One of the most important pieces of any successful Search Engine Marketing campaign is keyword research. Choosing effective keywords is one of the best ways to increase clicks and conversions to your site; it then becomes important for you to choose relevant keywords for your ads. These keywords are what will make your ads show up on search engines and take people to your site.

When someone enters your keyword into the search query, a number of things happen in the blink of an eye. First, the search engine has an auction between all the campaigns bidding on that particular keyword. The search engine takes into consideration how much you’re willing to bid on that keyword, the quality score of the keyword, and the relevancy of the website you will send people to if they click on your ad. Second, the search engine serves the ads that they choose to be the most relevant fit. In this blog, we’ll be talking about how you can find relevant keywords for your Search Engine Marketing campaigns.

#1 – Where to start?

The first place you should look for keywords is the website landing page that your ads will be linking to. Start by reading through and scanning the pages and compile relevant keywords from the text. If you have a website with relevant copy, you shouldn’t have a problems finding enough material to come up with a good list of keywords that directly relate to your products or services.

Some keyword types to keep in mind:

  • Brand terms – keywords that contain your brand name and trademarked terms.
  • Generic terms – terms related to products or services your business offers.
  • Related terms – terms that don’t directly relate to what you’re selling, but that users who want your products or services may be searching for.
  • Competitor terms – the brand names of competitors who are offering similar products and services to yours (this can get expensive).

#2 – Put yourself into your customer’s shoes

 If you were searching for more answers about one of your products, what would you search? What words or terms are going to bring traffic to your website? Asking yourself these questions will help you understand the different ways your customers are searching for your products.

#3 – Use keyword match types

Keyword match types help you control which searches can trigger your ad. There are 4 types of match types.

  • Broad match – This type of keyword includes misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. If your keyword is women’s shoes, your ad can show up if someone searched buy ladies shoes.
  • Broad match modifier – This type of keyword will contain the modified term (or close variations, but not synonyms), in any order. An example is if you ad +women’s +shoes as a keyword, your ads can show up when someone searches shoes for women.
  • Phrase Match – This match type is a phrase, and close variations of that phrase. If your keyword is “women’s shoes”, your ads can show up for buy women’s shoes.
  • Exact Match – This match type is an exact term and close variations of that exact term. If your keyword is [women’s shoes], your ads will show up when someone searches women’s shoes.

#4 – Include variations, synonyms, and misspelled words

Search engines can sometimes make connections between related terms (like realizing that “tv” and “television” are the same thing), but not always. It’s best to include them, especially if you’re planning on using some of the above keyword match types. Since people don’t type in perfect English, keyword research can also include misspellings. If your brand name or product is commonly misspelled, adding in the misspellings can help your campaigns.

#5 – Include negative keywords

These are important to help control costs for your campaigns. If you are selling televisions, you don’t want to show up when someone searches what television channel ESPN is. Some common negative keywords are -free, -cheap, -hiring, and -jobs.

#6 – Use keyword research tools

Need more ideas for keywords? Search the web for relevant keywords to your product or services, or use Google’s Keyword Tool. All you have to do it is submit a keyword or a URL and choose relevant, high-ranking words from the results. Once the tool has generated some ideas, you can then enter the best words and phrases to generate even more specific ideas.

Start writing ads

Once you have your keyword list, it’s time to write some great ads. Using effective and relevant keywords in your ads is the first step in optimizing your Search Engine Marketing strategy. Stay tuned for my next blog where I’ll discuss the best practices in writing ads.

If you thought this was interesting and would like some more information right now, click below to download our free whitepaper about Search Engine Marketing.