When you embark on your first PPC journey, you need to keep a small number of keywords at first. Keyword lists that are thousands of words long should be left to the more experienced PPC marketer. Ideally, a beginner should use around 100 targeted keywords, anything more will probably prove too cumbersome for you to manipulate. If you can’t harness the power of large keyword campaigns, they will suck your bank accounts dry. There are some very simple free techniques that you can use to find targeted keys words with low competition. One process of finding low competition niche keywords utilizes Google and excel. More specifically you want to use Google’s keyword tool, just type this into Google, and it will appear in the search results.
Upon landing on the main Google keyword tool page, you will find a white box(field) where you want to enter your particular keyword(s). Enter one keyword for now to get an idea of how this works, and press enter. After pressing enter, you will be directed to a page of keywords that will be closely related to the keyword that you entered. For the purposes of what we want to do, you will need to scroll to the middle of the page where the text Add all 150 is highlighted in blue bold text. Below these words you will see the words download all keywords with text,.csv(for excel) and .csv. You want to click on .csv(for excel). By doing this, you will export this data into an excel spreadsheet. The data, which only appears as green bars on the main Google page, will be transformed into numeric data that has much more value for you.
Once the data is in the excel spread sheet, you can begin some simple analysis on it that will benefit your PPC campaign a great deal. In the excel spreadsheet, there are going to be columns of data, A-D. The columns are going to be, from A-D, Keywords, Advertiser competition, the previous month’s search volume, and the average search volume.The two columns we are interested in are the advertiser competition and the Average search volume. What we want to do is merge the data from these two columns to give us a number that we can work with. So what we need to do is take a generalized average of these two to get a number which we will compare to a predetermined benchmark. Sounds a little odd, let me explain a bit more completely, and hopefully you will understand. All of these numbers are in decimals on a scale ranging from .00 to 1. The higher the number, the more competition there is(as expressed by the advertiser competition numbers) and the higher the search volume(as expressed by the average search volume). Ideally, we want low competition with a decent search volume to target lower cost high converting keywords. So, to find these keywords we use a general benchmark number that will determine their competition and volume level. If the keywords exceed the benchmark, we leave them be, if they hit right around the benchmark, or fall below it, we want to capture them and include them in our PPC campaign.
To get our figures, which we are going to compare to a predetermined benchmark, we are going to take an average of the advertiser competition column and the average search volume column. We want to do this for all the keywords that have been exported to the excel file. And the way we do this is by typing in a simple command in excel and copying the command down throughout the related boxes. So to start, we find box E2 which should be blank, this is the first box to the right of the first value in the avg. search volume box. So, within this blank box you want to type=average(D2,B2). This will automatically give you an average of those two numbers in this E column row when you close that last ).Now, to get all the averages for every keyword you simply want to click on that box(E2) and pull down on the box while you hold in right click. The boxes should fill in with color when you drag down to the last box(nothing will be in them yet). Then, when you have filled in the boxes with color up to the last box you want to lift your finger off the right click. When you do this all the averages will appear in the boxes. You basically just copied the function down through the boxes. So now we have all these averages. What do we do with them, what do they tell us?
Well, a good benchmark average is around .50. This will give us a reasonable competition level with good search volume. So we compare these averages to anything that falls around .50 and below. Anything that goes above .60 we want to avoid to start out with, because it will probably be too expensive to bid on. So now compare all the averages in column E to the predetermined benchmark of .50. Whatever falls below .50 or, .55(to possibly get some more data) we want to keep. Take all the keywords that meet this criteria and copy them into a notepad .txt file. (There are faster ways to do this but they take some learning of excel functions that you may not know yet.)
So now we want to take these keywords that fell below or right around the benchmark and plug these back into the Google keyword tool and hit enter. Now go back through the entire process that we just did to get the keywords we just plugged into the Google keyword tool. You are going to want to take the average again of the two columns mentioned above, then get all the averages of all the keywords by draggin the first box down, and then compare again to a benchmark of .50 or .55. But now, because we found some more targeted keywords to work with(as a result of the first exporting of data to excel, and taking the averages to compare against the benchmark) we should have more keywords that hit right around the benchmark and below it. This is because we are working with more targeted and hopefully lower competition keywords. We are finding yet more targeted keywords related to the first set we found. This should produce a larger list of keywords that meet our benchmark. So now we can take the words that meet the benchmark here, and we can use these in our targeted PPC campaign. You will want to sort through this list of course, and make sure the keywords are well suited for the particular items that you are selling. This method will get you headed in the right direction for your PPC campaign.