PPC Help: Keyword Research

PPC Help

Everyone needs PPC help, and this series is part of our blog post series to help you improve your paid search campaign in 10 days.

Keyword research is where it all begins for achieving better paid search management. There are too many tools and nooks of the Internet to find amazing keywords, so there are no excuses not to get it done. We’re going to cover a myriad of ways to get your keyword research up and running.

Take a Peek at Your Competitors Keywords

It’s always interesting to see what your competitors are up too, and what keywords they are trying to rank organically for. How can you peek behind their SEO curtains? If you’re on Safari, go to the tab “View” and select “View Source.” It’ll show you the keywords in their meta description. If you’re on Firefox, go to Tools and Page Info and it’ll show you their meta description and keywords (shown below). So now go and check on your competitors.

View Pagesource

If you’re interested in looking at what AdWords keywords you’re competitors are purchasing, check out SpyFu. They can also tell you the organic keywords that they’re using.

What Search Terms Are Doing Well for You? 

Take a look at where you are already shining brightly by taking a look at your Google Analytics. There are two ways to do this in Google Analytics. First, look at Traffic Sources on the left-hand sidebar. Look at Search both organic and paid to see what are the main search terms bringing traffic to your site. Don’t worry if your main organic terms are branded. That means people are looking for you, and Google sees this as a good sign. But dig further past the branded terms and see what other search terms are high-traffic terms. Do keep in mind that a lot of traffic isn’t great if it’s not a term that will bring sales. For example, one keyword bringing an incredible amount of traffic was stealth because we had written about being a stealth startup. That keyword wasn’t going to do anything for us. If you’re measuring conversions, do a deeper dive and look at your goal sets in Google Analtyics to see what keywords are converting.

Also, don’t forget about Google Webmaster Tools, which has valuable assets for PPC help. Vertical Measures has a great post on keyword research in Google Webmaster Tools to get you started. Did you know that Google Webmaster Tools will tell you what keywords it thinks are important to your website based on your existing content.

Keyword Research Tools

There are too many excellent keyword research tools are out there that can do the research for you. We’ve already covered our favorite keyword research tools so we won’t rehash that. But take a look at the list, check out the tools and explore. Also, keep in mind that you have to manually go through the keywords that these tools help you generate. There is no easy way out of the hard work. We talk about this in problems with keyword generators for small PPC campaigns. Trada’s CEO Niel Robertson also has some tips up his sleeve for his favorite keyword research techniques involving tools.

Friends and Family

If it’s your job, you’re probably a little too myopic. You drink the Kool-Aid and speak the buzzwords. Use a lifeline and ask your friends and family for some PPC help. Ask them how they would search for your product or service. It might really surprise you to learn the search terms people use when they don’t speak the buzzwords.

Google Auto-complete

At their core, people are looking for speed on the Internet. Now that Google is auto-completing searches, more people are likely to press enter as Google autocompletes their search terms. I love looking at keywords we’re ranking for and seeing how Google auto-completes their search terms.

Google Auto-Complete

One response to “PPC Help: Keyword Research”

  1. PPC Consultants

    When I started working with PPC, if I found a negative keyword that would apply to the whole account, I would have to add it into each individual campaign.

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