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Quickly Find the Best PPC Keywords to Leverage for Your Site (video)
Quickly Find the Best PPC Keywords to Leverage for Your Site (video)

This video will show you how to use SpyFu to find strong PPC keywords, your competitors have been taking advantage of.

Patrick McGrane avatar
Written by Patrick McGrane
Updated over a week ago

Do you want to find good PPC keywords in your industry BEFORE you spend your money in Google Ads?  Unique keywords that are searched for a lot, but that have gone relatively unnoticed by your competitors? You've come to the right place.

In this video you’ll learn how to use SpyFu to find top performing paid keywords in your niche. We’ll cover how to sort and filter your top competitor’s keywords and find that low hanging fruit you can take advantage of.

The entire process takes only minutes and will help you build a list of relevant, actionable keywords for your site. Leverage these up and coming keywords and setup the groundwork for your Google Ads campaign.

Check out the PPC Keyword Research section -

Video Script:

Welcome to the SpyFu PPC Keywords tool.

In this video we’re going to learn how to use this tool to find strong PPC keywords in your niche, and help with all of your ad campaigns.

Let’s get to it!


At its core, SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool. When you’re looking for PPC keywords to leverage for your site, we recommend looking at larger domains in your space, domains that have had years of experience, the strategic teams, and the budget to really perfect their PPC keywords and ads.

This takes the expensive trial and error period out of the equation for you! They’ve already done it, you might as well take advantage of their success and use it for your company.

Let’s start by typing in a fairly successful competitor of yours, so we can look at what keywords they are advertising on in Google.

The first thing that we tell people to do is to Hide Your Site’s Paid Keywords. Simply type in your own domain to eliminate keywords that you are already advertising on from the result list.

This quick step is probably the most actionable thing you can do on this page. Because when you're hunting for opportunities, looking at keywords you already buy is just a waste of time.

When you eliminate keywords that you’re already buying, everything left is a potential new opportunity.

It’s a massive time saver, and only takes a click.

While we’re here, let’s talk about some of the other useful filters.


Filters quickly eliminate the noise and get to the actionable stuff that can help your PPC campaign.

After you have already excluded your doman’s PPC keywords, you can widdle down the results even further by including or excluding various keywords.

On top of that you can add a range of the search volume for this domain’s paid keywords. Or even the average cost per click for these keywords.

When you combine these filters you can really customize the result list to the keywords you’d like to focus on, as well as your ad budget.


If you’re looking for opportunities you might as well look for the big opportunities first. Groups give you “group sized” opportunities and you’re able to see how big that group size is.

When planning a PPC campaign and writing ads, it’s usually a best practice to use groups of keywords. This helps keep your ad groups focused and organized.

With the Groups section, SpyFu has made it easy to find and export these group sized opportunities. By automatically grouping a domain’s keywords instantly.

As you click on the different ad groups you’ll notice the keyword results on the right adjust to fit within those categories.

You can increase your advertising focus when you drill into subcategories. Use this list of keywords to build ads, landing pages, and email campaigns that pinpoint your specific needs at the moment.

Again, these are the kind of insights you can gain by looking at larger domains, as opposed to smaller ones. Because even when you focus on specific fractions of their overall campaign, you still get an abundance of results.

Feel free to look at even more compe titors and what other interesting or surprising markets they’ve pursued. That informational inspiration can help a business of any size.

Groups work hand in hand with the filters as well. When you apply a fresh filter to your chosen group, the keyword results will reflect that filter within that group.

This works in the other direction too. After applying filters you can go back and look at different groups, the group results will still reflect those filters.

So you can get as granular as you’d like on keyword topics and keyword parameters.

Ad Copy

When you get the keyword results that you want you can hover your mouse over the icons under the “Ad Copy” column and see how this domain actually advertised on this keyword.

We include the title, copy, even the date that we last saw this ad being run for this keyword.

This is helpful if you’re just looking to find some quick copy to use in your ads.

Our Ad History tool gives you access to past ads that help you cover more ground in researching the domain. Not only can you see expanded ad variations, but it also shows you the domain's most dominant message.

You can always go to our Ad History tab to get a more thorough look at a domain’s ads.

While we’re in the columns section let's talk about the various metrics.

Basic Metrics

Cost per Click

Cost per click or CPC is the average amount that advertisers pay Google every time someone clicks their ad.

SpyFu gets this information directly from Google, but keep in mind that this metric isn’t locked to a specific domain or region, so the number won’t be affected by individual bids or quality score. It’s a broader estimate for the average cost across all sites running ads on this keyword.

The default result is for broad match, but you can click the columns button to change the Cost and or CPC to Phrase or Exact matches instead.

The best way to get specific CPC values in preparation to set your bids is still by plugging them into an Ad Group in your Google Ads account. Google’s Keyword Planner, but SpyFu’s CPC data should be good enough for the purposes of budgeting.


Volume is the estimated number of times that people have searched this keyword on Google (during this past month). We blend data from multiple sources, including clickstream data and Google's stats, to give a truer snapshot of activity on this keyword.

The volume numbers given are for the keywords exactly as written, which actually gives SpyFu’s Volume metrics a big advantage over Google’s Keyword Planner.

