Are you in the dark when it comes to your PPC keywords?

Many of us have dipped our toes into PPC advertising and found that it’s not quite as easy as punching in high search volume keywords and generating an impressive ROI.

Instead, PPC advertising ends up being as nuanced as all other facets of digital marketing. Your keywords are the underpinning of the entire campaign and they’re more responsible for your success than you can imagine.

If you’re looking to boost your traffic through the use of PPC advertising, you’re in the right place. Read on for a serious discussion about the use of keywords in paid advertising.

It’s Not Just About Search Volume

When you’re looking at increasing your spending on PPC many people go the obvious route: high volume keywords.

It’s not a bad strategy and ignoring the volume of queries directed at your keywords can be a worse mistake than ignoring it entirely.

But the truth is that there’s more to all of this than search volume. While some advertisers focus on the minimal amount of copy it’s the type of keywords that will make or break your ad campaign.

You’ll be paying per click, so maximizing your investment is the biggest concern. If your ad is seen by ten thousand, clicked on by a thousand, and ends up with ten conversions you’re in trouble.

On the other hand, an ad seen by 1,000 users, clicked on 100 times, and making 50 sales nets you a lot more revenue for your business.

The key to making sure that your ROI stays in the black is a relatively simple concept.

Take a Look at User Intent

Chances are that if you’ve made it this far you’re using a keyword scraper or other piece of software to gather the necessary information for your campaign.

Google Keyword Planner will give you some information, although experienced marketers often use more complex and expensive tools. GKP provides a minimal experience so things end up being in your hands.

There are three main types of searches:

  • Informational
  • Commercial
  • Navigational

Informational searches are often targeted by those without a lot of experience. They often have a high search volume, which increases the visibility of the ad.

They’re also not going to be high converting. If someone is trying to figure out how to cobble together a DIY version of your product, for instance, you’re unlikely to make a sale and a click is just wasted ad spend.

On the other hand, if your product offers a solution to the problem and you can convey it within the limited space given by Google Ads then they can be money makers. It’s very much a case-by-case basis.

Meanwhile, searches with a commercial intention are the primary money makers. Since someone is generally looking to buy something already you stand a much better chance at conversion.

Navigational keywords aren’t a big money maker for brands without wide recognition. They’re generally used by people simply for convenience. If you want a Forbes article on SEO you might just add “Forbes” to your query, for instance.

It’s often best to avoid navigational keywords entirely when it comes to PPC. Once you have a bit of recognition within the search engine they can be useful but they may not convert. Since it’s a search of convenience people are likely to click but their intentions can be opaque and you’re still out ad spend for each click.

However, navigational keywords for your competitor’s brand can net you some serious results since you’re likely to appear above them in the rankings depending on your bid. In either case, you’ll be showing your customer’s there’s an alternative and that has the potential for either a current or future sale to be made.

Determining the Intention of PPC Keywords

Making a keyword list is relatively easy. Google Keyword Planner suggests terms and there are many other tools which can either scrape keywords or bring you better suggestions.

Each keyword needs to be sorted by intention. Commercial intentions should get the highest priority, followed by informational queries which can be turned into a transaction.

Navigational keywords can be ignored safely by someone beginning, but as time goes on you’ll want to begin to target competitors and see how if you can’t acquire some of their customers.

From there, begin your campaign with the highest search traffic keywords that you’re certain have a commercial intent behind them. Fine tune things each step of the way and slowly add in new keywords and campaigns while keeping an eye on the data.

This is probably the biggest hurdle for someone brand new to the world of PPC advertisement. Avoid the temptation of general keywords with high volume and you’re looking at a much better outlook, especially early in a campaign’s life.

Don’t Ignore Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are often overlooked by those new to PPC advertising but really they should be implemented from day one.

Aside from the obvious words like “free” you can use negative keywords to help filter out those who have no intention of making a purchase.

For instance, if you’re selling blenders you may want to remove words like “discount,” “used,” and “repair” to avoid Google users who aren’t going to be buying your product.

It can take a lot of fine tuning and it won’t net you a higher click-through-rate on your advertisement. What it will do is keep your ad spend reserved for those who are more likely to make a purchase.

The Bottom Line

Picking out your PPC keywords isn’t as complicated as people think. By properly targeting competitor keywords and keeping your focus on people looking to make a transaction you can maximize your ROI.

Learning PPC can be challenging, there really are no hard and fast guidelines to abide by and each campaign is its own creature.

If you’re looking to learn more about PPC advertising as a whole, then check out our blog and start driving yourself to whole new levels of success.