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Keyword research - The key to successful online advertising

The objective of good keyword research is more targeted prospects, as these are the visitors who are likely to buy into your website offering. This article provides a range of tips to help you carry out effective keyword research.


We are constantly surprised how often pay-per-click (PPC) advertising fails to deliver results! If you are considering advertising online, using one of the many advertising services (for example Google Adwords), make sure that you tightly control PPC costs. You can soon rack up a small fortune in pay-per-click advertising. When the cost of your ads exceeds the profit you make from that online advertising then it’s time to put your campaign on hold, and take some urgent remedial action.


One area to examine is your keywords. This article examines how a small investment in effective keyword research can help your PPC campaign succeed.

Keyword research is essentially a very straightforward process – you certainly don’t need to be a web wizard or a technology geek to do it. The aim is to identify a large keyword/key phrase list, and use this in your pay-per-click campaigns. The logic is that the more keywords you identify that are relevant to your website, the more likely your site will match what your customers are searching for. The net result is more targeted prospects who are likely to buy into what your website is offering, which is, of course, what it’s all about!


So how do you carry out proper keyword research? Well, there are numerous free and paid-for software tools on the web that will give you a huge head start. If you do a Google search for terms such as ‘keyword research’ you’ll find them! One well-regarded tool is called Wordtracker. It does require a subscription fee, but you can sign up for a free trial. Wordtracker really delivers in terms of keyword research, but be warned it can get very detailed, and you should avoid getting too bogged down in detail if you are new to PPC. There are some excellent free offerings available online, and don’t forget that most search engines have their own tools for advertisers.


So now you have the tools, you need to do some work! The art is to use the keyword research tools to develop a large and definitive range of search words and phrases, which are relevant to your pay-per-click advert. Here are some sure-fire techniques to help you: 


Put yourself in the searchers shoes - really think about the terms they may use to find sites offering the type of goods or services promoted by your website. Use the keyword tools mentioned above to help you brainstorm suggestions.


Save a copy of your keywords in a document or a spreadsheet – you don’t want to have to do all the research work again if something goes wrong!


Don’t just stick to individual keyword words; some single keywords may be appropriate but 2-5 word phrases are more effective.  

         Include these keyword phrases as well. Use your keyword tools to help suggest appropriate phrases.


Think about brand names as part of the keyword phrase, as well as plurals and abbreviations.


Check out popular misspellings of possible keywords and see if they get searched for using your favourite keyword tool – this can be very productive.


Review your keyword list periodically as the market changes frequently.


Assess which pages are the potential ‘landing pages’ for your pay-per-click adverts and select specific terms and phrases that relate to this page.


To get more pay-per-click advert impressions, broaden your keyword list but ensure your advert copy is relevant in order to attract the right potential customers.


For even more success identify keywords with plenty of searches and little competition from other web sites. There are several good tools    

         that will do this for you.


If you are a not-for-profit organization these techniques apply equally to your website. Instead of income you will be monitoring goals. Examples of goals might include new members recruited, number of information packs sent out, visitors to your bricks and mortar location, and many others.


Working through keyword research can at times be laborious, but persevere. You will reap the benefits in the number and quality of hits on your site. This should improve the ratio between income and costs, and increase your profit!


Keyword reseach is the vital foundation stone for effective site content

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