How to Pick the Perfect Keywords for PPC Ads

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    albert somlith

    Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.
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    Keywords and search intent are the central focus of your Google Ads campaign.


    They’re how you drive traffic to your site. Knowing how to find keywords for a PPC campaign can be daunting.

    But taking a little time to understand them will help you pick the right ones for your campaigns and, in turn, drive more traffic to your website.

    Types of Keywords

    The main thing to understand about keyword research is search intent—what, exactly, someone is searching for. This can range from simply looking for information, such as an answer to a question, to hunting for a product to buy. 

    Using a search tool, you can research the keywords you’re interested in and see what the search intent is for a given keyword or phrase. But first, you also need to understand the distinction between the different types of keywords.

    Brand Keywords

    Brand keywords are keywords relevant to a specific brand, such as Amazon, Nike, or Apple. 

    Transactional Keywords

    Transactional keywords, by definition, have some intent of purchase. For example, they might be “Nike shoes” or “Apple iPhone.” The gist here is that a user is looking for a very specific product. These are the kinds of keywords you’ll want to have as a healthy part of your PPC strategy.

    Informational Keywords

    Informational keywords, as the name implies, are search phrases with an intent that’s purely informational. 

    It’s important to understand the distinction here as they can sometimes be confused with transactional keywords. Someone searching for “house painter” is probably looking for painting services, while someone searching the phrase “house painter photos” is likely not.

    Short-tail Keywords

    Sometimes labeled generic keywords, these are the keywords that are broad, catch-all terms. They’re one- or two-word search phrases like “food” or “dresses.” 

    You should include a few of these in your Adwords campaign, but don’t go overboard—they’re simply too broad to target realistically.

    Long-tail Keywords

    Long-tail keywords have the highest conversion rate of all the keyword types. They’re highly transactional and these phrases usually have a high purchase intent. An example of a long-tail keyword might be “house painter for a condo.”

    Long-tail keywords should be a central focus of your Google Ads campaign. Coupled with a solid content strategy, they can drive plenty of solid leads to your website.

    Purchase Intent Keywords


    These keywords are used when someone is ready to purchase. Some examples include brand name + model, SKU code, {Product Name} + promo code, {Product Name} + Review

    Near Me Keywords


    Similar to purchase intent keywords, near me keywords have high intent of an action. Make sure you include these terms if you offer localized products or services like “Pizza delivery near me” or “coffee shops near me.

    Using a Keyword Tool

    There is a plethora of keyword tools out there, some free, others premium, and they are undoubtedly going to play a large role in picking the perfect keywords for your ad campaign. But how exactly do you research keywords using one?

    A good keyword tool needs to show you how much a particular keyword is searched, what the competition is for that keyword, and what the ad impression is for it.

    Generally speaking, you want to invest your ad spending in target keywords with high search volumes and low competition, though sometimes it’s prudent to invest in high competition keywords, especially when your campaign is running well.

    Creativity goes a long way, especially with long-tail keywords. Try to come up with phrases that your competitors haven’t caught onto yet and then capitalize on them.

    Refining Your Ad Campaign

    The final step in picking the perfect keywords for your ad spending is knowing when to cut. If a keyword isn’t performing, get rid of it and experiment with new ones. Search phrases are always changing, so picking the perfect keywords is an ongoing process that requires constant refinement. 

    With a little knowledge and a lot of practice, you’ll be picking high-performing keywords and watching your website traffic—and hopefully your bottom line—soar to new highs.

    Where to keywords for your PPC Campaign

    PPC managers are always looking for new keywords to optimize their campaigns. The best way to find these is by using a keyword tool like Google Adwords Keyword Tool or Wordtracker. You can also monitor your competitors’ PPC ads and see what they are targeting, as well as the search volume of those keywords. When you have found a potential keyword, it’s important to research its popularity in order to determine if it has enough traffic that it will be worth bidding on in your campaign.

    Here are some other free ideas to find relevant keywords:

    1. – Start typing in your term in the search box and more relevant terms will automatically pop up

      Scroll down further and see more ideas….

    2. – This site shows you related questions people are asking based on your search terms


    3. – The 2nd largest search engine. Simply type in a keyword in the search box to see more relevant search terms

    4. – Similar to Google, start typing in your search term to and be presented with similar keywords

      Scroll down further and see more….

    5. – Again, similar to Google and Bing, you will be presented with more relevant terms based on your initial keyword search.

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