Keyword lists are the foundation of every successful PPC campaign. If you aren’t targeting the right keywords, you’re wasting money and missing out on qualified traffic.
But what exactly makes a high-performing PPC keyword list? Sure, it takes research to identify relevant keywords, but it goes deeper than just plugging words into a tool.
There’s an art to building keyword lists that drive maximum exposure and conversions at the lowest cost. In this post, I’ll walk through my proven process for creating killer keyword lists from the ground up.
Whether you’re launching new PPC campaigns or looking to refresh existing keyword lists, you’re bound to pick up some valuable tips here. Dialing in your target keywords is one of the best ways to boost campaign performance. With tight, optimized lists, you get your ads in front of more of the right searchers.
Let’s dig into the essential techniques for crafting premium PPC keyword lists for your ppc advertising management platform that deliver results. I’ll share plenty of examples so you can apply these best practices to your own accounts. Now let’s get keywording!
Use Extensive Keyword Research
Killer PPC keyword lists start with extensive research. You want to brainstorm and uncover all of the relevant search terms and phrases that your potential customers are using.
First, break out the old pen and paper and jot down an initial list based on your products, services, categories, brand names, etc. Think about the keywords you’d expect people to be searching when looking for what you offer.
Don’t stop there though! That’s just scratching the surface. You need to dig deeper through keyword research tools to discover additional keywords you may have never considered targeting.
I like combining Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush’s keyword tool, and UberSuggest to generate more ideas. Look at keyword difficulty, search volume, and competitor data to find winners.
Long-tail keywords with decent search volume like “stylish black pants for women” are gold – they pinpoint buyers with intent. Mine ad group data for search query insights too.
Cast a wide net in your research. Finding all relevant keywords upfront, even lower volume ones gives you assets to build on. Don’t just go with the most obvious terms. Brainstorm, research, expand.
Create Thematic Ad Group
Once you’ve got a beefy keyword list, it’s time to organize everything into well-themed ad groups. This step is crucial for relevance.
Don’t throw all keywords into a couple of giant ad groups. Instead, create ad groups around specific products, categories, services, etc.
For example, if you sell men’s clothing, you may have ad groups like “men’s jeans”, “men’s suits”, and “men’s dress shirts” – you get the idea.
The goal is to have tight ad groups where all the keywords relate to a coherent topic or theme. This allows you to create highly targeted, relevant ads.
I like to sketch out potential ad group themes on paper first, then plug keywords into appropriate buckets. Keep the themes fairly narrow – “yoga clothes” rather than just “fitness clothes.”
Refining your ad groups with precision takes a little more work upfront, but pays off big time in quality score. The right keywords end up in front of the right searchers!
Now we get into more advanced territory – organizing your keywords by match type. This requires some PPC know-how but delivers results.
The main match types are:
- Exact match – The keyword must match the search query verbatim
- Phrase match – Keyword must appear in the order in the search query
- Broad match – Keyword can appear anywhere in the search query
Take “yoga mat” for example. For an exact match, the search must be for the exact term “yoga mat”.
Phrase match would trigger for “extra thick yoga mat” or “yoga mat cleaner”. The broad match would include searches like “Where to buy a yoga mat cheap.”
- Exact match for head terms like your brand name
- Phrase match for more common keywords
- Broad match for longer, detailed keywords
Segment your list into columns or tabs for each match type. This allows granular management of keywords by type to maximize control.
Search Query Data
One of my favorite keyword list tricks is analyzing search query data from existing campaigns. This reveals actual keywords and phrases that searchers are already using to find your site and ads.
Most PPC platforms like Google Ads and Microsoft Ads let you download a search query report. This shows the specific queries that triggered your ads.
Comb through this report and pull out any new keywords or phrases that indicate searcher intent. Look for patterns and recurring queries you may want to add as keywords.
For example, if you notice searchers consistently looking for “mint green summer dresses”, you definitely want to add that exact phrase as a keyword to capture that traffic.
Search query mining surfaces hidden gems you likely would have never thought to target. It provides real insight into search behavior and intent around your offerings.
Work these actual search phrases back into your keyword lists to catch more qualified traffic. Just be sure to organize new additions into appropriate ad groups.
There you have it – my proven process for building killer PPC keyword lists! By leveraging extensive research, organizing into ad groups, prioritizing long-tail terms, and continuously expanding your lists, you’ll be targeting the most relevant searchers.
Remember, effective keyword list-building takes time and discipline. Start by brainstorming all the keywords you can think of, then dig deeper through research tools to uncover more. Segment keywords into tight ad groups around topics and themes.
Analyze search query data to add actual phrases people are using. Mine competitor keyword lists for inspiration too. And continuously add new keywords as you find them over time.
A solid, ever-evolving keyword list is the engine of every high-performing PPC account. With a laser-targeted list, your ads and landing pages become incredibly relevant. Costs stay low while your campaigns deliver awesome results.
Now you’ve got all the tips and insight to build robust, optimized keyword lists from scratch. So put these practices into play and watch your ppc management performance take flight! Let me know if have any other keyword list-building questions.