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PPC Keyword Research Guide: How to Find Keywords for Your Paid Advertising



The revenue you earn from advertising doesn’t come from your products or services. Of course, that doesn’t mean your product is not essential.

However, the most vital factor that makes a paid advertising campaign successful, I believe, is the keywords you choose to bid on. It’s keywords that make or break a PPC campaign as this element determines who sees your ad and who can’t.

This post includes the most effective tips to thrive a business’s paid campaign via highly-quality PPC keywords.

Why do keywords matter for a PPC campaign?

First’s thing first!

As a marketer or business owner, we need to be more explicit about the importance of keyword research on any online campaign. Investing a large budget to bid on high-volume keywords is not always smart, especially for small businesses.

By defining the right keywords most relevant to your business’s offerings and buyer search intent, you can bid to place your ads in customers’ search results for related keywords.

All the steps below will give you a comprehensive guide for PPC keyword research.

Define the search intent for your ads

Before coming up with brilliant ideas for your ad keywords, it’s really essential for advertisers to define the users’ search intent for their ads and marketing purposes.

With businesses aiming to generate conversion via PPC campaigns, the keywords selected for their ads must imply high purchase intent. Meanwhile, the ads focus on improving the brand’s visibility should stick with eCommerce and navigation terms.

Let’s take an example of an ad about bank service!

  • If a business wants to approach prospects with less purchasing intention, the keywords that target top-of-the-funnel are: How to open a bank account? Or How many types of bank services?
  • If a business wants to drive high ROI from PPC ads, they can target bottom-of-the-funnel keywords like: Open a bank account or Open visa card online

However, over time, Google has changed its Ad Rank calculation to weigh bids more heavily. In other words, Google is less likely to serve ads if the customer’s intention is searching for information rather than a product or service.

Defining the target customer group you want to place your ads to and an explicit marketing purpose right from the start is the first step in putting your ads in the right way.

Collect potential keywords

The key to all successful advertising campaigns is getting high-targeted keywords for your goal. Even the most potential paid ads will fail if they could get in front of the right audience group.

However, this is easier said than done.

Creating a well-working keyword list requires lots of time and sober research. The process of finding valuable keywords just like when you walk through a funnel.

You need to go from the top of the funnel with common keywords through different tactics to purify the keyword list for the most competitive ones that can upgrade your PPC campaigns’ effectiveness.

Start brainstorming keywords

Initially, to put your hand on building a list of robust keywords for any PPC campaign, you can start with brainstorming a long list of potential terms.

To stand out from the competition, your campaigns require more than just high-quality keywords. You need a SEO-friendly landing page linking to your ad, which can be done using  an SEO supported app.

That’s why the ideas for your keyword list must begin at the landing pages that your ads intend to link to. To have initial ideas for a fairly comprehensive keyword list that directly relate to your products or services, you should:

  • Defining clear marketing purposes of the ads (the intention of the PPC campaign, what the ad focuses on, who the ad targeting)
  • Scanning landing page linking to your ads for relevant keywords from the text

They are all the raw materials for advertisers to come up with different ideas for keywords that can be used in the ads.

Generate the first ideas corresponding to the following categories:

  • Generic keywords: Relate to the product or service your business offers (i.e., long dress)
  • Related keywords: Don’t directly point to your business that your audience may search for (i.e., prom, fashion, fall outfit)
  • Brand keywords: Contain your brand or business name (i.e.,
  • Competitor keywords: include your competitors’ names. (i.e.

Use Excel to list all the keywords you can muster to consider bidding on. Start by listing from 15 to 20 keywords that your ad’s target audience might type on their google searching field.

Take advantage of Google

Above is just the starting point of the process. Next, you should consider using Google to check each keyword, going from the broad or generic keywords to the most specific ones.

By doing this, you can collect more potential keywords that are actually searched by Google users. Things you need to do:

  • Search each of your 15 to 20 keywords in Google
  • The drop-down list: Google suggests popular searches for the phrase you are typing on its searching bar
  • The People Also Ask: Provider searchers with related questions
  • The “Searches related to X” section: Scroll down to the bottom of the result page to see short phrases related to your keywords
searches related to

With all these suggestions, pick the keywords related to your ad content, then copy and paste them to your current list. After that, you can choose to delete the keywords on your list that have no relevance.

