The Art of Choosing the Right Keywords for Your PPC Ad Campaign

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Running a PPC advertising (or “pay per click” advertising) campaign can feel like an overwhelming challenge. However, running a great PPC advertising campaign is within your grasp. It’s important to remember that PPC isn’t rocket science, it’s an art.  Choosing keywords for your PPC advertising is like choosing which type of paint to use for your masterpiece – there could be many right answers that work for you. Here are a few tips to help you select keywords to make your pay per click marketing even more effective:

1. Get specific. While broader keywords can be useful, more specific keywords could help you target a more specific audience. For example, if you’re selling office supplies, you might think about using “office supplies” as a keyword. However, these so-called “vanity keywords” often aren’t great for ROI. If you wind up ranking for “office supplies”, you’ll feel great about your site, but you might not end up converting as many people. When you get specific, for example, using “post consumer printer paper”, you can capture people who might be later in the sales cycle, so they’re closer to actually making a purchase. These specific, often long-tail keywords are often more relevant to what people are actually looking for.

2. Use the customers’ language. When you’re picking PPC keywords, don’t use “insider language” or abbreviations that you’d throw around the office. Instead, put yourself in the mind of your customer. What are they looking for when they find your product? Which terms are they most likely to use? These are the keywords you want for your PPC advertising campaign. This is where you can use any previous research you’ve done in the past. Ideally, you should know a bit about your ideal customer – so step into their shoes to figure out how they’d phrase their searches.

3. Find your balance. When you’re looking for keywords, you want to strike just the right balance between traffic and competition. However, this line will be different for everyone. For example, if you have the perfect long-tail keyword for your company that’s highly relevant, you might be willing to accept a bit more competition. As always, testing your keywords to determine which ones are best for you is often a good strategy. Never expect your fresh list of keywords to survive, intact, through rounds of testing. Some are just better than others – test to find out which ones those are, and cut the rest.

Keyword research takes energy, but it could return great rewards at the end of the day. Before you embark on a PPC advertising campaign, make sure you take the time to research keywords that work well for your company. Put on your creative hat, slip into your customers’ shoes and start investigating great keywords, and you’ll be off and running with PPC marketing in no time.