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If I have a list of 100 keywords that are candidates for a PPC campaign (my list is actually 1000+). What is the best approach to narrowing this down to the top 5-10 keywords I should start with?

I'm also wondering if my top chosen keywords for PPC campaign should be my main keywords for SEO site optimization for organic traffic. I also have another question on this site asking: How does one estimate where a competitor is getting most of their traffic from? Thanks.

The website isn't created yet, but will be up in January.

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also wondering if my top chosen keywords for PPC campaign should be my main keywords for SEO site optimization for organic traffic. I also have another question on this site asking: How does one estimate where a competitor is getting most of their traffic from? THanks. –  gijoemike Nov 9 '10 at 18:14
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2 Answers

For PPC, I would rank terms in the following order:

  1. Most specific
  2. Highest traffic
  3. Lowest competition

This should leave you with the terms which are most likely to convert and get the greatest number of qualified searches without excessive cost.

If you are using the Adwords bid tool and organizing your exported terms on a spreadsheet, it may be easiest to create a "PPC Value" field composed of something like (your subjective 1 to 10 specificity rating * 100) + (estimated searches / 500) + (1.0 - competition value * 100) and rank in descending order on PPC Value.

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Thanks, that's helpful. How do you estimate: "competition value"? And should I take the same approach with other search engines like yahoo, bing? –  gijoemike Nov 9 '10 at 18:12
    
@gijoemike - Google's Adwords bid tool will populate a 0.1-1.0 PPC competition value when you export their results to CSV (the web page displays a blue bar but the export provides a numeric value) - as for other search engines, I haven't bothered with them since Yahoo bought Overture so I don't have much to offer there; I've been working almost exclusively with technical products and services for which Google is far and away the search engine of choice for purchasers. –  danlefree Nov 9 '10 at 18:42
    
I see. Thanks. And as far as SEO for organic search goes.. I would think that my top keywords for PPC should be my top keywords for SEO site optimization, content, etc (for organic rankings). Is that right? –  gijoemike Nov 9 '10 at 18:49
    
@gijoemike - Given that your existing keyphrases should represent reasonably-specific searches, I would target the highest traffic terms for organic optimization (I wouldn't work to optimize for terms I'm using PPC for until I have determined that the PPC terms are worth optimizing for - consider PPC a "test drive" for your organic optimization efforts) –  danlefree Nov 9 '10 at 18:51
    
@gijoemike: Also consider that your SEO terms and PPC terms may not be the same because your PPC campaigns generally want to target a landing page catered to the group of terms (people) you're targeting. This depends on the nature of your website/business, but often your PPC landing pages aren't even meant to be indexed, as they're made for human call to action. –  Dobry Den Jan 3 '11 at 16:47
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I would agree with danlefree, although it might also be advisable to rank the keywords this way, i.e. point #4:

Kws that your top organic competitors used in their meta list - upon checking that their visitors can actually find them in the corresponding top ten positions for those kws.

That way your research covers niches, big traffic, PPC competitors (as covered by danlefree) and your organic search competitors - mainly their proven ideas/research actually.

For the latter, you should create totally unique ad versions to compete with the clever titles and meta descriptions of at least the top 3 organics.

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