Listen to the target audience

Apart from Google, another source you could use to find highly-qualified keywords are social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit, or Instagram.

Go to pages or groups on these social networks where your target audience talks to each other and intentionally look to the exact words they use on different topics related to your market, products, or services. Using advanced market research tools to facilitate your searching process.

These words with high using frequency are potential keywords for your ads. Only when putting yourself into your customers’ shoes you are able to create money-making keywords.

Scout your competitors

Once your brainstorming process finishes, it’s time to analyze your competitors for valuable information that can expand your list. You should do this before diving into different keyword research tools (which I will mention later).

A business can learn a lot from their direct competitors on how they are launching their ads and what keywords they are bidding most on, or who else is bidding on the keywords you want, etc.

The easiest way to check your competitors is:

  • Google your main keywords
  • Look at the first three search results
  • Click on and check the words your competitors used and determine whether you want to get them on your list or not
check competitor keywords

However, that is not enough and should only be used as a double-checking tactic. It’s possible for you to get support from specialized research keyword tools outside the market.

These collected data will allow you to distinguish between terms that are worth your money and ones that can chew your budget with little return.

Expand Your List Using Keyword Researching Tools

With a decent list of keywords to bid on to fill the gap in your coverage, your next step is to define which keywords to keep and which to drop using keywords research tools.

Of course, there are tons of keyword research options available these days under the impact of advanced technology. The problem is which one that works best for your business.

Some great tools to generate hundreds of keyword suggestions:

  • Ubersuggest
  • Google Keyword Planner

For the competitor’s keyword analysis, one of the most crucial stats you should consider is the search volume.

keyword research tools

You will want the keywords that have all of the following conditions:

  • Have a high search volume
  • Avoid the terms that have little or no search volume
  • Low competition

The keywords with higher search volume will cost more money to bid on. That’s why you should consider carefully before deciding to invest in these types of keywords. Meanwhile, there is no ensuring that the vast majority of leads generated via high-volume keywords will buy your products.

Trying some keywords that are not too broad and specific to your niches can be a solution. Once your checking process finishes, you can keep the potential keywords that are not overly competitive and high-cost keywords.

With the support of keyword tools, you can prune back certain keywords while discovering more unexpected keyword ideas.

Niche Down Your Keywords With Specific Description

As you get your way through these instructions now, you are ready for the next step on optimizing all of your selected keywords. This step is where you make your terms more specific as well as better define your offerings using long-tail keywords.

long-tail vs. short-tail keywords graph seopressor

Source: Seopressor

Targeting long-tail keywords is a strategy used widely for both SEO and PPC by marketers to tailor their content creation efforts. It’s valuable for PPC campaigns for several reasons:

  • Lower cost and less keyword competition
  • High targeted and relevant to voice search

They generally have higher conversion rates compared to head and mid-tail terms. That’s why though most companies choose to run their paid campaigns using broad keywords, the long-tail keywords are still a worthy investment.

Consider all types of modifiers to find these niches:

  • Location (city or state)
  • Age and gender of target customers
  • Price point (bargain, mid-range, luxury)
  • The features of products or services

You can start with broad keywords, then niche them down with the product’s detailed descriptions, for example:

Dress -> Women’s Dress -> women’s long-sleeve dress -> women’s brown long-sleeve dress.

Sorting and Organizing Your PPC Keywords

Your next job is to sort your list into small and high targeted groups of keywords to optimize PPC campaigns’ performance.

keyword performance

The more focused your ad groups are, the easier it can be for you to:

  • Monitor and measure the effectiveness of each keyword group
  • More comfortable to prune or expand the keywords corresponding to different ad groups
  • Create a chain of highly specific and relevant ads
  • Increase the influence of each ad group on aiming at the customers belonging to different parts of the sales funnel

A proper keyword grouping and organization will help your marketing process stay organized and target the right customers, hence reducing your costs.

