Thorough keyword research for PPC involves more than just using your brain. When you have got a basic list down, there are a lot of very powerful tools and pieces of software that you can use to add to and refine it. In addition to helping you identify new keywords, these will help you prune ones that aren’t necessary or relevant and keep the ones that are important.
It is not enough to simply rely on your own knowledge and instinct; keyword tools will provide you with a valuable insight into what people are searching and how popular specific keywords are. It may just be that the keyword you thought was your best one is completely irrelevant!
There are a lot of keyword tools available. Three of my favourite beginner-friendly options are—
1. Google’s Keyword Planner
You are likely to come across Keyword Planner since it forms a core part of Google AdWords, the platform you should be using for your PPC. It is a 100% free tool that is used by both newbies and experienced digital marketers alike.
2. Wordstream’s Free Keyword Tool
Wordstream include a web-based keywords tool that can be used for free and is a great starting point for PPC keyword research. Whilst this tool is free, the point of it is to persuade people to invest in their premium tool, Wordstream Advisor.
I personally recommend making full use of Google’s Keyword Planner and other free tools and develop some experience before paying for a keyword research tool.
Another premium tool that has a freemium element to it is SEMRush. This powerful and well-known tool lets you carry out 10 searches for free per day. Whilst this is enough when you are just starting out, as you grow you may find that a premium plan works better.
Although these tools all look different, they all largely work in the same way.
When you are using any of these tools and have put in a keyword to search for, the information you need to be looking out for is Search Volume.
As you can imagine, the higher this number is, the more people are searching for it, and the more people searching for a term that you are targeting means the greater the chance of your website ending up in front of their eyes.
If you are using Google’s Keyword Planner—again, I highly recommend this—you will also see something called Competition in your keyword’s results. This can be low, medium, or high and it is an indicator of how many advertisers are bidding on your keyword. If a keyword is rated as high for competition, it will be more expensive for you to capitalise on successfully.
“So, which keywords should I be targeting from my list?”
You should try to find keywords that have a high search volume but a low competition—these keywords will help you drive traffic to your site without costing you an arm and a leg. If any of your keywords have a very low search volume or have a high competition that would wipe out your PPC budget, cross them off your list.
Whilst this may mean that you end up scrapping a lot of the keywords you were interested in targeting, these keyword research tools will help you come up with new ones.
With a little time and effort, you are guaranteed to end up with a decent number of keywords that have a good search volume and a competition level that won’t use up your entire PPC budget in one day.