12 February 2013

Google AdWords: How to Build a Killer Keyword Research Strategy

Keywords are the first ingredient of our Google AdWords and SEO recipe. The relevancy of our ads and keywords is one of the most important pillars of Quality Score. As a great dish requires the best ingredients, a great ad requires the best keywords. In this post we will talk about how to do Keyword Research! Let's dig in!

Photo: Francesco Garofano.

1) Teamwork

The first step for a great keyword research is to do some teamwork: ask your colleagues to fill out a list of at least 15 keywords regarding the features of your products/services that will be advertised, so you will score 2 goals:
  1. You will know the point of view of your firm regarding the strengths and the most important characteristics of your products: that will be a great resource during the ads creation process, because you will know where to put the emphasis in your ad text and description.
  2. You will obtain a list of synonyms, misspellings, word variations and so on: that will be a great starting point for your next step in the keyword research! 

2) The Tools

Free Tools 

Paid Tools

Competitor Keyword Research

3) Know your audience

The best tool by far to find the right words is our capacity to know our audience!

What are the words used by our customers to define our products/services and our niche? 

The answer is: 

A) Google Analytics (Mobile stats);
B) Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools: SEO;
C) Monitoring Web, Blogs and Social Media Platforms.

A) Google Analytics (Mobile stats)
There is no doubt mobile phones represent the next frontier for PPC Marketing. We have to extend our Keyword Research into Mobile field using some tools like Google Analytics (see image below). 

Google Analytics: Mobile Keywords.
Google Analytics: Mobile Keywords.

In Google Analytics - Audience - Mobile - Devices we can understand mobile traffic to our website. Choosing "Keyword" as "Secondary dimension" (see image above) we will be able to see all keywords, both paid and unpaid, used by visitors to reach our website. Bingo!

Update April 2014: Security enhancements for search users (Google Ads Developer Blog). 

B) Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools: SEO
Choosing Google Analytics - Acquisition - Search Engine Optimization - Queries (see image below), we will be able to unearth other treasure chest full of doubloons:

Google Analytics: SEO Queries.
Google Analytics: SEO Queries.

Now we can view all the queries our users typed to reach our website.

We can find similar content using Google Webmaster Tools (see image below):

Google Webmaster Tools: Search Queries.
Google Webmaster Tools: Search Queries.

C) Monitoring Web, Blogs and Social Media Platforms

Reading tons and tons of online content (from blogs to tweets) related with our business is other effective way to discover interesting keywords: we could use a RSS Reader (i.e.: NetVibes) and Google Alerts in order to stay always up to date with the most relevant online contents (and keywords) that better describe our niche and customers.

Tip: Ice Rocket is a great blog search engine. Use it to identify the best blogs regarding your business.

Other great source of information is Social Media. Availing of some useful tools we can track and monitor users' conversations (our customers and potential ones) regarding topics related with our products/services.

In the following paragraphs some Twitter monitoring tools to identify useful keywords related with our business:

A) Tweetreach: once you enter your search query, you will be able to identify the top contributors and analyze the tweets in order to discover relevant keywords (see image below).


B) TweetDeck: add the "Search" column to visualize all tweets regarding specific search queries (see image below). You can obtain similar results using Twitter Search.

TweetDeck: how to add Search column.
TweetDeck: how to add Search column.

C) Monitter: put your keyword or hashtag in the "tweets containing" cell and monitor what users say.

Monitter: how to monitor tweets and hashtags.
Monitter: how to monitor tweets and hashtags.

Monitoring Twitter is a great way to find hot keywords, and thanks to the brevity of the message (140 characters) we could also receive some useful ideas for our Google AdWords ads!

Tip: if you want to know more Twitter tools please read "Give a boost to your tweets: 35 Free Twitter Tools!"

4) Organize and Manage

Once we have improved our keyword list, we can use Excel to organize and refine it, removing duplicated keywords and the poor relevant ones.

A special Excel Sheet will be designated to negative keywords.

The following blog posts will help you to manage your keywords with Excel:

5) Google AdWords, SEO and Google AdSense

An efficient Keyword Research is an excellent resource not only for our PPC Marketing, but also for creating great content for our online platforms, as well as for Google AdSense
Thanks to Google AdSense Section Targeting we can emphasize significant sections of our site's relevant content in order to suggest Google AdSense what kind of keywords work better for the ads in our site (see image below).

Google AdSense Section Targeting: Tags.

Using the above tags we will suggest Google what kind of keywords are more relevant in our site, so our AdSense Ads will be more orientated and our benefits will be improved!


Keyword Research for PPC Marketing is a task that includes several branches of Digital Marketing (from Web Analytics to Social Media). It is an ongoing process whose objective is to discover the best terms that drive relevant traffic to our website. Our aim is not to find a list of words, but the right words for our business. There are several tools for Keyword Research, but our best weapon is to know our customers and to find out what keywords and terms they are using to define our products/services.
Once we have a great keyword list, we can use it for generating successful PPC Campaigns, relevant content for our web/blog/social media platforms and useful suggestions for Google AdSense.

Now it is your turn: Do you know other useful tools? Share with us your experience regarding Keyword Strategy!


  1. cool
    website buddy I am gona suggest
    this to all my list of contacts.
    keyword research tool

  2. These tips are very practical. Keyword are very important that's why I really choose the best keyword Research tool to use.


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