The Keyword Planner can mess up when it comes to things like misspellings, plurals, or all having the same search volume. SpyFu’s data comes from a more realistic, practical, human view of Volume for each individual keyword.

These numbers may look a lot lower than what Google reports in its own tools. But because SpyFu gets our information from multiple sources, our numbers are actually far more accurate and much more useful at setting proper expectations for a campaign.

The rare exception to that is if the keywords are “new” - for example if there is breaking news, and suddenly there’s a whole bunch new headlines and possibly even new buzzwords.


Or even small or emerging industries, or brand new products. But since we gather from multiple sources, namely clickstream, these should all be up to date within a month.

or from small brands or emerging industries, because they might not be in our system by default. You can always add those keywords to our database by clicking on your account dropdown and selecting Request Keywords.

That’s the outlier though, for 99% of searches, SpyFu is the best place to find the most accurate volume for a keyword.


Ads is the number of domains that our system has seen advertising on a keyword over the last year. You can hover over the number and see a list of those domains.

SpyFu gets this data by looking directly at the SERP. We may not have seen every single advertiser for each keyword, but regardless, the more advertisers you see on a keyword - the more popular the terms are overall.

Low numbers of ads aren't necessarily bad, but high is almost always good. If you see ads at very low numbers, or 1 or 0, it might be that the term is unpopular for a reason.

"Low competition" terms aren't necessarily bad, but popular terms tend to be popular for a reason. They might convert at a reliable rate, or the term might have high intent to buy behind it.

In a nutshell - if you want a quick way to distinguish safety/popularity of a paid keyword, the Ads column is a good place to start.

Paid Clicks

Before moving on to the advanced metrics, let’s briefly talk about paid clicks. The most important thing to know is that a larger percent of page clicks are very likely terms with a higher buying intent and action.

If a keyword has a low pay click percentage, that might mean their volume is simply too low to register a percent in that column. But sometimes it means that it’s a term that is more informative, as opposed to transactional.

If the paid click percentage is high however, you can be fairly certain that it’s a keyword that is successfully creating clicks intended to lead to sales.

Next Gen Metrics

SpyFu has Next Gen Metrics injected into most of its tools. You can quickly find them by clicking on the columns button here on the right.

There are a lot of options when it comes to the metrics you can display,

and you can add or remove these columns to best fit your PPC workflow.

Let’s dive into some of the most useful ones:

Mobile vs. Desktop Searches.

This metric is really important, especially when building landing pages. You might be surprised on which keywords people search for on their phone vs sitting down at a desktop.

These columns show the percentage of people who searched for these terms on a mobile device vs. on an actual computer.

This is important to guide how your landing page should be laid out.

If a keyword has a high mobile percentage, make sure the page that the ad links to is optimized for mobile.

In contrast if it’s heavily weighted toward desktop users, have the corresponding landing page optimized for them.

Being aware of this metric is the best way to guide your page layouts and design to cater to the people who use it the most.

If the keyword is heavily weighted toward mobile, remember that the people who are actually seeing them might be on the go - give them a quick, actionable ad that they’ll be enticed to click instead of continuing to scroll on their phone.

Click Ratios

Paid Clicks vs. Organic Clicks

The click ratio columns will show you what percentage of people clicked on a SEO result vs. a paid ad when searching for this keyword.

This metric is not domain specific, but instead takes into consideration the total amount of searches and subsequent clicks.

People are prone to click on ads when they have an intent to buy something, so this is a huge metric for optimizing conversions.

For example if something is showing a 2.5% of paid clicks, it might even be people accidentally clicking on ads. When 30% of clicks are ads -- that's some serious commercial intent.

For real, people are intending to buy something.

You might even want to take the extra step and add some of those keywords into an ad group to "hack" your overall CTR for an ad group - possibly increasing your group-level Quality Score.

Let’s look at a real world example to better explain what I mean when I say things like commercial intent.

The two keywords “How to clean airpods case” and “android airpods” have a fairly similar amount of estimated clicks.

But whereas one of them is more informational in nature, the other is more transactional. And this is easily observed when looking at the percentage of paid clicks.

This makes sense right? You’re searching for Android Airpods, you see an ad right at the top, you click it and buy it.

So when you see that a keyword is getting a high percentage of paid clicks, keep in mind the transactional value of that keyword.

Add → (Convenient timesaver), (copy to clipboard)

After clicking on a keyword group or subgroup you can add the entire thing to a MySpyFu project. Make sure you have the right project open here on the right, and then simply click add group.

You can then open up and see your new ad group added to your project. SpyFu will automatically start tracking the performance and trends of this group and its keywords. It’s a simple feature that will save you a ton of time.

You can also export the entire keyword list to a CSV, Google Sheets, PDF, or simply copy it to a clipboard and use whatever software is most comfortable for you.


The PPC Keywords section of SpyFu allows you to see a competitor’s Google Ads campaign from the top level, all the way down to its details.

We ultimately wanted to make PPC Keyword research as simple and useful as possible. We are excited for all of you to up your PPC game, improve your ads, and rise above your competition.

As always, thank you for watching

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