PPC Keyword List Building
Words Words Words / Location Location Location
Any successful restaurateur can tell you location is one of the most
important factors in achieving a successful business. The location determines
the amount of foot traffic that a restaurant will be exposed to. In
the same way, the cornerstone of any successful PPC marketing campaign
is your list of keywords. Your choice of keywords will determine the
quality and quantity of visitors to your ads and website.
Just say NO to client keyword lists
Often, during my initial meeting with a new PPC client, I am handed
a list of keywords that the client requests to get ranked. They usually
go on to explain that they must have keyword XXX because this keyword
is the only one capable of driving business, theyíve seen their competitor
bidding a lot of money for #1, and they are not interested in spending
any of their marketing budget on any other keywords. Unless they are
really adamant on handing me this list, I usually politely decline.
Why? The problem with accepting a clientís list of keywords is that
you are basically limiting yourself to their pre-conceived notions of
what words would drive them traffic.
Derive the keywords from the business model.
Our approach is to have a detailed conversation with the client first
and try to nail down all of their main products and services that their
business has to offer. Once I have a clear understanding of their business,
their products and their services I can start to put together a list
of words related to their products and service. After I finish my own
list, I can compare it to theirs and in most cases my list is much more
expansive. Companies who offer both products and services often advertise
their products but neglect to market their services. In many cases the
PPC keywords associated with products are more often more expensive
than words associated with their services, so it is important to always
consider services that companies offer in addition to products that
Sample questions to ask your client (or yourself
if you are doing PPC for your own business):
What are the core products that you sell?
What are the core services that you offer?
How do you distinguish your products from your competitors?
How do you distinguish your services?
What industries are you involved with currently?
What industries would you like to get involved with?
What marketing material do you have addressing your products and services?
How do customers usually find out about your business?
Keywords that a customer would use
The goal of all PPC campaigns is obviously to drive more customers
to a website, so you should try to think from the perspective of the
customer. Ask yourself what words a potential customer would type into
the search engines. For example, letís say company A is an industrial
manufacturer of stainless steel wastebaskets. If I were a customer,
what words would I type into Google, Yahoo or MSN to find this company?
Stainless steel trash can
Metal trash can
Kitchen trash can
Or if you were a purchasing agent for a large
company, you may type in other words such as:
Commercial trash cans
Commercial waste containers
Lobby trash cans
Public trash containers
Stemming involves the interchanging of singular and plural forms
of a keyword or the derivation of a verb from the gerund form (the "-ing"
word). For example, if "educate" was part of a keyword phrase, "educated",
"educates", "education" and "educating" should also be considered.
If your clientís business depends on a certain location, then by
all means try stemming with the locationís name. For example La Jolla
surfboards, Southern California surfboards, etc. These words can be
what we call the "gold between the cracks". These could be less expensive
PPC words that are high quality, high converting words.
Keyword Software Assistance
After growing your list to about 50 words you can then take advantage
of all the wonderful software tools available for generating keywords.
I particularly like using the Google keyword tool, Yahoo and
Wordtracker. By using these three keyword tools I go on to expand
the list to about 100+ keywords with various combinations.
Generating your initial keyword list for PPC should be a well- thought
out process. It is a critical step in a successful PPC campaign and
should not be rushed. Spend time to ask your peers, your friends, etc.
about what words they would think about if they were looking for the
products and services that you or your client offers. Lastly, resist
the temptation to use the software to do all of your work. The more
words you have in your initial list, the more you can generate with
the software tools. Bid on low-cost variations and common misspellings
of particular keywords.
Use Wordtracker to locate keywords that relate to your business and
are frequently searched by your market, but that none of your competitors
are bidding on. For a free trial of WordTracker, click: