Crucial keyword competition tips for your PPC campaigns

Paying for advertising is always a risk; you can never quite be certain that the revenue you generate from people buying from your company after clicking on its ads will fully make up for the amount of expenditure you pour into those ads in the first place.

Therefore, the trick isn’t to entirely wipe out the element of risk, but instead simply to reduce it where practically possible – and your choices of keywords for PPC campaigns can be crucial here.

Why do you need to think about keywords, anyway?

You might be convinced that the world of online marketing moved on from keywords a while ago, but this certainly isn’t true when it comes to PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. That’s because PPC relies on keywords for ensuring that the ads are reaching people especially inclined to click on them.

Consider insightful statistics from, which reveals that the average person sees over 1,700 banner ads monthly. Therefore, you’ve got a lot of competition out there; it’s little surprise that the average click-through rate (CTR) for a banner ad is just 2%. 

However, the CTR rises to 7.94% for ads placed at the top of a search results page. A PPC campaign can place your ad there for people looking for something your business offers – but, to secure this placement, consider what search terms these people may use when Googling that “something”. 

Ask yourself what your target customers might type

If you are considering setting up a PPC campaign through Google Ads, Google’s support site provides basic tips for assembling a keyword list. Firstly, ask yourself what phrases your target customers could decide to type into that Google search box – these phrases might not be overly technical…

For example, what a footwear retailer calls “men’s athletic footwear”, a customer might just call “men’s sports shoes”, “men’s sneakers” or “men’s tennis shoes”. However, along with such phrases, you should still add more specific terms, like your brand and product names, as keywords. 

This is because it would make it easier for you to catch the attention of people looking for a specific product – and those people could be especially likely to click on the ad that appears. Someone looking for an especially high-end productivity-oriented tablet computer, for example, might opt to use a search term like “Microsoft Surface Pro” rather than, say, “Windows tablet”.

Abandon keywords of below-par performance

Once you have inserted carefully-selected keywords into your ad copy, you can see which keywords are better than others for spurring clicks – which, we emphasize, you would have to pay for in any case. Hence, keywords attracting clicks but not conversions could be needlessly costing you money.

You need to know metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions and cost-per-conversion (CPC)  – and digital marketing services can help you to effectively collate this data. Keywords which generate impressions but not clicks probably aren’t sufficiently resonant – in which case, replace them with more targeted keywords more specifically relevant to the original search query.