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Choosing Keywords for PPC: Quality vs. Quantity.3 min read

3 min read

Croud’s PPC Account Manager, Vikki Peirson, takes a look at the key things to remember when deciding on the keywords to use within your PPC account. 

With all the fancy account optimisation and interpreting of analytics information that search marketers can carry out these days, it is quite easy to forget just how important finding the right keywords in the first place can be. Keywords are the fundamental building blocks needed for a strong PPC campaign and keyword management is crucial in order to create a successful pay-per-click campaign.

Keywords are words or phrases that describe a product or service; advertisers choose these keywords in order to help determine when and where ads will appear. The key to selecting keywords is identifying those that are both important to your target audience and also represent the product or service that you are offering.


Deciding on which keywords to use is a key stage in launching a new account, campaign or ad group, there are lots of tools out there to help you start and build keyword lists such as Google’s Keyword Tool and Keyword Planner. Another way is to work with an agency. At Croud we liaise extensively with our clients, to understand their business and the objectives of the search campaign to ensure that the correct keyword list is sourced. This coupled with our vast experience in managing accounts and selecting strong keyword lists means that a successful account can be created quickly and efficiently.

There is much speculation about how many keywords are needed within a PPC account.  A search marketer will argue that a keyword list does not need to be huge but… it needs to be relevant, whereas a client may argue that every keyword available should be used as it “may” convert, one day. Often we see accounts that contain thousands sometimes even millions of keywords yet only a handful of these keywords regularly receive impressions. There is no correct amount of keywords needed; this depends on many things such as the website, product or service, target audience and the account structure.  Common sense should prevail and the objective of the account should always be referred to, but as long as the correct mix of keywords is used the conversions on a smaller, quality list of keywords can be greater than that on a huge list of keywords.

croudie thinkingThe key factor in selecting a keyword list is relevancy.  The keyword should be relevant to the product or services offered and each keyword that is added to an account should be selected on the likelihood that it will convert, not on it ‘may, one day.’  By having relevant keywords you put yourself in a much stronger position to convert customers to sales and also to receive a high click through rate which in turn will improve your quality score. A keyword with a higher quality score will have a stronger ad rank which in turn will drive down your cost-per-click. 

Another important factor to consider is the mix of keywords. There are a number of different types of keywords that can be used such as brand, product related, generics, misspellings and negative keywords. It is important to have the right mix; this will depend on the client and their objectives, competition and the industry. Brand terms will tend to be cheaper as competition is lower and CTR tends to be higher, generics and product related may be more expensive depending on competition and relevancy to your landing page and product. Again relevancy is key!

So the important thing to remember here is that it is quality and not quantity that matters – rather than having masses of keywords just ensure that those you do have are relevant.

If you would like help with your PPC campaigns and would like to see what Croud can do, get in touch here