Creating A Keyword List For AdWords That Will Deliver A Return On Investment

One of the key components of any Google AdWords campaign is the keyword list. It determines who sees your ads and under what circumstances, and can mean the difference between a successful campaign and one that isn’t. Here is how you create an effective keyword list.

Think Like Your Customers

If you were one of your potential customers, how would you search in Google for your products or services? What phrases would you use when you were doing initial buyer research and what phrases would you use as you got further along the buying cycle? Try to make a list of about 10 of these keywords.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner

Now you should put the keywords you have listed into Google’s Keyword Planner. You will have to sign in to your AdWords account and, under “Find new keywords and get search volume data” click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”.bl2When filling out the above form, use these settings:

  • Your product or service – enter the list of keywords you have created
  • Your landing page – leave blank
  • Your product category – leave blank
  • Targeting – change the location to be as specific as possible, change the language to English, and make sure the third setting is on “Google”. Leave “Negative keywords” for now.
  • Date range – make sure it is set for the last 12 months
  • Keyword filters – leave
  • Keyword options – click on the toggle for “Only show closely related ideas”
  • Keywords to include – leave

Now click “Get Ideas” and on the next page click on the “Keyword ideas” tab. This will show you the monthly search volumes for your list of keywords, plus it will give you other keyword suggestions under the column “Keyword (by relevance)”. Click on the “Download” button to download the list as a CSV file.bl3

Optimise Your List

Order the list by monthly search volume and go through it, removing anything that is not related to your product or services. You should also consider removing keywords that do not indicate buying intent. You are now ready to start selecting keywords to use in your campaign.

The data you have on each keyword tells you whether there is high, medium or low competition, and what the average cost per click is. These are not exact measurements, but you can use them to calculate whether you can potentially make a return.

This is all about conversions. Let’s say your landing page has a conversion rate of 10% and you make a profit of £10 on each conversion. The CPC breakeven point would therefore be £1 – anything above that will give you a negative return on investment.

Now remove the keywords that you don’t think will make a return based on this calculation to leave a final list.

It is important to note in this final step that you cannot be absolutely sure what your CPC rate is, or your conversion rate, until you actually start. The best advice is to begin on the conservative side and test repeatedly, making improvements as you go.

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