How to use SEMrush keyword tool to find Pay Per Click Ad Opportunity

In this video, you’ll learn how to use SEMrush to find find Pay Per Click  keyword Opportunities with keyword ideas for your Google AdWords campaigns. You’ll learn how to spy on your competition, sort and find lower cost per click and lower competition keywords, and how to use the same keywords in your organic efforts as well. Watch the video to see how Lori Ballen, Las Vegas Real Estate Business owner and Marketing Company owner uses the keywords and then creates a new ad group and ad in her AdWords account step by step. 

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Keyword Strategy

  1. Set up an account with SEMrush(Free or Paid)
  2. Type the ‘head term’ into the search bar
  3. Drop Selection bar down to Advertising Research
  4. Click Search
  5. Under Phrase Match Keywords, click View Full Report
  6. Used the Advanced Filters option to chose your “Less Than cpc” and “Volume more than X” choices.
  7. Browse through remaining keywords and find ideas. Lower competition are great opportunities if they have search volume.
  8. Create New Ad Groups in Google AdWord Campaigns using your new keywords or add keywords to existing groups.
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Lori Ballen has created a complete at home lead generation course for you. This Video course, called Rank Like A Boss, is designed to teach you the skills you need to generate more traffic by ranking on search engines, social engines, and video engines. Through blogging, video creation, and more content marketing, you’ll learn how you can take advantage of today’s digital marketing strategies. Also available is the Rank Like a Boss Expansion Pack (formally known as The Ballen Method).


All right, today we’re gonna take a look at how to use SEMrush to find a pay-per-click opportunity. So, this morning, I have my Google Pay Per Click account open for my Las Vegas real estate business, and I am researching keywords, and ads and opportunities that are possibly lower cost per click.

In my market here in Vegas, the cost per click is gonna run a couple bucks, generally. But, there’s a lot of opportunity under that, and what happens is, a lot of people, they just go in, they put in their ad budget, they pick the standards, the generics, or the head terms like … not generics, but head terms like Las Vegas homes, Las Vegas real estate, Las Vegas rentals, whatever it is that they’re … you know, head terms.

Instead of drilling down and actually finding things like three-bedroom, single-story homes in the southwest, which people are actually searching. Now, the search volume gets lower, and lower, and lower as the keywords get more long tail, you know, as they dip into that more niche specification. But that’s okay, you can still do a big business with small search volume if you have enough of it. It has to collectively still be enough of it to make it worth doing.

So, I spend a lot of times trying to get those higher-converting lower clicks that are more niche-focused than just the generic homes for sale that everybody’s bidding on, okay? And so, here’s a great tool. You can use Google Adword Planner, Google Keyword Planner as part of your Adwords account.

But this tool actually shows me what my competition is doing, so that’s what I really like about it. So, if I go up here to my search toolbar, and I go down to advertising research.

And now, let’s go ahead and type in something for our market, Las Vegas homes.

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Now, what we’re gonna see is just like we do with the organic search. We’re able to see some standard things, like for example, there are 1.6 thousand searches for that exact match term, Las Vegas homes. Oops, let me just turn that off there. Okay? And then, here, we have the cost per click average for that … That keyword term exactly is 356.

But we’re not really looking for that keyword term, what we’re looking for is long tail related keywords. So, we’re gonna go down here and we’re gonna come back to this related keywords. What we’re gonna start here is phrase match. And I’m gonna go ahead and open that in a new tab. I know I have a million tabs open, it was a busy morning. And, we’re gonna go down here and take a look now at keywords that people are bidding on. This is what my competition in my market is doing. Okay?

Now, for today’s strategy, I’m specifically looking for keywords that are under a certain bid price. So, let’s just go ahead and start with under two dollars. ‘Cause like I said, for my market, the average is about two bucks. I think it’s like $1.91. So, we’re gonna look for anything under two dollars. I don’t want to be bidding on these super-competitive … Like, here’s an example. New homes Las Vegas has a $5.27 average bid. I don’t want to bid on those. Now, if all I was doing was new construction, and all I’m targeting this year is finding buyers in Las Vegas for new construction, I might bid on that. It might be worth it to me, but for what I’m doing for today, it’s not.

