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How To…..Keyword Research

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any AdWords campaign. Without comprehensive and thoughtful research, our AdWords campaigns will never perform to their full potential. But where do you start? What tools should you use? How many should you have? Here is a how to guide for keyword research.

1. Basic Brainstorming

This is the first step in the creation of our keywords list. To start with, we need to think of some basic keywords which will form the pillars of our campaigns. Keep it basic. What does our company do? What are the basic products or services we offer? If you are a real estate company in Perth, think “Real Estate Perth” as well as “Property Perth” and “Property Company Perth”. There is no need to go too far in this step.

2. Google Keyword Tool

Now, there are a number of paid tools out there, but in my opinion, and the opinion of other PPC Experts, there is no better than the Google Keyword Tool. There is a huge caveat here however. The Google Keyword Tool will throw up a number of useless and irrelevant suggestions, so we have to go through them individually to ensure that all are relevant to us. This is obviously very time consuming, but unfortunately there is no shortcut to effective keyword research.

So how do we use the tool? First, we paste our basic list of products or services into the keyword tool. Select the option that allows you to only show highly relevant suggestions. Add any negative keywords if required. Then get keyword ideas. You will see a long list of keywords, along with their search volumes – extract this into excel. Delete all columns other than the keyword column. This is where the hard work starts. You now need to go down this list and establish which of the keyword are relevant, and which are not. The easiest way to do this is to highlight the relevant ones in a different colour. Do this until you feel that you have covered as much ground as possible. You can have too few keywords, but you certainly can’t have too many, as long as they are relevant!

3. Google Insights For Search

This is another useful tool to expand further upon your ideas. Go to Google and start typing in one of the basic keywords from step 1. As you type, you will see that Google makes suggestions for what you may be searching for based on Google’s keyword data. Run down the list and see if there is anything that you have missed, or anything that you need to add as a negative keyword.

4. Expand your keyword lists

By now you should have a long list of keywords to use in your campaigns. Now it’s time to expand on these. Go through your keyword list and think of synonyms and create plurals. Every time you have the word “Service” in your keywords, you can also have “Services” as well as “Company” and “Companies etc. This will allow us to cover all variations of the keywords we already have, and now have a comprehensive list of all relevant keywords, which gives us an excellent chance of achieving a successful PPC campaign.

This process can be time consuming, but is absolutely essential if you want your PPC campaign to reach its potential. Good luck!


This article is written by Chris Winn, a PPC Expert in Melbourne on behalf of Epic Marketing.

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