As a result, well-organized campaigns with higher relevance will lead to better Quality Scores, which simultaneously drive ad rankings and reduce PPC (Pay per click) rate.

Don’t Forget Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are terms and phrases you intentionally don’t want to have in your ads. With these kinds of keywords in your campaign, the failure is apparent.

The purpose of avoiding these keywords is to prevent your ads from showing up alongside search queries that are irrelevant, offensive, or don’t fit user intent.

For example, a luxury hotel chain can never reach affluent customers with terms like “cheap” and “free.”

Some tips for finding negative keywords for your PPC campaigns:

  • Always check your search query reports: For terms that are not a good fit for your ad purpose, define them as negatives from the setting before launching the ad
  • Define negative match types: The match type you assign to a negative keyword has an enormous impact on what traffic it blocks. Disqualify any query containing negative terms
  • Research negative keyword options: The more negatives you set before a campaign goes live, the more cash you’ll save right off the bat

Though eliminating negative keywords on your ad is essential, don’t go overboard. Improper use of negative can harm your account while killing the impression volume of your ad.

Spend your budget on terms that actually drive revenue!

If you hope to succeed in the world of paid ads, you have to find a way to distinguish your brand from competitors. And keyword research optimization is just one of the first steps in getting your ads ready.

Suitable tactics on keyword research will ensure your paid campaigns are always well-targeted and relevant to the targeted audience.


This unused Star Wars poster could have ruined everything



This unused Star Wars poster could have ruined everything

A recent unused poster design for 1977’s Star Wars has surfaced and reveals just when you think you’ve seen it all around this iconic movie, there’s always something new to talk about. Particularly as this rare and unused Star War movie poster art was so bad it could have ruined the franchise before it even launched.

The unused Star Wars poster from 1977 was posted on Twitter by film nerd’ account The Spaceshipper and many fans of the franchise were thankful it was never used. While some recent film posters, like new Ant-Man 3 posters that are a Photoshop nightmare, this rare Star Wars poster is bad on so many levels – it’s a graphic design fail, the slogan makes no sense and there’s little to engage with.

Star Wars film posters have been some of the best ever designed, from legendary artists such as the Hidlebrandt Brothers who painted the original 1977 poster that was used. Iconic poster artists have also designed for the franchise; the Drew Struzan Star Wars poster for The Force Awakens impresses and Hugh Flemming revealed all in our feature ‘the secrets of a top Star Wars artist’.

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How to Manage Your Online Brand?



You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.

In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.

By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.

In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.

What is an online brand, and why do you need one?

Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.

It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.

It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.

How to manage your online brand for success?

Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.

A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?

1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.

Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?

Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.

Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.

2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.

When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.

By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.

3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.

Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.

For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.

Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.

4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.

Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.

Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.

If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.

5) Pay attention to your social media presence.

Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.

Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.

6) Monitor your online reputation.

Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.

For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.

7) Manage your online brand proactively.

The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.

By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.

The benefits of having a strong online brand

Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:

1) Stand out from the competition.

With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.

2) Build trust and credibility.

A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.

3) Connect with your audience.

By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.

4) Drive traffic and sales.

A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.

5) Increase your visibility.

A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.

6) Attract media attention.

A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.

7) Enhance your career prospects.

Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.

8) Make a positive impact.

Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.

The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.

When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.

Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:

1) Define your brand.

The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?

2) Create guidelines.

Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.

3) Train your team.

If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.

4) Monitor your brand.

Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.

5) Be prepared to adjust.

Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.

Wrap Up

A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.

If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.

Oscar is a passionate full-time blogger and a part-time author. In his personal blog, he writes about software, online influence, and different business models.

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How SEO Works in Digital Marketing




Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing.

SEO helps with brand discoverability. When done right, SEO can create the most consistent and by far the highest-quality traffic source which doesn’t require on-going maintenance.

Yet, SEO is usually the most isolated part of the marketing. Whether it is an in-house team or a third-party service that’s delivering your SEO campaigns, it usually exists on its own without really communicating goals, progress or results to the whole company.

This creates silos that can lead to poor results and even reputation crises.

How does SEO work in digital marketing and how can a business make it work better?