So, instead, I’m gonna go up here to use advanced filters. And I’m gonna say, include, and watch this. Drop down this little arrow. Cost per click is less than … You know, let’s go less than $1.90. Apply. First, I want to look and see how much is actually available still. So, as you can see, we still have 544 keywords that people are bidding on that are under $1.91. That’s great. Now, another thing, I don’t want to bid on anything that has to do with rentals, and there’s a ton in here. So, I’m gonna go to add one more, exclude keywords containing rent. Apply.

And you can use those filters to really narrow down to some really low … some specifics, okay? Now, search volume. Let’s say I don’t want to go under … Well, I can still get some good stuff at 90, but let’s just say we don’t want to go under 50. So, I’m gonna say, also exclude search volume … Volume is less than … let’s say is less than 60. Okay? And now, we’ve got still 405. That is a lot. So, I might keep going down and doing more filters, and really kind of narrow that down. Or, I might start scrolling right now.

So, let’s go ahead and start scrolling. And what we’re able to see here is the search term, how many people a month are searching that term, what the average cost per click is. But believe me, do not hold this to it. Google doesn’t release all that data, and although they give us some generals, it’s really gonna depend day by day, minute by minute depending on who’s in the landscape. But, you can always set your max bid. And then, over here, we have what the competition level is.

Now, I love to see something like this. So, it’s only got a 51 percent competition level, or a score of 51 out of 100. And so, that means it’s mid-competition, which is fantastic. So there’s not a lot of advertisers in that landscape, and they’re only paying $1.51. However, this is not a keyword I want to bid on. It’s a branded search, it’s new construction, I don’t want to mess with that. While I do build organic pages on my website around the builders, I don’t have a reason right now to spend money on driving traffic to their particular brand. And so, I’m not gonna do that. Home Goods Las Vegas doesn’t apply to me. There’s another new home builder, they’re actually closed. Macy’s Home Store obviously does not apply. Bunker Funeral Home doesn’t apply. Beezer, Home Depot, Home Away. Mobile homes, I’m not paying for mobile homes leads. Home Depot, work-from-home jobs, none of those apply to real estate right now, so I’m still going down, still looking. Vacation homes, maybe if I wanted to specialize in finding people vacation homes, but I don’t, so I’m not gonna do those. Keep looking. HUD Homes , manufactured homes.

Okay, let’s look at this one. Homes for sale in Las Vegas with pool. 170 searches, $1.65, high competition. But that is one I would still be wanting to bid on. So, I’m gonna check now and see if I already have this keyword I’m bidding on. So, what I’m gonna do … So, I’m gonna go over here, I’m gonna highlight this. I’m gonna go back to my Adwords account. And, I am gonna go to … Let’s look at the whole campaign, and let’s go down to keywords, and I’m gonna … let’s go ahead and look at all keywords, not just enabled, and then I’m gonna do a filter right here. Search.

What was the keyword phrase exactly? Homes for sale in Las Vegas with pool. Homes for sale in Las Vegas with pool. Okay, so I’ve already got that keyword. Now, I have that paused right now, because of some things I’m doing, but I don’t need to add that. So now, let’s look at the next one. That’s New Mexico. Floyd Mayweather Las Vegas home. Mobile homes, vacation, group homes, nothing there applies to me at all.

Okay, homes for sale on Lake Las Vegas, there’s one. 110 searches, only $1.64. Medium competition, so I’m going to highlight that one, and I’m gonna go see if I’ve done that one. In fact, I think I did that one this morning, but let’s take a look. Okay, let’s see. Oh, let me remove that filter. There we go. So, homes for sale in Lake Las Vegas. All right, so I just ran an ad this morning, and I have not yet added that keyword. Let me see. Let’s go over to my ad groups, and let’s look at the one I just added for Lake Las Vegas. Okay, Lake Las Vegas homes for sale. What was the keyword phrase? Homes for sale … Okay, so I don’t have that.

So, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna go to add, and I’m gonna add that keyword right here. Now, I could make that a broad term, but I’m nervous to do that, so I’m gonna go ahead and make mine a phrase match and an exact match. And as a reminder so that you understand what those are, a broad match is saying, hey Google, if anybody searches anything that you believe has to do with Lake Las Vegas, or homes in Las Vegas, or anything around that, go ahead and send them and I’ll pay per click, even if it’s not relative. And that’s very scary. Now, broad searches are awesome if you’re just trying to gather a whole bunch of data around a particular phrase that people could be searching. But, you’re also gonna get a whole bunch of stuff in there that you don’t want to be paying for, so you have to watch that, you have to be … If you’re gonna be running broad match ads, you gotta be checking those daily.

