How to Use PPC to Locate Organic SEO Keywords

Your organic traffic has flatlined. You need fresh, proven organic keywords.

But how do you find out what those words are? And how do you prove that those words really work?

You test them in real traffic by using PPC to locate SEO keywords.

PPC or pay per click is a relatively inexpensive method of advertising that allows you to place ads in front of users interested in products similar to yours. Pay per click refers to the fact that you are not charged unless a user clicks onto your ad.

AdWords, Google’s pay per click advertising option, allows a user to bid on particular terms that they wish their website to appear for in relevant search results.

PPC Search Results - Use PPC to Locate SEO Keywords - Astekblog

For example, if I have a website for my bicycle repair shop in Chicago, I would like to appear for “bicycle repair Chicago.” I would:

  • Open a Google AdWords account
  • Enter my information
  • Build a campaign
  • Select that term as well as related terms and variations of that term
  • Select bids for those terms so they appear prominently (in the top 3 results)
  • Wait to see how much traffic I receive

Simple enough, yes? Well, paid advertising can be expensive, and your true goal should be to get as much organic traffic as possible. The reason for that is that Google will reward you with a higher rank in search results and a higher frequency of appearances in searches when you make your site your site content AS RELEVANT AS POSSIBLE.  


Build traffic and increase relevancy by using PPC to test search terms.

Here are the steps.


AdWords Account - Use PPC to Locate SEO Keywords - Astekblog


1) Open a Google AdWords account

This is as simple as creating a Gmail account, going to AdWords site and creating a simple campaign. Details and instructions are included on the site.

The system is designed to get you up and running very quickly. It also features several free tools that can help you track your performance. Tools like campaign scheduling, keyword match options, negative keywords and other tools allow you to to get the most from your effort.

The real value is in the transparency, as you are able to see the actual terms that users entered to arrive at your site. This provides much insight into searcher intent, the thought processes that drive the sales funnel.

Keyword Planner - Use PPC to Locate SEO Keywords - Astekblog


2) Research terms with the Keyword Planner

The Keyword Planner provides actual search data on terms that have been used on Google’s massive network. It covers several industries and products that have been advertised, along with a measurement for how competitive a keyword is.

This means that if you wish to appear for a keyword, you may have to bid competitively to appear in a top position. Terms related to insurance quotes, dieting and legal services can run as high as $50 a click! So this tool allows you to find terms that fit your content and your price range.

The data provided within is very useful, but:

  • Be sure to spot-check any terms you select into a Google search bar
  • You want to see what other ads are appearing for that term and how relevant the ads are.
  • If there are several ads for a particular term, that is a good sign. It most likely means that the keyword converts for other companies.
  • However, if a term brings up a myriad of different ads and listings that have little to do with your content, it may not be a good fit.
  • Consider entering a variation of the term in order to discover new opportunities.
  • Example: if “bicycle repair Chicago” is too competitive, try variations like “bike repair Chicago,” “Chicago bike repair,” “Chicago bike tune ups,” or “bike shops Chicago .”


3) Determine a reasonable campaign budget

The best way to determine what terms work best is to gain a sizable amount of traffic. A healthy number of campaign clicks is between 50 and 100 clicks, so budget accordingly. AdWords runs on a daily budget, so you will need to calculate the total projected spend.

  • Determine an average bid level for your keywords that fits your budget and gives you the best chance at appearing in a higher position
  • You have decided that you want to get at least 100 clicks, and you don’t want to spend more than $2.50 per click. That means you would need to set a budget of at least $250.
  • You can then decide on your daily budget. If you decide to budget for $25 a day, your campaign could run for as long as 10 days if your budget is exhausted each day
  • You would receive your targeted amount of traffic data with a relatively low amount of spend and have a better idea of how those terms perform


4) Create your ads and launch!

This is the part that allows you to be creative. Create text ads that attract clicks to your website. Track your traffic through AdWords and Google Analytics and watch your bids. Once your campaign has concluded, look at the traffic data and the type of traffic you received.

5) Identify the best keywords and USE THEM!

You now have traffic and data and user behavior.  Take the keywords that performed the best (high click through rate, conversion rate, etc.) and use them in the following ways:

  • Add them to your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt tags
  • Place them in blog posts and even landing pages
  • Put them into your social media and email marketing messages
  • Find related terms connected to the SEO keywords


With a small investment of time and money, you can use PPC to find organic keywords that have been tested in a live environment.  Use this method to breathe new life into your Organic SEO and gain an edge over your competitors!

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