Who is this article for?
- Business owners
- Marketing Managers
- Anyone planning a PPC campaign for their business
- What you think are the right keywords to target may not be the keywords your customers are actually using
- Keywords used will often indicate where a person is on their buying journey
- You will throw away budget if you get your keywords wrong
One of the simplest and most obvious ways to start identifying potential keywords for your PPC campaigns is to think about the products or services you offer and what terms you might type into Google to find them. This is a sensible way to “prime the pump” on your keyword research, but caution is needed. Why?
Don't want to read this? Watch our one-minute video version instead:
What are your customers actually searching for?
Do you remember that thing with the dress? Back in 2015, the picture below went viral as the denizens of the internet argued over whether the colour of the garment was blue and black or white and gold.
The dress was actually blue and black, but that didn’t stop millions of people perceiving it as white and gold. In fact, many find if they stare at the picture for long enough their perception of the colour can change.
The point is this: as humans, we all have different viewpoints, experience and perceptions. In many walks of life, if we rely solely only our own opinions, that can lead to problems or missed opportunities. The same is true if we rely only on our own opinion when deciding on keywords and phrases. Let’s use an example:
Imagine your business installs, services and repairs central heating systems. You might refer to yourself as a "Heating Engineer". Fair enough. There is a chance some potential customers would search for that.
However, if someone had a problem with their central heating system, they might search for “plumber”, “boiler repair”, or even “my central heating has stopped working”. Which is right? Well, it’s like our dress. Depending on your perception, they all are. And the ones which are likely to drive the most enquiries may not be the ones you think, so if you exclude them, you could be missing out or putting your spend in the wrong places.
Keywords indicate the intent of your visitors
In our example above, not everyone may be looking for a heating engineer because of an emergency.
They might be looking for someone to simply service their boiler, or they may be considering a whole new system. The keywords or phrases they use in this situation will be different from the more urgent situation where it’s freezing cold and they can’t warm up the house. Recognising this is something we call “understanding intent”.
Intent helps us to understand where someone is in the buying decision and what they are looking for, allowing us to adjust the messages and information we show them based on this and where they are in the buyer’s journey. More on this later.
If you don’t factor intent into your keyword planning, then you will miss out on opportunities and enquiries, simply because you may be showing the right message at the wrong time.