Getting started with your PPC keyword strategy

October 11, 2018

When building the perfect keyword strategy as part of your digital marketing mix, there are a few things to keep in mind so you do not flutter away your precious marketing budget. It is all about investing wisely and efficiently. And there are a few well known tricks to help you get there. Let's get started. 


Keyword categories


Before building your keyword strategy, it is important to take a step back and look at your business and marketing objectives. Are you looking to generate website traffic because you are an informational site and generate revenue through advertising? Are you looking to increase your sales, as you have an eCommerce store? Whatever your objective, there is a keyword strategy for you. 


According to 3Bug Media there are three groups of keywords, (i) Navigational; (ii) Informational; and (iii) Transactional.


We particularly like this approach as it strips out a load of costly and inefficient terms and allows you to focus your time and money on people that have the highest purchasing intent.




Navigational keywords are closely aligned with gaining ‘direct traffic’ from repeat customers or referrals. A person may type ‘Facebook’ into the Google search engine because they want to find the social networking site. They might type in ‘Barclays’ because they want to navigate to their online banking, and so on…


Basically, people are so used to using search engines to find what they are looking for, that they bypass URL searches and type a website or company name straight into the search engine.


You don’t want to bid on these single terms! Take ‘marketing’ as an example. You don’t know what a person is looking for by typing in this term. Are they looking for an agency? Or are they looking for training and self-improvement?


Take away = avoid (unless you are a huge company bidding on your own brand terms)! 




This is the ‘how, what, why, when, who’ type searches, e.g. ‘how to compete in a marathon’ or ‘how much is X?’.


People searching for these types of terms are usually at the very beginning of their consumer journey. They are just finding out about a product or service and are not necessarily close enough to the 'path to purchase'.


Spend less on these terms, or do not invest at all. It is better to save your budget for those who have greater purchasing intent.


A good tip is to add the terms ‘how, what, why, when, who’ to your negative keyword list.


Takeaway = Good for content driven sites, bad for conversion/lead generation (e.g. online store sales).




Transactional keywords are terms used by consumers with high purchasing intent.


According to Wordstream, those with high purchasing intent are 2X more likely to click on a PPC advert than an organic listing.


Transactional terms are very specific terms. The consumer knows what they want, e.g. ‘black adidas trainers for running’; ‘digital marketing agency in Manchester for start ups’ or ‘vegan cafés to visit in Shoreditch’.


Take away = these are the terms you want to use in your advertising campaigns! The more specific the better. 


Negative Keywords


Google Adwords allows you to add negative keywords into your campaign. This allows you to weed out inappropriate or irrelevant terms to ensure those coming to your site are qualified and are looking for your product or service explicitly.


Here are three top tips to help build an effective negative keyword strategy:


1. Use a generic negative key word list 


We love the Tech Wyse negative keyword list. Tech Wyse has pretty much nailed it when it comes to weeding out the keywords that nobody wants! Just copy this list into your negative keyword section on AdWords - simples!


Often bombarded with career emails or training requests when that isn’t what you offer? You need this list in your life.


Moving on…


2. Add ‘how’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’ and ‘who’


Yup! It is that straight-forward! This method weeds out ‘informational’ keyword searches that we mentioned earlier.


3. Check out your active campaign results


Go to the ‘search terms’ dropdown on your active keyword campaign and scroll through the top words and phrases typed by consumers that drove them to click on your ad. If you see anything that does not accurately represent the business e.g. ‘sweet shops in Cardiff’ when you are based in London, you can add ‘Cardiff’ to your negative keyword list so Google no longer associates your business with ‘Cardiff’. 


Keyword match types

1. Broad Match


Example: walking shoes

Matched search queries example: mountain walking boots; walking abroad; walking around town


Broad Match terms are not recommended for targeted campaigns looking to gain more than just website visitation. If you are optimising your campaign for conversion, you need to be more granular in your approach.


An example of a Broad Match term is ‘walking shoes’ with no punctuation. The word ‘walking’ or the word ‘shoes’ can be used in any context with any other words, no matter the relevance. 


Take away = avoid! (unless you are a large corporation competing for share of voice in a particular market e.g. insurance). 


2. Modified Broad Match


Example: +walking +shoes

Matched search queries example: walking shoes for outdoors; mountain walking shoes


Modified Broad Match terms are highly recommended. All you have to do is place a plus (+) sign before the words you want to use and then ALL words have to be part of a searched phrase rather than just one or the other (broad match).


The words may not necessarily be in the order you are looking for, but all words will be there which allows for a plethora of potentially relevant phrase matches.


3. Phrase Match


Example: “walking shoes”

Matched search queries example: walking shoes for hiking; outdoor walking shoes; green walking shoes.


Phrase Match keywords appear in speech marks (“”) and ensure that searched phrases have the exact word order and composition of the phrase match keywords. It is a great way to target consumers in a cost efficient way. These consumers are looking for exactly what you are offering. It is also a great way to pay for lengthier phrases in a competitive market.


4. Exact Match


Example: [walking shoes]

Matched search queries example: walking shoes; walking shoe; walkings shoe


Exact Match keywords are another great way to bid on consumers that have high purchasing intent. Digital marketing is all about getting in-bound traffic to your door, and using exact match keywords, alongside phrase match and modified broad match, is the winning combination to achieve just that.


Need help building and implementing your PPC strategy? Envie Digital Marketing have got you covered. Email us at or call us on +447725844846 to get started. 



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Getting started with your PPC keyword strategy

October 11, 2018

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