For virtually all businesses, devising an effective digital marketing strategy is essential. Of course, there are numerous pieces that fit into the digital marketing puzzle — and what is a major priority for one company might not be on the radar of another.
But for most, pay-per-click advertising — known simply as PPC — factors into the equation in some way. While search engine optimization is meant to be a long-term strategy that can improve web presence and traffic over time, PPC is intended to generate leads and brand visibility over a shorter period.
In order to make the most of your PPC campaigns, however, you’ll need to nail the setup. That means your keyword research needs to be thorough and up-to-date.
Even if you know what keyword research is, in theory, you might not actually know how to perform it yourself. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re trying to find ways to improve your technique, we’re sharing three insider secrets that can improve your PPC keyword research.
Trust in Your Thesaurus
When conducting keyword research for PPC campaigns, synonyms will come in handy. It’s not all about exact-match terms; you’ll also need related keywords to establish context and increase your chances of showing up in search results. That doesn’t mean you should opt for a more flowery alternative with lower search volume, of course. But consulting your thesaurus — and brainstorming a long list of similar key phrases — will help you figure out what you’re missing and how you can compete in a crowded marketplace.
This can be immensely beneficial during the early stages of keyword research. Even if you decide not to use some of the terms you come up with, this process can also inform some of your other digital marketing. Moreover, you’ll feel a lot less limited if you allow yourself to think a little outside the box before honing in on the most effective keywords.
Use Auto-Complete to Your Advantage
In order to zero in on the best PPC keywords for your digital marketing campaign, you need to gain insight into user behavior. An easy way to figure out what people are searching for? Google’s autocomplete search feature. While it’s meant to help users by suggesting terms related to what they’ve already typed into the search bar, it can also be leveraged by marketers and analysts who need a better understanding of how to target the right audience.
Using the autocomplete feature in your keyword research can allow you to discover what people want to know, what kind of content already exists relating to those searches, and the relative search volume of certain phrases. You can even figure out different ways a keyword is being used by inserting an underscore before or after it and letting autocomplete work its magic. Once you know what Google might recommend to people who are looking for something relating to the keywords you have in mind, you’ll be in a better position to connect with those people through your PPC ads.
Try a Google Adwords Keyword Tool
To conduct valuable keyword research, you can’t simply rely on your limited knowledge of synonyms or letting Google finish the phrase for you. These are great places to start, but they aren’t going to give you data-driven insights. In order to create a campaign that really delivers results for your clients, you’ll need to use a Google Adwords keyword tool.
These keyword research tools are often free to use, but they provide an immense amount of value. By simply typing in a keyword you might use in a PPC campaign, you can instantly find out whether that keyword is highly competitive or whether its search volume is low. In turn, you can obtain information about whether the phrase might fit into your keyword budget and whether its predicted conversions and clicks will make it a worthy choice for your campaign.
While Google does offer its own keyword planner, this isn’t your only option (nor is it always the best option). There are numerous tools that are free to use that will provide insight into search volume, keyword trends (including long-tail keywords), cost per click (or conversion) rates, and more. Many of these tools even allow you to download or export this data, which comes in handy if you need to present information to clients.
Keep in mind that PPC analysis doesn’t happen in isolation. To pick the best keywords for your pay-per-click campaigns, it’s essential to gain insight into user trends and search statistics. Although these insider secrets range from basic to advanced, you’ll likely need all three if you’re going to succeed in the digital marketing sphere. And with these tips in mind, you’ll be able to handle keyword research like a pro.