How to Choose the Best Keywords for Pay Per Click


Google seems to know what it’s doing. After all, it isn’t the no.1 search engine for nothing. Their algorithms always seem to know the right results to present to the user in a swift manner. Occasionally, however, you might notice an ad that confuses you. You could be searching for a local dentist, for example, and be shown an ad for Invisalign.

In such cases, it’s typically down to the keywords chosen by the person who placed the ad, and serves to show the importance of choosing the right keywords. They’ll help you connect with the audience you’re trying to reach. In fact, keywords are the very foundation of being found by potential customers in pay per click advertising. Finding out the best keywords to use requires some research. Here, we’re going to look at each step of the process.


Here’s where you use your existing knowledge of your audience but writing down all the terms you think your prospects might enter into a search engine when looking for your products or services. While this might seem overwhelming, a useful way to approach it would be to create four lists: a branded list, product- or service-specific keywords, feature-specific keywords, and high-intent keywords. The first three are self-explanatory. High-intent keywords are those keywords that indicate the user is at an advanced stage in the buying process. So for this list, you should look at combining your product or service with keywords such as “sales” or “free delivery”.

Evaluate Your Competition

Before you start using the keyword research tools available, you should look into what your competition is doing. You can even see which keywords they’re bidding on and ranking for. One tool you can use to help you do this is SpyFu.

This is especially important for PPC if you’re in a highly-competitive market. For example, a Birmingham car accident lawyer may have a more competitive market than someone in a more niche field. Because of this, you may need to spend more time looking at what other lawyers or other people in your field are using PPC for. Knowing what people are searching for can also help you choose your keywords.

Create Your Keyword List

Now you’re going to create your list of keywords to use in your pay per click campaign. There are some great tools out there, but one of the best ones to start with is Google’s Keyword Planner. You should start by entering the keywords from the list you created earlier. The keyword tool will tell you how popular they are and how much competition they have, along with an estimated cost per click. Another great feature of the tool is that it will present you with a number of suggestions based on your list.

Place Your Keywords into Ad Groups

Once you’ve gotten rid of any keywords that are out of your budget, or for any other reason you may have to discard any, you’re left with your final keyword list. Of course, it’s up to you with regards to the budget you set. If you want to bid on different keywords and pay per click strategies specifically for testing purposes, it’s a valid way to go. Now all you need to do is categorize them into specific ad groups. An ad group consists of a set of related keywords and the ad that users will see when they search for one of these keywords.

The Final Word

Keyword research for PPC might just be the most crucial part of your search ads strategy, so make sure you invest enough time (and not just money) to get it right.