keyword research

How To Master Keyword Research for Your Clients

The time has come that you need to perform real keyword research for a client. You’ve attracted your first AdWords customer and while you’re celebrating the genesis of this exciting new pillar of your web business, you have some work ahead of you. The previous blog in this series explained how to begin offering AdWords to your clients. Now that you have a real client signed up, what’s next? You need to find those valuable keywords that are going to power your campaigns. So how do you perform keyword research for your client?

There are many methods to keyword research for customers. To figure out which is best, you must gain insight into their pain points, questions, and business goals. How do you accomplish this for a client when you’re an outsider? We’ve found these steps to keyword research work great to get you started.

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Brainstorming Keyword Ideas

This is one of our favorite parts of AdWords; putting those creative thoughts to work! If possible, host a face to face meeting with your client. Even better, host this meeting at their place of business. Ask to eavesdrop on a few interactions of real customers. Simply write down all you can about your client and more importantly, their ideal customer. Listen to conversations and the questions being asked. How did these recent customers find out about them? What did they ask for and why did they visit or call the business? These interactions open up creative keyword ideas and phrases.

When you speak to your client, ask these questions:


What are your goals? (i.e. Is it to sell more product or increase traffic to your website?)

You should only have one major goal per campaign. These objectives will shape the purpose of your keywords. While it’s always important to consider the search intent of your prospects, don’t forget to prioritize your client and his/her wishes. Conversions or sales or brand awareness all demand different AdWords strategies! Find the purpose of the campaign, first.


What is your top service/product or which one yields the best margins?

It’s better to focus on one idea at a time than trying to sell your client’s business as a whole. If the business owner doesn’t know what they want to focus on, resort to Google. Be sure that Google Analytics, GA, is installed properly to the website and connected to AdWords and see what pages are the most popular organically. This will typically lead to the most desirable offering. Focus on this offering for your first campaign, then expand later.


How do your customers describe this top product/service or you?

By listening to customer interactions, you can get a better sense of what exactly customers need. They might not know a specific model number or service name, but they can describe what they’re looking for. How can you explain this product without industry jargon? How would a customer describe this to a friend? These ideas often make great keywords!

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Using Google’s Keyword Planner

After you have a solid list of options from your keyword research, it’s time to fact check. Using Google’s Keyword Planner, or GKP is invaluable in the AdWords game. It will help you pick the most valuable keywords for your client’s goals. GKP gives value to keywords in both search volume and costs. You can use GKP to help discover new, better keyword ideas or use it to plan budgets and forecasting. Let’s start small as you learn how to use GKP. There are three things you should gather for each keyword: volume, competition, and cost.

Log into GKP and select >> Find New Keywords and Get Search Volume Data. Type in your keyword idea and let the magic happen. You’ll notice broad keywords have exponentially more volume than long-tail keywords. (There are four types of keywords if you want to dive in deeper.) Even though these short searches seem like the most popular, stick with long-tail options since you can determine the intent of the searcher. Don’t waste your time advertising to people searching for “flowers” when you should focus on those searching for “same day flower delivery.” These longer tail keywords are also cheaper since there is less competition!

Another Google tool to utilize is Google Instant. That’s when you begin typing in the search bar and it suggests the rest of search for you. Use this to simply and quickly see what other people are looking for.

Once you’ve gathered these three data points to each keyword, start ordering them. Pretty soon, you should have a solid list of keyword contenders for your report.


Presenting the Keyword Research to Your Client

The next step is choosing the keywords to try. Depending on how involved and knowledgeable of AdWords your client is, your report can be rather simple. For the average client, you should be able to include just:



List the keyword as well as obvious variations of the keyword so your client is clear how many searches one bid can cover. At Teacup, we prefer single keyword ad groups or SKAGs to cover this spread.


Search Volume

You want to show the demand of the keyword so your client (and you!) are confident that people in your targeted area are searching this term.



It’s important to show the average CPC of this keyword to set the expectations and assign a true value to this search term.


Together, choose your favorite keyword options and internalize how you’ll organize them in AdWords by campaign and ad set.

Social may be sexy, but search still pays the bills. — Tom Pick

Give the Keyword a Home

There is one more step before launching your favorite keywords on AdWords. You need to ensure that there is a quality destination for your campaigns. Landing pages bridge the gap between marketing and sales. It’s important to deliver the information that the prospect expects quickly based on the keyword. Does the client have a current page of their website that will yield a good Quality Score? Do you need to create a new, customized landing page to better compliment this keyword? Landing pages are vital, but you still need to dedicate time to creating them. These decisions might prioritize certain keywords and make you wait on others.


Putting It All Together

At the end of the day, AdWords is “search” marketing. It is based on the idea that people are searching for solutions to problems. As soon as you can determine what these real problems are, you will better be able to craft creative keywords and phrases that target your ideal prospect. Keyword research is a never-ending duty that comes with PPC marketing. AdWords is a long-term marketing strategy so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few weeks (or months) to nail down the perfect keywords. If you need help, there are always platforms like Teacup to help!

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