What are Keywords and what is their function in PPC

PPC ch 6
ppc chap 7 keywords

Welcome to Chapter 7 of AreteBlogs’ complete PPC guide to learn about keywords and their function in PPC.

Keywords are of the greatest importance in a PPC campaign. Keywords are the indicator of where your ads must display.

Thereupon, success at PPC can never be achieved without a solid understanding of keywords and their functions.

Types of Keywords:

Keywords can be better understood when you have a firm knowledge of which classes the keywords are divided into.

The types of Keywords include:

1. Branded Keywords 

These include the names of the companies and businesses.

 For example Amazon, eBay etc

2. Generic Keywords

Generic keywords include ambiguous, uncertain and questionable words. These may be referred to as short-tail keywords. 

For example cupcakes, football etc

The bottom line to this is that if a user has searched cupcake, it is not certain whether he wants to look for the recipe, best places to buy cupcakes, or work at a cupcake shop.

3. Transactional Keywords

These are the keywords with a purchase intent, either a strong or a week one. As long as a purchase intent is seen, you can label the keyword as a transactional or commercial keyword.

For example, Cupcake Bakery shows an intention of the user to purchase one.

4. Location Keywords

These cover everything about the geographical location of a business. These are mostly beneficial and effective for location – based businesses. Location keywords may contain the name of the city, state or country (for example ‘best cupcake shops in LA’) or these may be an actual request to show ads that have companies “near me” (for instance, ‘cupcake shops near me’)

5. Long-tail Keywords

These keywords are generally 3 to 4 words long and have a comparatively higher conversion rates and are highly commercial.

For example, “best reviewed cupcakes in LA for birthday parties”.

6. Informational Keywords

These cover the areas where people are only looking for information and guidance. This could be anything from “directions to nearest target” to “how to calculate taxes”

You will almost never use informational keywords for Google Ads

15 most expensive keywords

Keywords and Buyer’s Journey

Keyword types often represent the stage at which a buyer is at. However, it is impossible to know where exactly a buyer resides on his journey, yet the type of keywords used is a strong indicator.

Keyword Match Types

One of the first things you need to understand about keywords is that there are different match types.

Depending on what match type your keyword is in, it will behave differently.

This is one of the little-known “hacks” that people who’ve worked in PPC for any time take for granted.

The following are the four different match types:

1. Broad Match Keywords

To add broad match keywords, just add them as: Delicious Cupcakes

You choose the overall area you want to target. However, Google or any other search engine you use may expand your keywords. It may expand it to a completely different perspective which you did not even anticipate.

A lot of variations and misspellings can be covered with a single keywordMore searches and clicks mean more cost.
High converting long tail keywords can be discovered that you never thought ofThere is a high risk of losing money to irrelevant searches
Broad match keywords receive many more impressions than any other typeIt can prove hard to control, especially with single worded keywords

2. Broad Match Modifiers

To add a keyword in broad match modifier, add it with plus signs: +chocolate +cupcakes

Offers a much better control of which searches you want your ads to appear on.Provides lower search volume as compared to broad match
Extremely beneficial for finding new long-tail keywordsThis can still be expanded to seemingly irrelevant searches
Even when the search has a different order of words or have an extra word, your ad will still appearThere is no easy way to create keywords in broad match modifiers

3. Phrase Match

To add a keyword in phrase match add it with quotation marks, ie “chocolate cupcakes”

Provides greater control on what queries you will be shownOffers reduced search volume
Very effective for sentences and for avoiding greater expansionIt is a lot more restrictive than Broad Match Modifier with very few benefits

4. Exact Match

To add a keyword in exact match, add it with brackets: [chocolate cupcakes]

Such that, exact match keywords are like the snipers of the keyword match types. Precise, direct, and on point.

You know what the search is exactly used for.It offers much lower search volume for your keyword
It is perfect for controlling high converting keywordsNew keyword variations or long tail keywords can not be discovered
What you see is exactly what you getYou miss one time searches

After you’ve fully mastered these, you can move on to an advanced match type that merges Phrase Match and Broad Match Modifier into a single keyword. 


To conclude, keywords have a fundamental role in your PPC Ad campaign. Therefore, the type of keyword and keyword match type must be kept under consideration while designing your campaign.

Lastly, after launching your campaigns, you should consistently review your Search Term report. This is where you can see exactly what search terms your searches triggered your ads.

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