jean shorts online
  • Buy Jean shorts
  • Purchase Jean shorts
  • Shop Jean shorts

This will significantly increase the quality of our traffic and help us increase the conversion rate significantly.

 4. Build a keyword list with the right balance of specific and general keywords

A challenge digital marketers face when starting out a keyword research is finding the right balance of keywords that provide high search volume with low competitive rates. Bidding on popular keywords can be competitive and costly but choosing keywords that are too specific can lead to low search volumes. Start by brainstorming broad topics related to your business and go through each category adding details to your keywords. For example, if you own a chocolate shop in Brooklyn, New York, start listing general products you sell: white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate etc. For each category, list a specific unique selling point and the location of your shop. This may look like the following: Vegan white chocolate, gluten-free white chocolate Brooklyn, etc. 

Now that you know all these, start making the list, test different types of keywords we explained here on different campaigns and compare their performance, soon you will understand which type of keywords will give you the best conversion rate.

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