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.


At SpyFu we try and make finding strong PPC keywords as quick and easy as possible.
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.

Step 1:
Enter in your competitor into the main search box in SpyFu -

Step 2:
Go to the PPC Keyword Research section -

Step 3:
Sort the results by the "Searches/Mo" column. Filter this list to your specific needs. Look for keywords that have a reasonably high searches per month, that your competitor(s) have been advertising on. 

Step 4:
Identify which of these keywords fit your site, and that you are comfortable writing ads about.

That's it!

Video Script:

Hi this is Patrick with, today we’re going to learn how to find strong PPC keywords in your niche using SpyFu.


At its core, SpyFu is a competitive intelligence tool. So when you’re looking for PPC keywords to leverage for your site, we recommend looking at larger and fairly successful domains in your space.

So let’s say you’re a camping supply store, we don’t recommend looking at the camping store down the street, because they probably don’t know what they’re doing in Google Ads. 

Instead, type in a larger site like

It might feel  weird to pick such a large chain rather than a local competitor, but here’s why we recommend it. 

One, people across the country usually search for the same terms, for example “four person tent” or “affordable camping gear.” So the lessons learned from bigger sites are generally universal, and getting the attention of your local buyers is more about how you geo-target your ads rather than the keywords themselves.

Two (and this is the big one) REI has had the time and resources to go through the tedious trial and error period that usually accompanies a Google Ads campaign. Meaning you can jump straight to their best strategies without having to spend a ton of your own valuable time and money!

A lot of these sections are clickable, and are nice shortcuts to bring you directly to the information you want. Since we’re looking at PPC keywords today, let’s simply click on this little section on the overview that says “Paid Keywords” and it will bring us straight to the “PPC Keywords” section of SpyFu. 

Here’s where we’ll tell you the total number of keywords we’ve seen REI purchase in Google Ads, how many clicks they received from those ads, and what we estimate their monthly budget to be based on the cost of those keywords and clicks.

Let’s look at the ad timeline, this is a quick and simple way of picking out good keywords at a glance. There are 12 bars of different heights for each keyword. Each of those bars represent a month, and the height represents how highly REI’s ad was ranked on this keyword.

So for the keyword “hiking tours” they ranked fairly well this last year, but started to drop off in a couple months ago, only to reemerge back to the top 10 percent of ads.

You want to find keywords that this advertiser is consistently bidding on. Basically ones with a healthy amount of bars in a row. 

Since SpyFu scrapes the SERP for millions of keywords once a month, there’s a chance that a single ad or two might slip under our radar. This could be because of date parting, or geo-targeting, or an absurdly low ranking. So if you see a small gap like the one here for “Adventure Packages”, don’t discount it.

But if you see consistent gaps, like we see with REI Shoes or Adventure Tours, take that as a sign that they’re less than ideal keywords to jump on.

Generally look for the keywords that they’ve been consistently bidding on for a while first, and put the others lower on the priority list.

Let’s hop up to filters and get a little bit more specific with what we’d like to find. 

I’m going to type in “camping.”

These keywords are sorted automatically, putting the strongest ones at the top. By strong I mean it’s a combo of recency, frequency, and CPC. But you can also sort this by monthly searches, to see which keywords are searched for the most.

Click on the title of the Monthly Searches column. You actually might have to click it a few times, but stop once you see the highest numbers on top, with the rest of them descending down.

Now you have a list of keywords based around camping, that REI has advertised on, and have a lot of searches per month. The ones with the absolute highest searches per month may not be the absolute BEST keywords for your campaign, but this list is an incredibly strong starting block to base your campaigns off of.

You can even get more specific, for example Camping Gear. Redo the sort, and you might find some surprises:

Apparently people are really looking for camping gear for their kids! This is a unique market that you could try and take advantage of.

These are the kind of insights you can gain by looking at larger competitors and learning from their mistakes and successes. You don’t have to stop at REI either, think of other large competitors that you could learn from, see what other interesting or surprising markets they’ve pursued.

If you’re unsure of who those competitors could be, feel free to hop over to the Competitors tab, and see who has overlapping PPC Keywords with REI. You might even find a company you previously didn’t even know was in your space!

Just more competitive information you can add to your arsenal.

In the next video we’ll take this to the next level, by finding the actual ad copy that these competitors are using to try and capture that click.

As always, thank you for watching.

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