8 Ways to Uncovering the Best Keywords for Your Google AdWords Campaign

By | November 7, 2012

Finding keywords for your AdWords campaign can in some cases be difficult. Especially if you don’t know where to start. There are a lot of tactics and strategies for building successful AdWords keyword lists, but if you’ve already gone through them and now want to know where to look, then I’ve listed my top sources for keywords below.

Tips to Discover Best Keywords for Your AdWords Campaign

1) Former AdWords Campaigns
If you’ve had active AdWords campaigns in the past, then this is my ultimate resource to best look for keywords for your new online marketing campaign.

You will find yourself in the keyword researching stage at this point and will be able to leverage the performance stats of some of your past keywords so as to best eliminate much of the guesswork. If a keyword had a super low click-through-rate, then you can be highly-confident that it won’t be the best keyword to start out with for your new AdWords campaign. Review Search Query Reports for keywords and keyword suggestions. Be careful about putting too much emphasis on keywords in broad match without looking in the Search Query Report.
2) Google Analytics
This used to be my absolute favorite place to find new keywords because you could often find some great undiscovered golden keyword nuggets here. After Google’s “Not Provided” policy came out, the Google Analytics approach has diminished in value.

For instance, when we in White Shark Media are researching new keywords, we’re met with over 70% that are not provided in the previous campaign. This is due to the fact that we’re normally attracting businesses that already have an AdWords account and they’re often always logged into it when searching on Google. This means that we can’t see their search queries, which is a major shame.

Google Analytics however, is still a great resource. That being said, don’t rely too much on its traffic numbers for the various keywords. They will always be low due to the fact that many search queries aren’t revealed via this tool.
3) Social Media
Social media is quickly becoming one of the go-to places for keyword research. Social media has taken over the space of forums on my top 3 list simply because it has such a high amount of data available for you.

I would advise you to review not only your own Facebook and Twitter accounts, but also those of your competitors. This is especially the case if you know that a competitor is doing a great job attracting consumer comments or user postings on their Facebook wall.
4) AdWords Keyword Tool
No keyword research post would be complete without mentioning the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.It’s an absolutely amazing place to find new keywords or to find more variations of your current keyword lists.
5) Google Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)
Once you have your keywords ready, I will advise you to search for them on Google. Not only will this allow you to get a feel for your competitor’s tactics, but you will also be able to see how they write about your type of product and use your keywords. In some cases, competitors will use different wording in their AdWords ads or in the snippets in the organic results (which you can as well use for keyword researching purposes). At the bottom of the Search Engine Results Page, you’ll be able to find related searches, which can prove to be a great source of inspiration.
6) Your Own Website
In the midst of all the technical ways of going about keyword research, I want to shed light on one of the oldest strategies: Reviewing your own website! In the case you have a big website, this approach is very resourceful and allows you to use keywords in your AdWords campaign that resemble those in your website.

This can prove to be very successful as it will maintain relevance with the keyword used in the search engine, to what is presented for you on the website. Product names, brands and product categories are other natural resources for keywords (Tip: these tend to convert very well).
7) Competitor Websites
As with your own website, competitor websites can be gold mines. Often you’ll see the same headlines or product names as your own, but you will find a difference in the ad description. Not all people look at the same product the same way – and we all use different wording. Maybe your competitor has even done research on his own about what keywords to use and by piggy-backing off of him, you’ll be able to find some real keyword gems.
8) Forums, Review Boards and Testimonials
Last but not least, I would like to put the spotlight on forums, review boards and other testimonials around the web. These are places where users of your actual product or service are being freely encouraged to write about their experiences with your brand. By reading these posts, you will often find some keywords that you had never even thought of!

8 Tips for Keyword Research

Often, the more technical a product you’re selling, the higher success you’ll achieve with this approach. Those were my 8 tips for keyword research as I’ve used them for over 4 years in both small $10-a-day campaigns, to huge campaigns with an over $10,000 daily budget. I highly encourage using the entirety of the list’s tips or selecting a couple you haven’t used as of yet. The results I’ve seen from building a great foundation of keywords has been amazing and I can only recommend you spend a lot of time in this crucial stage.

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