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A Step-by-Step Guide for Determining Keywords to Bid On

March 29, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By Today’s Industry Insider


When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) and paid ads, a lot goes into these campaigns. You have to create the landing page, design the ad, and set up a framework for the campaign. Not to mention A/B testing various aspects of the ad and landing page.

If there’s one step that can’t be overlooked when setting up your campaign, it’s selecting keywords to bid on. Keywords make or break a PPC campaign because they determine who sees your ad and who doesn’t. Even the most clever paid ads will fail if they don’t get in front of the right people.

Choosing keywords wisely ensures your audience is well-targeted and relevant, and your budget is put to good use. These 4 steps are all you need to determine the best keywords for your next paid campaign.

Step 1: Brainstorm

The first step in choosing keywords for any campaign is to brainstorm a big, long list of potential terms. Your list should be based on the landing pages the ads will link to.

The key is to get inside your customer’s mind. What are they searching for? How do they phrase search queries? What are they typing into that magic Google box when they’re looking for your product? Don’t forget to include synonyms that customers might use instead of another word and alternate spellings.

Another thing to consider: Your list should include both head terms and long-tail keyword phrases. Head terms are broader and likely bring in a lot of search volume, while long-tail phrases get your ads in front of a highly targeted audience — so it’s good to include both in your campaigns.

To ensure you have a comprehensive list, consider all 4 types of keyword terms:

  • Generic terms — Keywords that describe your product or service (i.e. running shoes)
  • Related terms — Terms that don’t directly apply to your business that your audience may be search for (i.e. jogging)
  • Brand terms — Keywords containing your brand or business name (i.e.
  • Competitor terms — Terms including brands and names of your competitors (i.e. New Balance shoes)

The sky’s the limit, so find a whiteboard and list every keyword you can muster to consider bidding on. You’ll whittle this down later, so it’s impossible to have too many keywords at this stage. Once you’ve completely racked your brain, we can move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Choose Local Search Keywords

Local search keywords are exactly what they sound like — search terms that involve a particular location. The query “shoe stores in wicker park, chicago” is a good example. For businesses that are more than e-commerce, these are a big deal. With so many searches happening on mobile devices, these queries bring you even closer to an actual sale. If you have a brick & mortar location, local search keywords will draw the most engaged and relevant audience to your site and your store, because searchers are literally right down the road from you.

Keep local search in mind when creating and refining your list of keywords. Be sure to include terms that relate …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog