Understanding the difference between SEO Keywords and PPC keywords

Understanding the difference between SEO Keywords and PPC keywords

In the context of SEO, a keyword is a word or phrase that a potential client uses to find your website and understanding the difference between SEO and PPC keywords is crucial before you go spending money.

A Pay Per Click (PPC) keyword is a word or phrase also but differs from SEO because PPC keywords are broken into 4 categories.

The four categories are broad match, phrase match, exact match and negative match. (See examples of each in the section below).

The primary task of the pay-per-click keywords is to display an ad in front of your ideal audience who have already shown intent for a product or service by their search intent.

As a result, PPC keywords will look significantly different from their SEO counterparts.

The differences between SEO and PPC keywords

SEO keywords might be:

  • xero for small businesses
  • online bookkeeper Ireland

PPC keywords would be:

  • Broad match – accounting
  • Phrase match – Xero for self-employed
  • Exact match – Accounting software for small businesses
  • Negative match – teach yourself accounting

The four PPC keywords are determined by the search term (what somebody types in looking for a particular product or service).

Do you need separate keyword lists?

Even though there will be some overlap, it is vital to do two lists as each keyword list will be performing a different function.

The important thing to remember here is that keywords are all about the user’s intent when they ask a question on Google, Bing or Baidu (a Chinese search engine that is beginning to close the gap on Google).

So, let’s take the earlier example searched on Google for a bookkeeper. It can generate results for:

  • A definition of the word
  • Where the nearest local bookkeeper is
  • What you might expect to pay for a bookkeeper.
  • The function of a bookkeeper or many other options.

‘Bookkeeper’ is a pretty broad term and so you could be looking at hundreds of pages on Google.

That is the kind of mentality that you have to use when choosing PPC keywords.

‘Bookkeeper’ might suffice as a search term for SEO but not for PPC. You have to be far more specific.

Be Specific with your PPC keywords

The web has become so big that specificity in PPC will be the key most important factor.

In SEO you need to also be specific because you want Google to index your site and understand what your content is about to give it a priority when somebody searches using a keyword you’ve chosen.

It is an art and a science (because there is data available to show search intent and volumes) to ensure that a PPC keyword will get you in front of your ideal audience.

While there are a lot of terms related to bookkeeping, we have picked a sample of keywords you might use on an SEO-friendly page optimised for those terms:

  • Local bookkeeping service
  • Cork bookkeeping service
  • Ireland bookkeeping services
  • Irish bookkeepers
  • Best bookkeeping rates
  • Outsourced bookkeeping.

You could choose many more keyword variations but if you optimise your content around these terms, Google will understand that you are a local bookkeeping company based in Cork, Ireland that does outsourced bookkeeping.

Key elements of a PPC ad

You also have to mix art and science for PPC keywords but in a different way.

If you wish to get your ad in front of your ideal audience, your keywords have to be used in the correct positions to generate the leads you require.

For the bookkeeping example, you need to incorporate the phrase into three areas of your ad copy:

  • Your ad headline
  • Your ad copy
  • Your landing page URL

Having bookkeeping set up as a keyword term in your Google ads account and making sure it is used in the three areas mentioned above will see you get your ad in front of more of your desired or ideal clients.