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How to Conduct Keyword Research for PPC Campaigns | Marketing Mistri Complete Guide

Are you aware of the fact that your every rupee counts in the world of Keyword Research for PPC advertising? Ads are charged per click. It may sound streamlined, but those clicks add up. Businesses bid on keywords, the greater the bid, the more likely an ad should be to seem while using keyword. You want your ads to get to the right people, not just clicks. The only secret to a successful PPC campaign are just a few, well, if selected -acted- on words.

This blog post will teach you about the power of keyword research and the necessary steps to follow in order to master it. Strategically researching and adding keywords will get you clicks from the right traffic and will allow you to get the most return on your investment. Keep reading to learn in detail.

Table Of Contents:
What is PPC keyword research?
Why is PPC Keyword Research important?
PPC Keyword Research Tools
How To Conduct PPC Keyword Research 

What is keyword research for PPC ?

The core part of any Paid Per Click Campaign is Keywords. They work as cues for search engines such as Google, Bing, and Microsoft to indicate when your ads are shown. You enter keywords and the search engine attempts to gives results with what people are typing in the search bar.

Then, PPC keyword research is more about finding the best key words to target. Of course, these keywords will also help to create an impression on the right viewers — those who are actively looking for what you have to offer. This generates higher CTR (click- through- Rate), more conversions (clicks to conversion), lifting your PPC campaign up. This is how you can attract the most relevant audience as possible and get the most out of your ad spend around the best available keywords.

Preparation for the Perfect Keyword Research for PPC Success

To be successful, you need an excellent selection of keywords. Here’s what makes a great PPC keyword list:

  • A mix of long-tail (more than 3 words) and short-tail (single-word) keywords is the key. Long-tail keywords are more specific and attract users with clearer buying intent, while short-tail keywords can capture broader searches. Experiment with different lengths to find the perfect balance for your campaign.
  • Don’t waste your budget! Focus on keywords that indicate users are ready to take action, like “buy” or “contact us.” Attract the searchers most likely to convert into customers.
  • You can use Keyword research tools to get valuable insights:
    • Search Volume: This indicates how often a keyword is searched for. Higher volume means more chances for your ad to be seen.
    • Competition: This shows how many other businesses are bidding on the same keyword. High competition means you might need to refine your ad to stand out.
    • Average Cost-per-Click (CPC): This is the estimated cost each time someone clicks your ad. Ideally, you want a low CPC but don’t shy away from relevant keywords with a slightly higher cost. Most campaigns will have a mix of high and low-cost keywords.

By following these tips and using keyword research tools effectively, you can build a powerful PPC keyword list that attracts the right audience. This maximizes your reach and drives conversions for your business.

Match Types: Fine-Tuning Your Keywords Research for PPC

Every keyword in your PPC campaign needs a match type. This setting tells search engines (like Google, Bing, or Microsoft) how specific you want your ad to be. Here are the current match types to choose from:

  • Broad Match: Your ad shows for searches related to your keyword, even if the exact words aren’t used. This can reach a large audience but might attract irrelevant clicks.
  • Phrase Match: The ad appears for searches that include your keyword phrase or close variations, attracting a more relevant audience while maintaining some reach.
  • Exact Match: Your ad shows only for searches containing the exact keyword or very close synonyms. This ensures highly relevant clicks but might limit your reach.
  • Negative Keywords: You can use these to tell search engines (like Google) not to show your ad for certain terms. For example, you might exclude terms like “free” or “sale” if your focus is on premium products. This prevents clicks from bargain hunters who might not be interested in your full-price product.

Why is PPC Keyword Research important?

Choosing the right keywords, and targeting them for the right audience leads to success, while a miss wastes your money and time. That’s why keyword research is crucial. Compared to local SEO alone, well-researched PPC campaigns can generate twice the website traffic. It boasts an impressive average return: $2 earned for every $1 invested.

