SEM (Search Engine Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and PPC (Pay-Per-Click)— the acronyms alone feel like alphabet soup!
But if you think about it, these three tactics form the foundation of any successful online marketing campaign.
And the one key element that ties it all together? Keyword planning.
Keyword planning helps you find the perfect keywords to bring relevant traffic from organic and paid search campaigns.
But what exactly is keyword planning? How do you create a keyword plan for SEO and one for PPC?
In this article, we’ll answer these questions and more as we discuss the importance of keyword planning for setting up successful search engine optimization and paid search campaigns.
Skip To What You Need To Know:
- The Difference Between SEM, SEO, And PPC
- What Are Keywords And Why Are They Important
- What Is a Keyword Plan and What It’s Used For
- Tips On How To Create A Keyword Plan For PPC
- Tips On How To Create A Keyword Plan For SEO
- Keyword Planning Needs Teamwork, Not Just Expertise
The Difference Between SEM, SEO, And PPC
First things first—let’s dive into the fundamentals and explore the essence of SEM, SEO, and PPC. Find out how these strategies ignite website success, amplify rankings, and captivate customers.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) encompasses many marketing strategies that propel websites to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). It combines paid and unpaid methods, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and social media marketing.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enables websites to climb SERPs organically. It involves optimizing content, structure, and code to target relevant keywords and boost rankings strategically.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) fuels online promotion by allowing advertisers to pay for each click on their ads. These ads are usually displayed at the top of SERPs for targeted keywords, ensuring immediate visibility and potential customer engagement.
|SEM||A travel agency that wants to target people searching for flights to Hawaii might create a paid search ad that appears when people search for “flights to Hawaii.” To attract their audience, they will also have to create relevant content with their preferred keyword in mind. It could be a long and comprehensive article or a YouTube vlog.|
|SEO||A local restaurant might use SEO to improve its website’s ranking for relevant keywords, such as “restaurants in Calgary.” They would optimize their website’s content for these keywords. As a result, their website would appear higher in organic search results when someone searches for these terms.|
|PPC||A clothing retailer might use PPC to run a campaign on Google to target people interested in fashion. The clothing retailer would create ads featuring their products and pay Google each time someone clicked on their ad. This would help them reach a wider audience and generate more sales.|
What Are Keywords And Why Are They Important
Keywords are words or phrases people use to search for information online.
There are two main types of keywords:
- Long-tail keywords are more specific and have lower search volume. For example, “best CRM software for small businesses” is a long-tail keyword. Long-tail keywords are often less competitive but can also be more effective because they are more likely to lead to conversions.
- Short-tail keywords are less specific and have higher search volume. For example, “CRM software” is a short-tail keyword. Short-tail keywords are more competitive and challenging to rank because they are more popular.
|Keyword Type||Ranking Difficulty||Search Volume|
|Long-tail keywords||Less competitive||Lower search volume|
|Short-tail keywords||More competitive||Higher search volume|
Whether you should use short-tail or long-tail keywords depends on your SEM goals.
Short-tail keywords are ideal for:
- Driving a broad audience to your website. Since short-tail keywords are so popular, they can drive many users to your website. This can be helpful if you’re trying to increase brand awareness or generate leads. But remember that the users these keywords bring in might not convert into customers. Ensure your website has content that can turn them into loyal customers!
- Competing with large businesses. Short-tail keywords are competitive, so it can be challenging to rank for them if you’re a small business. However, you can still rank for short-tail keywords if you have high-quality content and a strong SEO strategy.
Long-tail keywords are ideal for:
- Attracting targeted traffic to your website. Since long-tail keywords are more specific, they can attract users who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. This can help you achieve higher conversion rates and improved ROI.
- Ranking for keywords that your competitors aren’t targeting. Long-tail keywords are less competitive, so it can be easier to rank for them if you’re a small business. This can help you to get ahead of your competitors.
Always remember that there is no such thing as a perfect mix of keywords. You only need an effective keyword plan to make these phrases work for your marketing goals!
What Is a Keyword Plan and What It’s Used For
Keyword planning selects the most relevant and effective keywords for your business and campaigns.
