The growing number of websites on the internet today has made it difficult for companies to make sure that their content is seen by viewers, as there are often millions of search results for a single phrase entered into a search engine. To compound this issue, how do you make sure that the right people are clicking on your website?
That is where the use of keywords in PPC campaigns come into play.
Pay-Per-Click advertising is an important tool that allows users to increase the search ranking of their website through the use of bidding, and more specifically, the use of keywords in these bids. Keywords are such an important part of PPC, that often the actual success of a campaign is determined by how effective keywords used in bids are at attracting viewers and increasing clicks and conversions to your website.
What are keywords?
While a potential visitor is searching the internet for a solution to their purchasing problem, they will use keywords in their search engine such as “blue bicycle” and “second hand car”. These keywords allow the search engine bots to scan the internet for websites that contain these words so that the right landing pages can be delivered to the viewer first.
With the use of the correct keywords, a company’s website will be delivered to the viewer in the form of a top ranking search result ad, when the viewer has searched for something relating to the website’s content.
So lets say that a potential visitor is searching to buy a second hand car, they will enter “second hand cars Los Angeles” into their search browser in order to find car dealerships that are selling pre-owned cars, in the area of Los Angeles. Dealerships who are using keywords such as “used cars”, “for sale” and “Los Angeles” in their PPC campaign will be displayed as top ranking searches, as the keywords in their bids are direct matches to the potential visitor’s search .
Types of keywords
This raises another area of discussion… What are the different types of keywords that can be used?
- Branded – company name, eg. “Amazon”
- Generic – keywords used for viewers to discover your business. Usually are popular search terms, eg. “car dealership”
- Transaction – phrases used to find products or services that you are looking to purchase, eg. “buy” and “sale”
- Information – keywords used by viewers to find out more about a product or service they are interested in, in order to aid their buyer decision making process, eg. “reviews” and “top-rated”
- Long tail – phrases that are used to find a specific product or service. These phrases are usually made up of 4 or more words, eg. “blue pre-owned car for sale in Los Angeles”
You should be using a combination of these different types of keywords in your PPC campaigns in order to maximise the effectiveness of your bids.
How to discover the correct keywords
So how do you find the right keywords to include in your PPC campaign then?
There are two main techniques that can be used, often in combination with one another to increase the amount of qualified traffic on your website:
There are a couple areas you could focus on when brainstorming for keyword ideas:
- Company name and web address should always be included because these are some of the most common keywords that viewers search for when trying to find your website. These keywords are referred to as branded keywords.
- Frequent errors should definitely be included as keywords to account for spelling errors potential viewers could make when using a search engine. For example, including the keyword “pre-owned” as well as “per-owned” is a good way to prevent potential customers from falling through the cracks and failing to make a purchase due to a spelling error. A lot of brainstorming and testing should be done to identify which errors are frequent, and most likely to be made by potential viewers.
- Product list keywords are a must when setting up your PPC bids. Using the titles for all products, resources and services in a website catalogue as keywords, will allow the search engine bots to provide potential viewers with a direct solution to the purchasing or information problem that they are searching to solve.
- Seasonality keywords are particularly useful when addressing holiday and season based searches such as “Christmas gifts” and “winter jacket”. This type of keyword is often added in a PPC campaign temporarily, for the duration of the specific season the campaign is promoting.
- Use a keyword research tool
Using a keyword research tool to find the best keywords for a PPC campaign is a good option for marketers who do not have the time or experience to manually select keywords to work in their campaign bids.
A free tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner is able to generate a number of keywords instantly, based on the product names, landing pages and product categories present on a website. Ultimately, keyword research tools are perfect for finding good keywords without having to spend time brainstorming and trialing keywords.
While keywords are useful in attracting potential customers to your website, it is also possible that these keywords will attract the wrong viewers who are not interested in what your website has to offer. These wrong viewers will leave the website very shortly after discovering that it is of no use to them, and they will return to their searching without making a conversion. To make matters worse, the click will still be paid for by the website owner, even though the click did not contribute to a sale or use of the website.
See how important it is to exclude certain keywords!?
To avoid a situation where your entire marketing budget is used up by viewers who aren’t even interested in what your website has to offer, it is important to list commonly used keywords that should be excluded, so that potential customers are not disappointed once they reach your website and discover that it does not offer what they are looking for.
To put this in practical terms, if a website is selling brand new bicycles, they would want to exclude keywords such as “second hand bicycles” and “tricycles” since these keywords do not match any items that are offered in the website product list.
Ready to Get Started?
So now that you know what keywords and negative keywords are, and how to discover the correct keywords to use, it is time for you to implement all this knowledge in your own PPC campaign.
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