How to Research Keywords for PPC Campaigns

woman researches keywords on laptop

For Utah-based businesses working on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, keywords and phrases can make a big difference. Since you pay fees for your PPC campaigns based on the number of clicks, the more success you have the less you pay.

So, how do you build your digital marketing campaign to cultivate a strong PPC strategy? You can pick words that you believe are associated with your business, but without research, there’s no guarantee your PPC ads will reach the audience you want.

Keyword Requirements

To get your PPC ads to show up at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs) or in the social media feeds of your target demographic, you need to do some legwork first.

Support Your Keywords on Your Site

Keywords should match not just your audience but should relate to the content on your existing landing pages. Your existing content should support your ads; if you’re not already trying to rank for a keyword or phrase, doing so in an ad you’re paying for is probably not the best practice.


What is your conversion goal with your PPC? How many clicks do you want to achieve in a certain amount of time? If you’re leading for new leads, your keywords may be different than if you’re further down the conversion funnel.


You can use Google’s free Keyword Planner, or a paid tool to research and choose keywords. One of the following might work for you, depending on budget and experience:

  • Ahrefs
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • Moz
  • Spyfu
  • SemRush

When you partner with GRavitate One for digital marketing, we implement keyword tools to help customize your campaign to meet your goals. The beauty of a keyword finder is that it helps you go from good, to better, to best. You’ll be able to see the monthly search volume of keywords you’re entertaining, as well as the cost per click of each.

  • Monthly Volume: how frequently a keyword is searched. The higher this volume, the more competition you’ll have for the keyword.
  • Cost Per Click: How much you’ll pay when someone clicks on your ad with a specific keyword. 

Finding the balance between volume and CPC means you’ll not only have a successful PPC ad but an affordable one too.


When you’re creating PPC ads, whether on Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc… the platform will allow you to look at analytics regarding your audience. The goal is to show your ad to people who have a history of searching specific keywords or phrases related to your business. The platform will then show your ads to the demographic you specify. Ideally, there will be an overlap between who you are targeting, and who is already searching for the keywords you’ve chosen.

For Example:

Let’s say you’re a flavored soda business in Utah. You want to create PPC ads to increase patronage at a newer location you’ve opened up.

When you look at who’s searching for and frequenting soda shops in Utah, it’s primarily women. Let’s say the age range is from teens to 30-somethings. With that knowledge, you should probably target your ads to women 14+, with a cap that makes sense based on your date (maybe 35, maybe 40 years of age). If instead, you aim your ad at 60-somethings, but there’s no data showing 60-somethings are current soda shop customers, you’re wasting your efforts.


You can target ads to use your exact keywords and phrases only, or cast a wider net with your PPC campaign. Did you know you can tweak keyword match settings so similar words are included? 

  • Exact Match: Only when someone uses the exact keywords/phrase you’ve chosen in the same order will turn a result.
  • Phrase Match: Phrases similar to the keywords/phrase you’ve chosen will turn a result.
  • Broad Match: Your exact keywords will be matched, as well as phrases that relate to it.

For Example:

You’re creating a PPC for your soda shop. You want to use the exact keywords “soda shop,” but also allow similar, related phrases to pull up your ad in search results. This may mean when someone searches for “malt shop,” “flavored sodas,” or “drink shop,” your ad turns up as a result.

There’s a lot at work when it comes to researching keywords for your business. As your local, Utah marketing firm, Gravitate can help take some of the guessing out of the equation. Let us know if we can help you define your marketing goals and research keywords for your next PPC campaign.