These keywords should be based on the target audience’s search intent, competition levels, and other factors.
With a solid keyword plan, you’ll be able to create relevant, valuable content that attracts organic traffic and generates leads.
But, what’s a CPC or quality score? Give this table a skim: How Ads Are Measured In The Auction
A keyword plan also helps you track your campaigns and adjust as the market changes. This includes monitoring your target keyword rankings, budgeting, and updating content and ads.
Now, the cherry on top: a keyword plan is crucial for staying ahead of your competitors. By researching, analyzing, and tracking your keywords, you’ll spot new growth opportunities and be ready to dominate the search landscape.
|Keywords In PPC||Keywords In SEO|
Tips On How To Create A Keyword Plan For PPC
When creating a keyword plan for PPC, several steps must be taken to ensure success. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Start with a Seed List
Your seed list should be based on your target market’s behaviour and can be created by researching the words and phrases they use to search for the goods or services you offer. This list will serve as the foundation for your keyword research.
2. Use a Keyword Research Tool
A tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner can help you expand your list by generating related keywords based on your seed list. This will allow you to identify additional search terms your customers use.
3. Filter Your List
Once you have a substantial list of potential keywords, you must filter through them to find the best options. Look for keywords that accurately describe your product or service and are searched by enough people to make them worthwhile.
4. Be Specific
To create an effective PPC plan. It’s essential to use specific keywords that accurately reflect what you offer.
Instead of sticking to broad terms like “online clothing store,” focus on more detailed phrases like “tailored dress shirts online” or “custom suits for men.”
Tips On How To Create A Keyword Plan For SEO
Creating a keyword plan is crucial for improving your website’s visibility on search engines. These snackable tips will help you create a successful keyword plan for SEO, attract more visitors, and optimize your website.
1. Brainstorm a List of Relevant Topics for Your Business
Once you have your topics, use keyword research tools to find specific keywords that are related to each topic.
2. Consider the Intent Behind the Keywords You’re Researching
Think about why people use these keywords – are they looking to buy a product, research a topic, or compare options within a category?
3. Look For Related Keywords Beyond Exact Matches
Don’t just focus on exact matches – consider synonyms and variations that could also drive traffic to your website.
Filtering and Application
1. Use Keyword Research Tools to Filter Your List
Popular tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush can help you narrow your list and combine word groups.
2. Choose Relevant Keywords With Low Competition
Start with specific phrases that could help you rank higher in search engine results.
3. Consider Your Keyword’s Monthly Search Volume
Look for keywords with a high search volume, but remember to focus on relevance.
4. Consider SERP Features Like Images or Videos
Understand which features are associated with your chosen search terms and optimize your website for maximum visibility.
5. Use a Combination of Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords in Your Content
Including both can help you target short-term and long-term wins.
1. Track Your Keyword Phrases and the Performance of the Pages They Appear On
Keep track of your keywords’ performance and which pages they’re associated with.
2. Adjust Your Keyword Strategy to Focus on the Keywords Driving the Most Traffic and Conversions
Use the collected information to improve your overall SEO strategy and focus on the keywords producing results.
Conversion Rate: Percentage of clicks on an ad that results in a desired action, like a sale or sign-up.
Keyword Relevance: The degree to which a keyword matches the content and intent of a webpage.
Keyword Planning Needs Teamwork, Not Just Expertise
When it comes to keyword planning, it’s about more than just choosing the right words. It’s also ensuring everyone on your team is in the loop. You see, a great keyword plan needs marketing, product, and even IT input.
Everyone should know the goals and how the plan fits into the bigger picture.
And don’t forget to have regular catch-ups to chat about the keyword plan and how it’s going. This way, everyone stays updated, and you can make sure the plan stays fresh. Keep an eye on the results, too, so you know it’s working and getting you closer to your goals.
At Beanstalk Growth Marketing, we’re all about teamwork— especially when it comes to keyword planning. Our strategists, writers, and tech whizzes join forces to craft a keyword plan to help you shine online. Let’s chat about how we can help you create and roll out the ultimate keyword strategy.