How to Identify the Most Profitable Google AdWords Keywords
You probably already know that identifying profitable keywords is one of the most important steps in creating a successful Google AdWords campaign. When you actually start trying to think of keywords, though, you might feel overwhelmed.
For example, you might sell Android phones. How many different two- or three-word phrases can you think of to describe your phones? Should you focus on different brands, specific models, or features? Does the word “Android” need to appear in every keyword phrase?
To answer these questions about your specific product or service, you need to understand what shoppers are searching for. Here are five ways to identify the most profitable Google AdWords keywords.
1. Think Like a Buyer
Online shoppers can be loosely divided into three groups, or three separate points in the shopping cycle.
Browsers are looking for general information. They are just setting out on their buying journey, or might even be doing research for a non-purchasing reason such as a school paper. It is nearly impossible to figure out their motivations for a particular search. You can identify browsers by their very general one- or two-word searches, such as “Android phones.”
Shoppers are interested in making a purchase at some point, but not yet. They are researching different products, comparing features and prices, and reading reviews. They tend to make their searches a little more specific, such as “Samsung Galaxy phones,” often with a word such as “features” or “reviews” appended.
Buyers are ready to make an imminent purchase. They have committed to a particular product or service, but they want to get the best deal. Their searches tend to be highly specific, such as “Samsung Galaxy S6 price” or “buy Samsung Galaxy S6.” When they find the item they want at the right price, they will complete the transaction.
To give your campaign the best chance for success, it is best to focus on the buyers. They are the easiest to convert into sales, giving you the most bang for your advertising bucks.
If you are unsure exactly what keyword phrases your buyers might choose, step back and pretend you are in the market for your specific product or service. How would you find it online? What words and phrases would you use when you are ready to buy?
2. Perform Customer Surveys
One of the best ways to figure out how to reach new buyers is to talk to those who have already bought. Send out an email survey or call your most recent purchasers. Find out how those customers reached your website. Ask them to try to recall the specific keywords they used, as well as the general keywords they tend to use in similar searches. You will likely pick up a few new ideas, even if your customers do not have perfect memories of how they found you.
3. Poll Your Staff
Assuming you have a well-trained staff, your employees can be a valuable source of keyword information. They are intimately familiar with your product or service, but have the benefit of being one step removed. If the item is “your baby,” it can be tough to step outside of your own deep knowledge and view it as an outsider might. Ask your staff how they would search for the product or service in question. Family and friends can also provide suggestions, especially if they have a reasonably good understanding of what you sell.
4. Scope Out Your Competitors
Make a list of your biggest competitors and spend some time poking around their websites. Every seller has his or her own unique approach, and you might discover some phrases or expressions that you had not yet thought about. Be careful not to steal anything trademarked or copyrighted, but general ideas and search terms are fair game.
5. Use Keyword Tools
Google’s free Keyword Planner is a tremendous resource. Simply input keyword phrases that you are considering, and Google will suggest a long list of similar keyword phrases, along with their average monthly search volumes and associated AdWords costs.
To dig even deeper, why not take a look at what is working and not working for your competitors? SpyFu is a particularly useful tool that lets you view AdWords keywords, ad variations, and landing pages that a chosen competitor has used in the past. This gives you a good idea of what works and what does not, and helps you decide which keyword phrases are worth your investment.
When trying to find the most profitable AdWords keywords, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Following these five tips helps you narrow your focus and decide where to begin, and then your own testing and tracking will show you what changes you need to make.
Want more AdWords tips? I created a simple checklist that walks you through specific actions you can take to get cheaper clicks and convert more clicks into leads and customers. Click here to get my Google AdWords Checklist
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.