Let’s explore in detail about its importance:

  • Quality Score and Ad Relevance

Google considers how relevant your ads are to the keywords you target. This “Ad Relevance” and your overall “Quality Score” (1-10) determine how well your ads perform and how much you pay. Higher relevance from well-researched keywords leads to better ad placement and lower costs.

  • Maximizing Your Return (ROAS)

While high-intent keywords might seem ideal, blindly targeting them can lead to skyrocketing ad spending with underwhelming results. Keyword research helps you categorize keywords, build targeted landing pages, and understand estimated costs. This ensures a positive Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), where your ad revenue outweighs your spending.

  • Time-based targeting:

Search trends for certain keywords fluctuate throughout the year. Effective keyword research allows you to identify these seasonal shifts and adjust your targeting accordingly. Tools like Google Trends provide valuable insights to help you determine the best times to ramp up or pause specific campaigns.

PPC Keyword Research Tools

Without thorough research, you risk missing valuable opportunities and wasting resources on irrelevant clicks. A wide range of marketing tools are available to streamline your research and maximize your impact. 

Here are the key differences between the free and paid tools used for keyword research.

                      PPC Keyword Research Tools: Free vs. Paid Options

FeaturesFree ToolsPaid Tools
CostFreePaid subscription
BenefitsEasy to useGood starting pointAdvanced dataDeeper analysisCompetitor insights
ExamplesGoogle Keyword Planner WordStream Free Keyword ToolGoogle Trends Google SearchSEMrush SpyFu Moz
Ideal ForBasic research & brainstorming Limited budgetAdvanced research Deeper competitor analysis Extensive data export
ConsiderationsLimited data compared to paid tools May require more time investmentSteeper learning curve for some tools Subscription costs

How To Conduct PPC Keyword Research 

The foundation of a successful PPC campaign hinges on a strong keyword strategy. To maximize your return on investment (ROI), here are some key considerations when conducting your PPC keyword research:

  1. Set goals for our PPC advertising strategy.

Establish what you want visitors to do on your website. Understanding the below objectives helps target keywords with the right intent (user’s reason for searching).

  • Conversion goals: Identify the desired actions you want users to take on your website. Examples of this includes signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. These actions advance users through your sales funnel.
  • Metric goals: Set specific and measurable targets for clicks or conversions you aim to achieve within a defined timeframe.

Aligning your keywords, campaign goals, and user intent creates a win-win situation for everyone.

2. Ideate a list of core products/services

You start your PPC keyword research by identifying the core products or services your business offers. This will give you a starting point for brainstorming relevant keywords to target in your ads.

For instance, if you are in Accounting firm providing financial services to businesses, your core offerings might be:

  • small business accounting services,
  • payroll services for businesses,
  • financial planning for startups,
  • business financial consulting

The number of core products/services will vary depending on your industry. In a niche market like real estate, you might have a shorter list, but a broader industry like healthcare might have a more extensive list.

3. Categorizing Your PPC Keywords

Having a solid foundation of PPC keywords is crucial, but effective utilization is equally important. Proper keyword categorization go a long way in optimizing your campaign for both time and budget.

  • Brand terms: Keywords that include your business name or trademarks. Examples include McDonald’s Burger for foodchain.
  • Generic terms: General keywords related to your offerings. This can be Big-Stack burgers and veggies burgers.
  • Related terms: Keywords that describe what your typical customer might be searching for, but aren’t directly related to your product/service. For instance, “fast-foodchain near me” for a burger.
  • Competitor Terms: Your competitors by brand name Burger King, KFC and Sub-way are the best ideal competitors for burger. 

Each category performs with varying degrees of success. Although, the conversion rate might be lower but it comes at a cost if you want to start bidding on competitor terms. This is because these are searchers who are searching for your competitor specifically. Yet this tactic, while especially helpful in a high competition market, can really help to set your brand apart from the crowd and build some major brand awareness as well.

