Why Keywords are the Foundation Of PPC Success, When Keywords Help Show Your Ads, How to Get Good Ones, & Why it Matters

How keywords build a good or bad foundation to your PPC advertising.

Did you know your prospects are already thinking about your products or services?

The age-old problem in advertising is not ‘if’ there’s a need. Rather, the big question is how to connect your business’ solution with the prospect’s already existing needs.

Good advertising connects prospects questions they’re already thinking to your business’ answers. Consequently, a successful business must properly answer the questions in their prospect’s head.

Matching Prospects Thoughts With PPC Ads

But how do you know what your prospect is thinking?

The beauty about search engines is their ability to pull thoughts out of users’ heads. When someone visits Google, they’re looking for information. They want to know what sorts of dogs are good with children or where the best chiropractor is located. People volunteer their questions to the search engines in return for a list of relevant results.

Pay per click (PPC) advertising allows website owners to show their ad in a list of results to those subconscious questions. Ads only show when certain words (keywords) are typed into the search engines. If people are asking about dogs and children, Nike.com won’t show in the list of search engine results. Good PPC advertisers only allow their ads to show for relevant search terms.

Keywords Determines When Your Ads Are Shown

Search engine advertisers determine when ads show by the keyword. Keywords are windows into your prospect’s minds. They uncover the hidden questions your prospects are thinking as they type words into Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines.

The PPC keyword process is fairly simple:

Step 1: Users type keywords into the search engine.
(“search query” is the technical term for what is typed into the search engines).
Step 2: The search engines then serve up keyword-based PPC ads with each keyword.
Step 3: Prospects review results and select the best result/ad with a click.

Keywords are how advertisers match ads to prospects’ questions. It’s important to bid on the right keywords in your account. If you have the wrong keyword in your PPC account, you’re throwing money out the window. Without the right keywords, your business is trying to answer the wrong questions. You can have a killer ad with an landing page that converts at 50%. But if send the wrong kind of traffic to that page (i.e. bad keywords), they’ll bounce right back to Google

…and you’ve wasted your advertising dollars.

For example, if you’re bidding on “red shoes” for your chiropractor practice, you’ll get horrible traffic from the search engines. Nobody looking for a chiropractor at that moment is typing in “red shoes”. You’ll end up spending loads of money on non-relevant traffic.

Worse yet, you won’t get any more patients with bad backs.

Getting Good Keywords In Your PPC Account

The goal of your keyword mix is to show your ads for all the prospects who are buying in your market and to not show your ads to people who aren’t buying.

But how do you know what keywords are good and which ones are bad?

There are two main ways to find good keywords. The 2nd best way is through online tools. There are many free and paid keyword tools for PPC advertisers.  These tools collect keywords from a variety of sources, sometimes from the search engines themselves.

Here are some of the best FREE tools for discovering good keywords…

1)      Google AdWords External Keyword Tool

2)      WordTracker Free Keyword Suggestion Tool

3)      Visual Thesaurus

4) For more tools, try Search Engine Land’s Definitive List:
Giant List of Keyword Tools

However the best way is to get good keywords is through your own PPC account. Harvesting keywords from your account will show you which ones are effective for your particular website. That’s much better than any free or paid online tool.

In Google AdWords, the best way to get effective keywords is by bidding on broad-match keywords.

Example: kid friendly dogs — without quotes “ ” or brackets [ ]

Broad-match keywords allow the search engines to serve up ad impressions for keywords they deem relevant to the keyword – but the terms don’t have to match the term exactly. The broad-match keyword allows many more terms to show in search engine results pages aside from the exact words in your keyword.

After letting broad-match keywords to run for awhile, the next step is to pull the keywords from Google’s Search Query Report. This report is now found in the AdWords interface under the ‘Keyword’ tab when you click ‘Show Search Terms’. This report shows you most of the search queries (keywords) that sent traffic to your website.

One Final Test: Does the Keyword Convert?

Even with the best keyword tools and broad-match keywords in your PPC account, you still don’t know what your best keywords are.  The better question to ask is: do your keywords lead to a desired action on your website?

A keyword’s effectiveness is best determined by whether or not it leads to a desired action on your website – or conversion. If your keywords lead to conversions on your website, then your keywords are pulling the right questions from the search engines and your website in answering those questions.

Your keywords are winners.

This is usually measured by conversion tracking in AdWords. You can setup conversion tracking in your AdWords account and on your website. There are more complex methods, but this is a good place to start.

Ultimately, the goal of your business is to answer your prospects’ questions with your solution. In PPC advertising, the way to do that is through keywords. Using good, converting keywords is the foundation to your PPC advertising success. That’s the magic of keywords in PPC advertising.