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Keyword Research For PPC

Nov 14, 2007
Both SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) require keyword research as part of the preparation stage. While some of the methods are similar, there are major differences when conducting keyword research for PPC when compared to research for SEO purposes. You will typically need to use different tools and certainly need to ascertain different information. A good SEO keyword may not be a good PPC keyword and vice versa; these two marketing styles should be treated separately in every aspect of the campaigns.

Individual Campaigns

Not only should you treat each page of your website as a separate campaign, you will need to differentiate between each keyword or key phrase you use on each page. This helps when it comes to optimization of your campaign because you can concentrate on the profitable keywords and avoid those that lose you money. Every website is different - it targets a separate set of demographics, offers different products, and uses unique content. Therefore, every site will have its own unique PPC campaigns to gain the greatest success and the best possible ROI.

Categories And Top Level Keywords

Before you begin using any software or keyword research tools you will have to do some manual brainstorming. Consider the different categories and top level keywords that are relevant to the page you are looking at. For example, if you sell trainers, then relevant keywords might include shoes, trainers, footwear, sports shoes, and so on. Keyword research tools will only work with the information you enter and so a thorough analysis can only be done with all the possible category connotations.


The Internet is a global marketplace, but your business may not be. If you only offer your services or products to a local catchment area, or to a specific country, make note of these areas too. By narrowing your keyword possibilities down to a region it is possible to greatly reduce the amount of competition that is vying for advertising positions. This, in turn, will reduce costs and potentially improve profits.

Generic Keywords

You should have an idea of the kind of keyword or phrase that your customers would use when looking for your type of business. Think of as many generic keywords as possible, at this stage. Later in the keyword research process, especially when using the appropriate tool, you will greatly narrow these generic keywords down to much more specific ones. For now, though, keep them general.

Tools And Software

When you have several lists of keywords and phrases, you will ideally need to use keyword research tools. Tools can provide information regarding the number of searches conducted on a monthly basis, while most of the PPC networks provide tools in order to see how competitive and, therefore, costly a keyword proves.

Streamlining Your Keyword List

Now, you need to choose targeted and relevant keywords that are likely to convert into clicks. You also need to ensure that those clicks won't prove too expensive when compared to the average value a customer spends. Once finished you should be left with a list of your most profitable keywords for your PPC campaign.

Ongoing Campaign Optimization

Like any advertising, PPC needs to be an ongoing process. Bid prices change and so too do customer and market trends, especially search trends. Keep an eye on all of the relevant figures to make sure that your ROI does not drop in any of your individual campaigns, and if any are seriously underperforming then pause or remove them.

PPC Keywords

Keywords are a vital part to a PPC campaign. Every page of your site will usually require several campaigns, each with separate keywords, in order to get the greatest results. Even once you've found the best balance between cost and revenue, it is imperative that you analyze and continually look to improve your PPC results.
About the Author
Omaro Ailoch is a senior software engineer, an entrepreneur and the founder of OC IT Services a highly skilled California based web development, design, and search engine optimization firm.
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