Keyword Optimisation – Expert PPC Strategies And Tactics

Having a strong set of keywords can help with the success of your PPC campaigns…

Keywords have an important role to play within digital marketing, however, many marketers do not spend the necessary time and effort on optimising them.

If you don’t choose keywords that your customers are likely to search for, as well as ones with a high enough search volume per month or the right intent, you could struggle to get found amongst all the competition online.

However, by optimising keywords for your PPC campaigns, you can drive more traffic to your site, resulting in more conversions and more revenue for your business. Below are some of our expert strategies, tactics and top tips that you can apply to your keyword optimisation processes.

What is keyword optimisation in PPC?

Just like in SEO, keyword research for PPC involves researching, analysing, and selecting several keywords for the purpose of driving traffic to your website. When performing keyword research for PPC, you want to find keywords that will bring the most clicks to your ads, generating more potential sales.

A critical part of keyword optimisation for PPC is remembering to address negative keywords. While you of course want to focus on finding and targeting keywords that will positively affect your ads and campaigns, you should also decide what not to target.

For example, if you’re a furniture and homeware store selling interior furniture pieces, you would want to target keywords such as “indoor furniture” and add keywords like “outdoor furniture” to your negative keyword list. This ensures that the right customers can find you quickly and easily, and stops irrelevant users from landing on your site.

PPC keyword optimisation

It’s important to know how to optimise keywords for Google. For PPC optimisation, you should action the below points:

  • Create a keyword list – firstly, you should create a list of all your chosen target keywords. This can help you to determine which keywords you want to bid on and allows you to see the different demand and potential for each keyword.
  • Grouping and segmenting – as part of your PPC keyword optimisation, you should organise your keywords into different sections. Each section can be dedicated to a group of keywords that are semantically related.
  • Improve relevancy – to gain a higher CTR (Click Through Rate), you need to ensure you’re staying relevant to the user’s original search query. For example, your landing page copy should be relevant to the ad itself. You can do this by including the keyword in the first or second title and in the description.
  • Creating ad text – along similar lines, you should create ad text that coaxes users into clicking on your ad to learn more about your product or service. You should include a target keyword in this text.
  • Landing page optimisation – the optimised keywords that appeared in your ad text must also appear in your landing pages.

It’s important to note that Google suggests having no more than 30 keywords per ad group, and two to three ads per ad group are using the keywords within the ad text.

Keyword research for new campaigns

When creating new campaigns, it is especially important to conduct keyword research. You want your new campaigns to be set up to perform well from the get-go.

When starting out with keyword research, you may be wondering what the best keyword research tool is. There are several tools available, such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMrush, and Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, to name but a few. These tools can help you to find the best keywords for your campaigns that are relevant to your business and its offering.

Once you’ve selected the tools, you can begin the research process. Here are some of the main things you should consider:

  • Stages of the buying cycle – there are three major types of keywords to consider in this initial stage: fat head, mid-terms, and long-tail keywords. Fat head keywords are very popular keywords with the highest search volume, mid-term keywords are moderately competitive terms that use two to three words and long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that users search for when they’re close to a point of purchase. Each keyword variation serves a different purpose at stages along the buying cycle.
  • Intent – keywords should be chosen to match the users’ intent. This includes informational, navigational, and transactional searches. You should then think about how this subsequently affects ad copy and landing pages.
  • Seasonal terms – this includes popular national holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. If your business relies on seasonal sales, you’ll need to add seasonal keywords to your campaigns.
  • Include brand, product, and local keywords – these variations can help you with more specific targeting.
  • Competitor terms and related topics – by researching competitor terms, you can identify their strong-performing keywords and add these to your own campaign to give yourself a more competitive advantage. It also allows you to understand what you’re up against and where your opportunities are.
  • Budget allocation – this is a key part of your keyword research, as you want to avoid overspending on high traffic terms at the top of the funnel and remove necessary spend at the end of the buying cycle.

Also, as previously mentioned, don’t forget to address negative keywords to weed out unwanted traffic! Negative keyword research is now more important than ever, as Google has started hiding long tail search query results in keyword query reports.

Keyword optimisation for existing campaigns

Keyword research is an ongoing part of your PPC management. This is because keyword trends change over time, as do your business offerings.

There are many ways you can optimise your keywords for existing campaigns. Perhaps the most beneficial to your business is to use reporting to establish areas of improvement. For example, reports can highlight important information such as:

  • Are you spending enough at different stages of the buying cycle? And on different match type campaigns?
  • Which keyword is the budget going to? Do you need to redistribute spend?
  • Quality score on keywords – landing page and ad relevance are two of the most important factors.
  • How are you performing compared to last year? What is causing the difference and how can this be addressed?
  • Are some bidding strategies working better than others? Do you need to test some new ones?

Once you have these factors, you can begin to further optimise and improve your PPC campaigns. For further insights into the performance of your PPC campaigns, you can take advantage of our digital marketing reporting dashboard.

Improve on-page factors to support relevancy

We’ve briefly discussed the importance of ad text and landing pages as part of your PPC keyword optimisation process. PPC and SEO go hand in hand, so you should consider using SEO tactics to further optimise your PPC campaigns and keywords.

For example, you can review keywords used within your website copy, optimise blog titles and update meta descriptions to feature these core keywords. You should ensure there is always sufficient copy on a page, and test different landing pages to see which ones perform stronger.

Do you need help with your PPC keyword optimisation?

PPC keyword optimisation is often overlooked by marketers. We can work with you to develop an optimised keyword list and continue to optimise these as your campaigns progress. Contact us to find out more about what we can do for you.

Alternatively, you can discover our training courses to update your knowledge on all things PPC.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.