          4. Using tools to refine the keyword Research list 

You can use any of the keyword research tools to find out long-tail phrases that you missed earlier. They show you how many others were bidding on a specific keyword, which helps you gauge the level of competition for each term. This will enable you to determine which keywords are worth focusing on from an ROI perspective

5. Validate keywords with Google Search

Use incognito tab to simulate the view a customer would see for the keywords you are running with. This step allows you to check two main things:

  • Are the search results actually, quite closely relevant to the products/services that you offer? Can you reach these keywords with your target audience?
  • We will include the top 4 ad rank which will help you in understanding how competitive background keywords. This allows you to know your competition and respond accordingly.

Below are a few more points to contemplate on:

  • Landing page optimization: Knowing this information will make sure your landing page is prepared to meet the expectations of searchers who made queries on the terms in your existing ads and therefore increase conversions.
  • Observing ad copy best practices: How clean and properly crafted is the ad of my competitor?
  • Customer intent: This helps you be in the customer’s shoes and understand his purpose in his search. This information enables you to build a targeted but practical advertising experience.

You can cross-checked your keyword list with Google Search and more finely-tuned inbound marketing strategies to increase the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns.

6: Analyze your competition

Of course, you can no longer see precisely what they are bidding on, but at least you can obtain a few insights into what their keyword strategy may well be.

  • Competitor ad-copy analysis: Identify keywords and phrases your competitors use in their PPC ad copy messages. These are the terms they are likely to target.
  • Check competitors’ websites: Carefully examine the words or phrases that are prominently featured within their website content, typically in product pages, service descriptions, and blog posts; those would very likely be the exact keywords related to the products that they are also targeting in their PPC campaigns.

7. Finalize your Keyword list

Now, you will be left with an extensive list of potential keywords. Now, trim it towards better manageability and effectiveness for your PPC campaigns. How many potential keywords you end up with will vary according to the campaign’s structure and the industry. Nevertheless, a standard suggestion is to start with 10–20 keywords in each ad group. Some companies will do just fine with far fewer than that. The important thing is to select high-performing keywords relevant to your offerings.

8. Assign Match Types

You will need to select a match type for each keyword you add to your PPC campaign. The match type describes how close a user’s query should match your keyword such that your ad will be shown.

  PPC Keyword Match Types: A Comparison

Match TypeDescriptionBenefitsDrawbacks
Broad MatchAds can appear for a wide range of searches, even if they don’t perfectly match your keyword.More impressions (potential ad views)Might show for irrelevant searches, leading to lower click-through rates (CTR).
Phrase MatchAds appear for searches containing your exact phrase or close variations.Offers a balance between reach and targeting, potentially leading to more qualified leads.Targeting relevant searches with some flexibility
Exact MatchAds only show for searches matching your keyword exactly (including close variants for misspellings).Highest chance of reaching highly relevant users, potentially leading to higher conversion rates.Highly targeted clicks and conversions

A good strategy would be to try different match types and see which one best suits the kind of campaigns you run. You can then track results in terms of impressions, clicks, and conversions for each match type and adjust accordingly.

9. Negative Keywords in PPC

Although you’ve invested some time in identifying keywords you’d like your ads to show for, it’s equally important to consider what you don’t want your ads to show for in a PPC campaign. Negative keywords are tailored terms added to a PPC campaign, which ensure that the ad does not show up for that query. They work as a safety net by erasing irrelevant searches or clicks in advance, which do not look like they would convert into potential customers.

10.Ongoing Keyword Research with Data

Provisioning for PPC keywords can be done continuously. After you finalize your initial list and bring it into your campaign, it’s time to lay off the searching for a while. The best approach is to monitor your campaign data continuously, tag the most important keywords, and make use of tools such as the Search Terms Report to ensure your PPC keyword strategy is working over the long term.


While doing PPC keyword research may be a pain, the payoff in the end far makes up for the trouble. Remember: probably the most challenging thing about PPC has to be waiting to see your results! So don’t let the investment in time bring you down. Enjoy the whole process and take the time to research, which is the key to a successful campaign. In case you are not very sure which keywords work best for the PPC campaign of your business, you do not have to try by yourself. Our team is an expert and waiting for you to help you in the process of keyword research to maximize the results of your PPC.

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