Phrase match is, hey Google, I’m willing to pay for this click if anybody searches this phrase in any combination. But, the phrase has to be in the way they type. So, they can add things to the front of it, to the back of it, they can jumble it up. But, these words need to be in their search. And then, this one with the little brackets around it, this is an exact match, which means, hey Google, I’m only willing to pay if somebody types this in exactly that phrase. And then, you just go down here and click save, and now it’s in.

Work from home, [inaudible 00:11:06] possible, there’s another one. Homes for sale, Lake Las Vegas. So see, that’s a different variation by a little bit. So, I’ll go ahead and add the exact match. If people are typing that in … Sometimes you can pay less for those exact matches. They’re more likely to convert, because people are typing in that … typing it in very specifically. But, they’re going to be much less, and I find that the quality scores also tend to be less on exact match. And, I think more to do with there isn’t enough volume to really track that well.

So, exact match for lower search volumes tends to be lower on quality score. Home Depot, Macy’s. Okay, here’s a good one. Homes for sale in Las Vegas in 89149. Now, if I … I’m also always focused on organic results, search engine ranking, so when I see this on a pay-per-click suggestion, I’m also gonna say, oh okay, have I created a page on my website called Homes for Sale in Las Vegas 89149, or some variation of that? If I haven’t, I’m gonna go over to my website and build a page for that as well. So, this also can give you ideas for organic based on how people are searching where you’re getting your paid data.

So, homes for sale in Las Vegas 89149, let’s go ahead and take a look at it. We’ll go back to all campaigns, all keywords. Okay, no. So, let’s go see if I have an ad group that has anything to do with 89149. No. Haven’t done anything with 89149. All right. So, all I have to do, I’m gonna click the plus sign. And I’m gonna name this ad group 89149, homes in 89149. I’m willing to pay up to two dollars a bid, although like I said, I typically will turn off the higher expense, unless they’re converting really great. And I’m gonna add this phrase match in that we just found. I’m also gonna make that an exact match. And then, I can also use the parameters like homes, plus Las, plus Vegas, plus 89149. So now, we’re saying, okay, I’m willing to pay for any phrase that has those keywords in it. So, it’s similar to a phrase match, but we’re using the plus parameters, and I find those to work very well also.

Now, there’s gonna be a lot more related keywords in this phrase, but for right now for the sake of this lesson, we’re just gonna go ahead and stop there. Let’s click save and continue. Now, I’m gonna create a new ad. This is how fast this is. I’m gonna go over to my website, and I’m gonna find my 89149. So, I’m gonna come up here. I know where mine is, and mine is on my homepage. I could also create an IDX Broker saved link, if I want to control more aggressive registrations or something like that, but for right now, I’m just gonna go ahead and grab my page. So, Las Vegas zip codes. I’m gonna go over to 89149, I know is the northwest. And it is right here. 89149. And, I need to put more price ranges in there, so that’s a good lesson for me. That’s a good to-do for me today now. I’m gonna hit copy. And I’m gonna go back over to the ad.

And now, I’m gonna type something in like … What was the keyword phrase again? Homes for sale in Las Vegas, 89149. Homes for sale in Las Vegas. Okay, so it doesn’t fit, so instead, I’m gonna do this. 89149 homes for sale, Las Vegas. Updated. See all prices, sizes, area [upsome 00:15:10] over. There we go. Sizes. Okay. And now, here, see all active listings in the MLS. See all active homes for sale in Las Vegas, 89149. Shop. Let’s do sort. Sort your way. Save your favorite. Save favorites.

Okay, now if I wanted to, after I save this ad, I can actually then create a new ad and split test them. So, I’m starting a new campaign, maybe I want to start with two ads to see which one performs better. When you have a low search volume term like this though, it’s really hard to do those split tests. So, it might be better to gather more data on that first one instead of rotating ads, and then go in and tweak and optimize the ad once you know that that keyword converts for you. ‘Cause you can go in and create a new ad, and change one word and just see which one performs better, or change the headline, or change the URL, or anything you want in that little … in that space. So, it’s quite easy to do that.

