Smart Keyword Mining And Growth Is Still Important

By Sarah Stemen | @runnerkik | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Strong campaigns start with a solid foundation of keywords. In order to build the right set of keywords you need to work with your client. If you can gain a fundamental understanding of consumer search behavior you will set the stage for growing the keywords in the account.


Most searchers perform multiple if not 10 or more searches prior to conversion. How the consumer refines their search at each stage is extremely valuable information. Furthermore, understanding the level of competition for each query can help when setting bids. This data analysis benefits us when we are identifying what keywords a business can complete for and how to message at each level in the process.


This post will cover ways to mine for new keywords to add into accounts. You will learn 5 ways to add new insight and information into your accounts and how to promote a keyword growth strategy for clients.


Loosen The Match Type


Create broad match campaigns with a set budget. Isolating the campaigns to their own entities allows you to control the budget for these terms. Monitor the search query reports and take the converting terms and add them as exact match and modified broad match into your core campaigns.


Move Up The Funnel


Including for middle and top of funnel keywords can be tremendously effective for an account. These keywords are not charted early on because they lack strong buying intent. The sole purpose of buying these keywords is to attract customers to consider or become aware of your brand. Don’t forget to start building an audience based off of users who click your paid listings from these exploratory campaigns and keywords.


I once used this tactic for a hospital emergency room. The hospital was looking to increase usage of the local emergency room. After building out all the terms for emergency and hospital, I recommended expanding the keywords. We added keywords such as “stomach pain.” We wrote ad copy that made reference to being safe and going to the hospital. The approach here is that a person who is in Google, searching “emergency room” is intent on going to the hospital. Whereas a person who is looking at symptoms may be approaching the decision point.


Another example of this approach to finding new keywords was used when building out keywords for a large home improvement chain. Rather than continue to build out keywords matching every product, I recommended that the client focuses on building out terms around common projects. Users look for information about remodeling a kitchen, or they seek inspiration before deciding on the types of materials needed.


Here is a great illustration of the search funnel. The picture below illustrates common search behavior that happens before the conversion takes place. While certainly not every part of this funnel fits in with all keywords, strategically bidding on a few keywords in each part of the path can help you find new opportunities.


Search Funnel from:
Search Funnel from


Use A Dynamic Search Campaign


Another successful campaign for mining keywords is Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs). Building out keywords for some sites results in mostly low search volume keywords. This scenario is common when working with B-to-B industrial companies. Whenever I encounter this scenario, I immediately build out a DSA campaign and find new keyword ideas. A bonus tip is that I highly suspect that these campaigns are exempt from the quality score issues, and low search volume. I won’t get into it in this post, but I am working on data to prove this theory. Needless to say in the meantime these dynamic ads are a great way to find new keyword opportunities.


Run Keywords Through A Google Suggestion Tool


Uber Suggest uses the Google Instant feature to create a list of potential keywords. If you search Google when typing a search phrase the box provides a list of search terms so you can select the term. Uber Suggest creates a list based on these suggestions.


Uber Suggest helps by populating a list of what Google predicts for a specific term and the best part is it goes straight down the alphabet when providing the list. I use this to “fill in the blanks” and then I download the list and filter though the keywords.


The keywords it recommends are regular and coherent without being too specific. The tool also accelerates the process by using the next letter of the alphabet each time.


Additional Tips:


  • It is easier to keep an account growing continuously than try to grow quickly when an account has been stagnant.


What sounds more overwhelming: Adding 3 to 5 keywords in a couple minutes when you check your account performance or adding keywords to an account that hasn’t seen any growth in 6 months? In the moment of checking an account, it is tempting to see a campaign performing well and leave it to run, but too many “until-laters” and you can find yourself in a stressful account with client pressure. By adding a few keywords at a time and labeling the keywords as a test, you can see what themes resonate with searchers. You will also avoid testing a large sum of money all at one time.


  • More keywords does not equal better performance


In the very literal sense, more keywords means more traffic, but it can also mean a much more cluttered account. The more keywords that lack a solid purpose in the account the more exposure you have to performance gaps. If you are having trouble with a certain area of the account, examine what keywords you can remove and it check back to see how the removal of the keywords impacts performance.


  • Know when to forge a different path


We all have times where it is difficult to find opportunities in an account. But high-performing accounts always have an end goal. Sometimes simply knowing the best place to spend testing budget and to try new keywords will allow for growth over time. You don’t need to touch an account end to end every opportunity. Knowing where to grow is as important as growth itself.




Keyword research is the method of investigating themes and adding them into your account. While you certainly want keywords that directly relate to your business, mining the data around you for additional opportunities will help you scale your account. We praise search marketing for being so targeted, however remaining extremely focused on low funnel, conversion ready terms can cause you to lose out on the entire conversation and pull effect of the pay-per-click channel.


Creating a tight campaign is a great start, but should not be the end. If you are thoughtful and deliberate in mining the data available you can use these methodologies to find new keywords. This keyword mining can help increase leads, search user traffic and in the end an account that works as a unit to convert. Only then can you say you have the correct keyword approach for the account.