Why Are Keywords Important? [A Guide to Keywords in PPC Ads]

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The internet gained a lot of popularity since its modest beginnings, becoming the primary tool that we use when it comes to researching, shopping, and finding entertainment. Let’s try a small thinking exercise. Think of how many times you’ve used the internet just today. Be it to check your social media profiles, watch some Youtube videos, or look something up; you have probably used it more than ten times.

Now, with this in mind, we can probably understand how SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns became so important. People will use a search engine  (be it Google, Bing, Amazon, etc.) to find the thing that they need. Search engines have evolved to the point that they can offer internet users the best possible search results, by taking multiple factors into account.  

One of the predominant factors that search engines use is keywords. But what exactly are keywords, and how do they influence the optimization process? 

The Definition Behind The Term

In the SEO field, keywords are the phrases or words that an internet user is entering in the search field of a search engine. Pretty straightforward, right? For example, if you have content on a search engine -like a website on Google or a product on Amazon- the words that you use to describe your product or your website are your keywords, a.k.a. the phrases that internet users will utilize when performing their search.

This leads us to the importance that keywords have. They represent the bridge between the internet user and the content, services, or products you and your business are offering. Keywords are also critical when it comes to getting a better rank in organic search results. 

How can you get a better rank? By making sure that your keywords are as relevant as possible. For this, you must study the market revolving around your business, select a particular niche, create a buyer persona, and a market for that specific buyer persona. It would help if you got to know your niche, your possible clients, and, more importantly, research the language that they use. 

Let’s say you have a business that sells musical instruments, and one of the instruments that you’re selling on your website is the bass. There will be people who will go on Google and type in the search bar bass, expecting that the results will maybe give them tips on how to catch bass or places that sell bass (the fish). So you have to be very careful about the keywords that you are using. 

Types of Keywords

From the beginning, it is essential to understand that we have different types of keywords. The main categories of keywords include short-tailed keywords, long-tailed keywords, and negative keywords. Of course, besides these main three, we also have a multitude of keyword options that usually are influenced by the search engine, where we’ll try to explain them later in the article.

Short-tailed Keywords

Short-tailed keywords are the keywords that have three or fewer words that compose them. If we look at our former example, a short-tailed keyword would be the word ‘bass’ or maybe ‘bass fish’ or ‘bass music instrument.’ 

Long-tailed Keywords 

On the other side of the spectrum, we have long-tailed keywords, which, you’ve guessed, are made up of more than three words. These are a lot more specific, they have lower search volumes, but they also have lower competition, which might even things out a bit. 

For example, a long-tailed keyword would be ‘how to catch bass,’ ‘how to play bass?’ or ‘where can I find bass fish?’

Negative Keywords 

Negative keywords are also important. You probably already have the words that you’d like to represent or describe your products, so you must have thought of words or keywords in this specific case that you don’t want to be associated with your product, service, or website. These are the negative keywords. 

Again, going back to the example above, if you are selling musical instruments, you might want to put in the negative keywords category the words ‘fish,’ ‘fishing,’ and all the things that might cause the internet user incorrect expectations and a negative landing page experience. 

Keyword Matching Options

We’ve seen the keyword types, but there is also a powerful feature Search Engines provide to us in digital search advertising, which is keyword matching types.

Firmly, keyword matching types specify how our target keywords will be triggered within the search engine. For example, if you are targeting the “Blue Shoes”, would you like your ads to be visible on searches like “Blue Women’s Shoes”, or you would limit the visibility to “Blue Shoes”? For us to manage that, search engines provide three keyword matching options: exact, phrase, and broad. Now, let’s discover them.

Exact Matching

Exact matching is the most limiting keyword matching option. When a keyword is selected to be exact matching, It triggers searches, which include what the keyword exactly is. For example, if you are targeting “Blue Shoes” keyword with exact matching, then only searches which include only “Blue Shoes” will trigger your adverts. 

For major search engines, exact matching is defined with square brackets ([  ]), so you enter your targeted keyword between square brackets like [Blue Shoes].

Phrase Matching

Phrase matching triggers all searches that match the selected keyword, or close variations to that keyword, which might include additional words before or after. For example, if you’re targeting “Blue Shoes” keyword with phrase matching, then searches like “Women’s Blue Shoes” or “Blue Shoes with Dots” would trigger your adverts.

For major search engines, phrase matching is defined with quotation marks (“ “), so you enter your targeted keyword between quotation marks like [“ “].

Broad Matching

Broad match is the least limiting keyword matching option. When a selection is selected to be broad matching, it triggers all searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, or other relevant variations. For example, if the targeted keyword is “Blue Shoes” with broad matching, then searches like “Women’s Shoes”, “Blue Sneaker Shoes”, or “Casual Blue Sneakers”.

To set broad matching for your keywords, you don’t need to add any special characters to them; you can enter your keyword, and the platform sets its type to broad matching automatically.

Selecting The Right Keywords for Your Business

When selecting the right keywords for your service or product, you must be mindful of the search engine that you use, because the keywords that are going to be popular on Google might not bring the same results on Amazon or Bing or any other search engine. 

This is why it is recommended to do extensive research for each platform in part and see which keywords fit best. It’s always good to know that the most used platform and the platform that you should probably concentrate on first is Google. Accounting for 75% of all global desktop search traffic, Google is the obvious choice when it comes to marketing using search engines and getting an idea of how you can manage and make the most out of your keywords on Google Ads check out our previous article

But finding the right keywords for your business and for the platform that you are using involves a lot of research. It is recommended that you use a keywords planner (Google keywords planner, Ubersuggest, Wordtracker are just a few out of the many keyword planners on the internet) and start grouping the keywords that you find in categories. After you have your keywords, you can start creating content that will match the keywords that you have found.  

Now, it’s always great to know the basics of keywords and even try your hand at creating keyword lists. But after a few weeks of continually having to research your keywords, it indeed becomes a tedious task which takes up time that could be invested in other things.

However, Adspert has the solution you need. With Adspert’s services, keywords and keywords research can become an amusing hobby that you sometimes indulge in or something that you never have to be bothered with again. How so?

Adspert can automate the whole process for your current or future advertising campaigns to make sure that you can get the best possible results for your website or your service or product with minimal investment. So do not hesitate and check out Adspert’s services now.