14 Essential Steps To Choosing The Right Keywords For Your Paid Search Advertising Campaign

Paid search advertising can catapult your lead generation efforts to unprecedented heights, helping you reach new customers and expand your business. However, achieving success with paid search is contingent upon selecting the right keywords for your campaigns.

An ineffective keyword strategy can lead to a wasted budget and underwhelming performance, undermining your marketing efforts. Fear not, as we've compiled a comprehensive list of 14 steps to guide you towards choosing the perfect keywords for your paid search advertising campaigns, ensuring optimal results.

  1. Define your objectives

    Start by outlining your primary goals for your paid search advertising campaign, whether generating leads, increasing sales, or improving brand visibility. This clarity will help you select keywords that align with your objectives and target the right audience.

    Example: Suppose you run a financial services firm. Your primary objective for your paid search advertising campaign could be generating leads for your wealth management services. This objective will guide your keyword selection towards terms that target potential clients interested in wealth management solutions.
  2. Know your target audience

    Understanding your target audience's preferences, demographics, and search behaviour is crucial to selecting the most effective keywords. This insight lets you focus on keywords that appeal to your potential customers and encourage them to engage with your ads.

    Example: Your target audience for wealth management services might be individuals aged 40-65 with significant investable assets. By understanding this demographic, you can focus on keywords that resonate with their preferences and search behaviour, such as "high net worth wealth management" or "retirement wealth management."
  3. Use keyword research tools

    Leverage keyword research tools, such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, to uncover high-performing keywords relevant to your business. These tools provide valuable data on search volume, competition, and estimated cost-per-click, which will aid you in making informed decisions about your keyword strategy.

    Example: Using Google Ads Keyword Planner, you might discover that "personalised wealth management" has a high search volume with moderate competition, making it a potentially valuable keyword to target in your campaign.
  4. Consider search intent

    When choosing keywords, consider their search intent. Opt for keywords that match the intention of your target audience, whether they're seeking information, looking to purchase, or exploring options. Aligning your keywords with search intent will boost the likelihood of reaching engaged, high-converting users.

    Example: Analyse the search intent behind the keyword "wealth management." Users searching for this term could seek general information, seek a wealth management firm, or compare services. By targeting keywords like "best wealth management firms" or "wealth management consultation," you can align your campaign with users with a higher intent to engage with your services.
  5. Think long-tail keywords

    Long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific keyword phrases, can yield higher conversion rates and lower competition. These keywords often reflect a user's precise search intent, making them valuable to your paid search advertising campaigns.

    Example: Opt for long-tail keywords like "wealth management for business owners" or "wealth management for medical professionals." These more specific terms can help you reach users with specific needs, resulting in higher conversion rates and lower competition.
  6. Analyse your competitors

    Examine your competitors' paid search advertising campaigns to uncover potential keyword opportunities. Identify keywords they might be overlooking or find ways to improve your ads for shared keywords, giving you a competitive edge.

    Example: Identify a competitor in the financial services industry who also offers wealth management services. By examining their paid search advertising campaigns, you might discover that they haven't targeted the keyword "wealth management for tech professionals," presenting an opportunity for you to fill the gap and target an underserved market segment.
  7. Group and organise keywords

    Create tightly themed ad groups by clustering similar keywords. This organisation allows you to craft targeted ad copy and landing pages, improving your Quality Score and lowering your cost-per-click.

    Example: Create ad groups based on themes such as "retirement wealth management," "high net worth wealth management," and "wealth management for professionals." By clustering related keywords together, you can tailor your ad copy and landing pages to appeal to specific customer segments, ultimately improving your Quality Score and lowering your cost-per-click.
  8. Regularly review and refine

    Keyword performance can shift over time. Routinely evaluate your chosen keywords to identify any changes in performance, competition, or search trends. Adjust your keyword strategy accordingly to maintain optimal results.

    Example: After running your campaign for a few weeks, you notice that the keyword "wealth management strategies" has a low click-through rate and minimal conversions. In response, you can refine your keyword strategy by pausing or replacing the underperforming keyword, ensuring your campaign remains effective.
  9. Track your progress
    Monitor your paid search advertising campaigns closely, tracking vital metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROAS (return on ad spend). This data will help you understand the effectiveness of your chosen keywords and make data-driven decisions to enhance your campaigns further.

    Example: Monitor the performance of your paid search advertising campaign targeting wealth management services, focusing on metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate (CVR), and return on ad spend (ROAS). If "personalised wealth management" generates a high click-through rate but a low conversion rate, you might need to adjust your landing page or ad copy to align with user expectations and improve conversions.
  10. Leverage your website's content

    Analyse your website's content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and category pages, to identify potential keywords. These terms help you create a list of relevant keywords that directly align with your offerings and target audience.

    Example: While examining your financial services firm's website content, you discover that you frequently use the term "financial planning" in addition to "wealth management." This insight can lead you to include "financial planning" as a keyword in your PPC campaign.
  11. Explore search query reports

    Regularly review the search query reports within your Google Ads account to identify new keywords that triggered your ads. This data can help you discover high-performing, previously overlooked, and negative keywords that you should exclude from your campaigns to improve efficiency.

    Example: After reviewing your search query reports, you find that users are searching for "wealth management for young professionals" and clicking on your ads. This new keyword can be added to your campaign to capitalise on this search trend.
  12. Include local keywords

    If your business targets a specific geographic area, incorporate local keywords into your campaign. These can include your city or region name, local landmarks, or neighbourhood names. Local keywords can attract customers searching for products or services in your area.

    Example: If your financial services firm operates in London, you can incorporate local keywords such as "London wealth management" or "wealth management in London" to target customers searching for services in your area.
  13. Use synonyms and variations

    Consider using synonyms and variations of your main keywords to capture a broader range of search queries. For example, if you're targeting the keyword "summer dresses," you might also want to include terms like "summer frocks" or "summer outfits." This approach can help you reach users who use different terminology when searching for the same product.

    Example: While targeting the keyword "wealth management services," you could also include synonyms like "wealth managers" or variations such as "financial planning services." This approach will help you reach users who use different terminology when searching for similar financial services.
  14. Collaborate with team members

    Involve your team members in the keyword selection process, especially those who frequently interact with customers or work on your product development. They may have valuable insights into your target audience's language and potential keywords that might not be apparent through research alone. You can build a robust and comprehensive keyword list for your PPC campaign by pooling knowledge from various sources.

    Example: Your customer service team frequently receives inquiries about "retirement planning services" for long-term financial security. With this insight, you can add "retirement planning services" as a keyword to your PPC campaign, targeting a specific need expressed by your customers.

Conclusion: Selecting the right keywords is vital to the success of your paid search advertising campaigns. By following these nine steps, you'll be well on your way to optimising your keyword strategy and driving exceptional results. But why stop there? I will conduct a FREE audit on your ad accounts to identify areas where we can unlock even greater potential in your campaigns. Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your paid search advertising and skyrocket your lead generation.