Basic Keyword Research for PPC Campaigns

Keyword research is of vital importance to the success of a PPC campaign. You need to target the right keywords so that the right customers can find you. Prior to developing your keyword list, there are a number of factors you must consider:

  • What traffic do you want to drive to the site?
  • Where on the site do you want to drive them to i.e., which products/services are you targeting with this campaign?
  • What geographical areas will you be targeting? Will you be targeting the whole of the UK or a certain region or cities? Using geo-targeted keywords is one way of getting more qualified traffic through the use of more long tail keywords.

Now you are ready to begin pulling your keyword lists together. A good way to start is by listing as many relevant keywords and phrases for each category as you can. Your website should be the first place you look for help when doing this as it's of great importance to your PPC campaign that your keywords and ad text are relevant and closely linked to your destination landing pages; this will help ensure a good click through rate and a quality score.

Remember – try to avoid using generic keywords such as “shoes” – they will be a huge drain on your PPC budget and its highly unlikely that they will attract the right relevant customers that are going to convert on your site. On the other hand, long tail phrases such as "childrens shoe shop in South Manchester" can be very cost effective, as they can deliver a limited amount of well qualified traffic.


There are a number of tools that are useful for helping you find these long tail keywords such as Word Stream and the Google keyword tool.

The Google keyword tool is also extremely useful when deciding on which keywords (from the no doubt extensive list you have compiled) to actually include in your campaign – which ones are going to provide the best results at the right cost. The keyword tool can provide keyword information such as estimated CPCs, level of competition for that keyword, global & local monthly search volumes – you don’t want a campaign full of keywords that no one is searching for!


Keywords form the basis of your PPC campaign. The structure of your ad groups and keywords can make or break the campaign. By building a solid base of well researched keywords, you will give your campaign a great chance of future success.


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