What is SEO?

SEO is a collection of tactics (content, technical, link building, even website security and usability) that ensures that your website is easy to understand for search engines.

Basically, it ensures a machine knows that your page will be easy to find to a human being who is looking to solve a related problem.

Search engine traffic is one of the highest-quality traffic for many reasons:

  • Unlike PPC (paid) traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic,  it doesn’t require an ongoing work to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic, you are not interrupting people’s browsing. Instead you give them what they were actually searching for.

In other words, it is consistent and it converts well. No other digital marketing tactic beats that.

Apart from driving direct traffic, search engine optimization helps build brand awareness by increasing your brand’s organic findability.

Keep Your Whole Team Aware of Why SEO is Important

The great thing about today is that everyone understands the value of ranking high on Google! Sadly, however, many folks only know that they “need SEO” without having really understood what that means. 

SEO these days is too hard for a digital marketer to do alone. Many SEOs find themselves in situations where an executive will simply come down and go “Why are we not ranking well for ‘dingwobble’?” 

Keep working hard with teams for them to understand how they contribute to the SEO process:

  • Product Marketers who are responsible for the business, personas and messaging understand that SEO is critical to driving the bottom line revenue numbers they are looking at. Part of the persona developing process should be the development of the “digital persona” – what websites and search terms are these people looking for? This helps the product marketer when it comes time to develop messaging, as that is going to be critical for developing the content, so the right search terms better be there!
  • Field Marketers responsible for the campaigns need to know how SEO fits within their campaign, how it in fact is core to our demand generation, and how to make sure to keep the campaigns integrated.
  • Marketing Communications is creating the content, so SEO should very well be top of mind for them, as the content itself will be critical in impacting how successful SEO will be.
  • But that’s not all! Often, other groups are creating content (Press Releases, Blog Posts, Presentations, etc.) that also end up on the web and impact SEO. Whether it’s Corporate Communications, Investor Relations or even Legal teams, working with them is critical.
  • IT manages the infrastructure and can be very critical to the technical aspects of SEO.
  • Sales and customer support teams are at the forefront of marketing talking to your future and current customers, so they need to be involved in the SEO strategy. Creating relevant content goes beyond keywords. It needs to address real problems and answer actual people’s questions, and your client-facing teams will be your best source of inspiration here.  
  • Executives also care! While they can’t often influence the day-to-day of SEO, they will care a lot about the bottom line, to which SEO contributes.

Educating all of these people about SEO helps empower them, as well as position yourself, the SEO, as the subject matter expert who is not just someone back-office who gives very little visibility into the black box of SEO, but someone who is actively educating and contributing to the organization’s success.

Review and discuss common KPIs early and often to make sure everyone knows what victory looks like to the team.

Additionally, SEO should be a solid part of any project launch as it impacts every stage of product positioning. From choosing a business name to choosing a website builder, your initial efforts should be driven by SEO best practices.

What is the key to SEO success in a constantly changing environment?

As a practitioner of SEO, I believe that you need to look to ensure you are looking at both developing yourself in both depth and breadth of knowledge. A key danger in the name of being informed or being a part of the SEO community is spending all your time debating tactics and practices rather than testing them. 

Additionally, SEOs as with all employees need to look outside their field to stretch and learn how to be more well rounded. This could mean learning to code, or educating yourself in some other area of the business you work for.  This will expose you to ideas others may not have.

As a manager of people, success is really about diversity of expertise. Who you hire and the kind of people you hire will be far more valuable than much of what people invest in with regards to SEO programs. You have to have people who can roll with the punches and develop a skill for self-management and personal growth. 

Finally, I think knowing what your real goals are in having an SEO program are the key to long term success. The reality is you may get more traffic, but if that traffic is not from qualified leads and generates real revenue then the benefit may be very little. Having well defined goals and metrics will also help you avoid chasing algorithm changes and focus on the big picture.


SEO is the most essential long-term digital marketing strategy but to make it really effective, you need a knowledge team that is well-integrated into the company’s life. Good luck!

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.

Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).

Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.

Source: Ann Smarty

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