So, I would keep going all the way down. Now, let’s say I was curious about the advertisers in 89149. I’m gonna open this link in a new tab. And then, what happens is, SEMrush here drills down for us and shows us the keywords … shows us the ads people are running. So, here’s the ads. See, I like this one. 89149 homes for sale, see up to 30 percent more homes with zip. 30 percent more than what? I have no idea where they get those numbers, but it is proven data that numbers in the ad help click with your rates and conversion rates, so I might take a look at that and go, okay, now what could I put in my ad that might help convert? But now, I could actually split test, and I could mimic … I’m not gonna copy exactly, but I could mimic these top-performing competitors and run four or five of those competitor ads, similar ads, side-by-side and see which one performs better. Again, higher search volume is gonna work much better for that, but it is cool to be able to see the other ads. And then, I can export it as well.

And then, also, over here, SEMrush says, okay, so here’s the keywords that have that phrase in it, homes for sale in Las Vegas 89149, homes for sale in Las Vegas 84 … With the N, or without the N, or with the NV, or without the NV. But over here, these are now related keywords. So now, let’s look at that real quick. And you say, oh, well then I also … I like some of these related keywords as well. You don’t just add them all, though, because you got to look at the competition, you got to look at the price. And you want to be careful about just saying, okay, I’m gonna add every keyword phrase for 89149, and then putting so much in there that it’s hard for you to monitor. I’m gonna take a look at this and go, okay, let’s look, let’s search volume highest to lowest, because that’s gonna be the biggest opportunity for click volume, anyway. And I’m gonna say, okay, oh, well those don’t have 89149 in them, so they … I only want it to contain 89149, so I’m gonna include only keyword containing 89149. ‘Cause then, you’re gonna get too generic. You’re gonna be pulling people all over that may not want that zip code.

Okay, so here’s a good one. 89149 zip code. This is what percentage it’s related. 390 volume, that’s good. I have no idea why there’s a zero cost per click showing, and no competition. But, let’s go ahead and take that phrase, and put that in there. Where’s our 89149? So, we’re gonna add … Whoops. I’m in ad group, sorry, let me go back. So, we’re gonna go back to our campaign. We’re gonna go back to keywords, and then we’re gonna add keyword phrase 89149 zip code. And … it will ask us which ad group. Click save. There it is. Please select an ad group. 89149. You can also export the keyword list and just drop it all in here much, much easier.

You can also then take a look over here at some of these suggestions, and see which ones you want to add. But again, be careful about just popping everything in there for 89149, like this one. New homes 89149. If you don’t have new homes listed directly on that landing page, that should be a separate ad group. It doesn’t even fit, really, there. Unless you’ve got a good directory that’ll guide them, but you want to send them to what they want immediately, and that’s gonna help your quality score be higher. And if your quality score is higher, your cost per click will be lower, and you’ll rank higher. So, that’s very important.

Okay, houses for rent, see, I don’t want that one. Houses for sale 89149. $1.22 is great, that’s an excellent one. I’m gonna put that one in there. And for now, I’m just gonna add the phrase matches. I can come back and add the exact match, if I decide to. Okay, homes for rent. No, Zillow. I’m not gonna do that one. Zip code 89149. You’re gonna get the Zillow ones organically, naturally anyway. You’ll see. That one only has 20, but I don’t see a lot of competition. Again, I’m not sure why, if those are … I’m not sure, I have to look at … That’s when you’re … When you’re really curious about why something is showing no data, but yet it’s got this high search volume, you wonder why people aren’t bidding on that and why there’s no competition. I may find out really quickly.

I think we did this one. Homes for sale in 89149. We’ll add that one in there. And then, that one. I think I [inaudible 00:21:44] have that one. It doesn’t hurt you to put it in again. You’re not gonna be bidding on the same keyword twice. It’ll see that it’s a duplicate, so I’m gonna click save, and there they are. So, that’s your lesson today on how to use SEMrush to find keywords, and opportunity, and ads that you can get inspiration from, and all the data’s right here that you need on SEMrush, and if you want to check it out and try it, use my link to try it and if you end up using it and loving it, then you can pay for the full subscription. All right? Thanks a lot, and I’ll see you on the next lesson.

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