As a PPC advertiser, you are familiar with the concept of keyword research. For many, this is a one-dimensional activity: Go to the Google Keyword Planner, throw some keyword ideas and see what Google spits back. Tada! Keywords! Let’s build campaigns, launch and never look back!
If this is you, take note… you are missing a lot of keyword opportunities. For one, keyword research is not a one-time activity – you should be revisiting keyword research on a regular basis. Secondly, there are so many OTHER ways to get keyword ideas.
Google Keyword Planner
OK. Yes, I already mentioned Keyword Planner once in a not-so-positive light. The truth is, this tool is still very important to your initial keyword research and long term keyword discovery. Google is constantly refreshing the keyword database with new keywords, stats, etc. It is worth coming back to Keyword Planner to see what is new. Further, Keyword Planner can be used to flesh out ideas you gathered from other keyword discovery activities.
Broad Match and Search Query Analysis
There are a lot of broad match naysayers out there. I am not one of them. Broad match is a powerful resource in your PPC toolkit. Broad match will allow Google to semantically match you to new queries you may have NEVER found otherwise. Will some (OK, a lot) of those queries be irrelevant? Yes. That’s where the search query reports come into play. When you pair broad match with a laser-focus on search query analysis and negative keyword build out, you’ll be amazed at the new keywords you will find.
Good Old Fashioned Brainstorming
It will always work. Brainstorming with your co-workers, clients, marketing teams, etc. will always yield great ideas. Will they lead to new keywords 100% of the time? Maybe not. But it will give you ammunition to start new research threads and test new ideas. Make brainstorming a part of your routine.
On what keywords does your website rank for SEO? Sharing data back and forth between PPC and SEO teams is essential. Research conducted on each side of the search engine coin will influence the other. If your SEO team uses a tool like Conductor Searchlight or Bright Edge, ask for the login and add this keyword data to your list of research tools.
Running a lead gen campaign and pushing those leads into a CRM system? Great! Your sales team is doing tons of research for you and keeping a record! Have discussions with your sales team and pull reports from the CRM on customer pain points and other characteristics that attracted them to your service or that lead to a sale. This data will lead to some of your strongest long tail keywords.
Customer Reviews and/or Interviews
Does your company/client get customer reviews? Do you conduct customer interviews? Both are great sources for keywords. Similar to the information found in CRM data (pain points, reasons for sales decision), this is unfiltered commentary from people who have already become a customer. What made them decide to buy your product? Why did they choose your service over a competitor? Keyword gold.
Google and Bing Suggested Search
If you are really stuck on where to look for new keywords, give the search engines themselves a try. We no longer have the Wonder Wheel, so what’s the next best thing? Suggested search! Start typing root terms into search and see what suggestions pop up. This is best for finding obvious variations of existing keywords to expand your long tail keyword lists.
Google AdWords and Bing Ads Opportunities
Both AdWords and Bing Ads have an “Opportunities” section in the web interface. Here you will find a plethora of keyword suggestions broken down by ad group. Some suggestions will be great. Some suggestions will be flat-out duds. Take the good with the bad and check back often!
This is just the tip of the iceberg and should give you some ideas to kickstart your own keyword research. What did I miss? What resources do you use for keyword research?