What Does It Take to Build a Great PPC Keyword List?

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(photo by lisa2oo6)

Since Henry discussed search engine marketing earlier this week, I thought I would continue looking at this topic by talking about what it takes to build a great PPC keyword list.  When it comes to PPC marketing, your keyword list is one of those elements that can make or break the success of your campaign.  If you don’t take the time to put together a great keyword list, it is a little unrealistic to think that you are going to have a successful PPC campaign.

Luckily for you, there are a lot of resources that you can use to build a keyword list that gets results.  To give you a head start over a lot of your competitors, let’s look at three of those resources right now:

Brochures, Pamphlets, Product Descriptions and More: Like the Headsmacking series of posts on SEOmoz, this is one of those tips that’s going to make you think “Duh, why didn’t I think of that before?”  When you are putting together a list of keywords for your PPC campaign, don’t forget about all of the resources that are most likely laying around your desk and office.  Whether it’s a brochure, pamphlet, product description or other promotional material, you and your company have obviously put a lot of work into the printed materials that you distribute to promote your product or service.  Therefore, read over your printed materials, circle the keywords that you see, and you will have an effective way to kick start your list.

Your Competitors: Whether you use a tool like SpyFu or do it manually, your competitors who are savvy enough to have invested effort and resources into search engine marketing can be a great source of information for you.  Although you can’t expect to succeed by simply copying exactly what your competitors are doing, it can be really beneficial to use them for competitive intelligence.

In addition to reviewing their existing PPC campaigns, I would also take some time to look over their website and see what additional keywords they are targeting.  This can also be useful when it comes to competitors who do have a website but have not setup any kind of PPC campaigns.

Your Customers: Since the entire point of a PPC campaign is to reach new customers, it only makes sense that you would use your existing customers as a source of information.  There are actually several ways to do this.  Although most people know that they can look at their analytics programs and do keyword research to see what keywords people are using, your customers are also supplying you with a lot of additional information.

Whether it’s an email inquiry or a discussion over the phone, pay attention to what people are asking about your product or service, and how they are asking about it.  I guarantee that if you take the time to do this, you are going to come across some golden keywords that few to none of your competitors are actively targeting!

If you have any additional resources that can help someone compile a great PPC keyword list, be sure to share them with us in the comments below!

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