How To Generate Keywords for PPC Advertising

So you've decided to start a Pay Per Click campaign and have opened accounts with Yahoo Search Marketing and Google AdWords. Now what?

Well, the next step, developing a keyword list, may well be one of the most important facets of your entire Pay Per Click campaign. This is where you figure out who your target audience is going to be and who your ads will appear in front of. 

For example, if I were selling digital cameras online, this is where I'm able to weed out people searching for "hidden cameras" or "camera phones," as these terms probably won't convert as well as "digital cameras" or "buy digital cameras." Developing an applicable keyword list will filter out untargeted clicks, raise conversions, and save you cash!

There are a ton of resources available to help you in your quest for a targeted keyword list:

  • Wordtracker:  A tool such as Wordtracker compiles a database of keywords that people actually search for from major search engines.  If I were to enter the term "digital camera" in to Wordtracker, I would get a list of similar and related keywords as well as their corresponding search volumes.

Wordtracker also provides misspellings, different variations of words, and even shows keyword bid prices on some engines.  But, in order to utilize these helpful features, it is necessary to pay a subscription fee.

  • Yahoo Keyword Selector Tool:  The Yahoo Keyword Selector Tool is a free tool that Yahoo provides to help advertisers grow their keyword lists.  It shows related searches that include the inputted term and also returns the amount of times the word was searched the previous month.  One of the drawbacks of this tool is that it does not include plural versions of keywords.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool:  The Google AdWords Keyword Tool helps Google AdWords advertisers grow their keyword lists. For any keyword input, this tool returns other queries that contain the keyword, similar keywords, and any other additional keywords that may be relevant. Additionally, Google AdWords advertisers have access to a keyword tool within the AdWords dashboard that suggests different keyword variations and also spiders the landing page to suggest site-related keywords.
  • Thesaurus:  A regular thesaurus is a simple, yet huge help when building keyword lists. Just dig up that old thesaurus that you used in college to find various synonyms to include in your keyword list.
  • PPC Management Companies:  Do a search in Google for "PPC management" and you will find dozens of companies willing to build your targeted keyword lists for you, all for a fee, of course. I would strongly suggest doing some research to find the most reputable companies to work with. There are a bunch of companies claiming that they are PPC management experts, but only a handful really excel in this craft.
  • Misspelling Generators:  There are tools available that give common misspellings for words. The fact is that many people cannot spell and it may be wise to bid on popular misspellings and variations of the high converting and high volume keywords you are bidding on.
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