9 Keyword Research Tips to Help You Expand Your Existing PPC Keyword List Dramatically

January 31, 2007 by  

Your keyword list plays a crucial role in your pay per click campaign success. Your goal is to show up on the first page of search results for as many related keywords as possible and these tips will help you do just that.

Once you have your main keyword list ready, you can expand it further by adding keyword variations such as misspellings, abbreviations, plurals etc.

In addition to finding keyword variations that you may never come up with using the normal keyword research tools, you can now target less competitive keywords while at the same time save money on your advertising budget. It’s not surprising if you find some of these keywords convert well.


1. Use Misspellings and Typos

Online searches sometimes misspell words and phrases they are looking for. Use these common misspellings to your advantage. Misspell keywords cost considerably less and they are less competitive too.

To come up with common misspell words and phrases you can

  • Think about common typing mistakes such as wrong letter order (distinguish distingiush), double typing (think, thhink),common omissions (burger, burge), wrong replacement (yahoo, yahpp)
  • Think of the commonly misspellings such as (calendar, calender), (commitment, committment), (barbecue, barbeque), (separate, seperate)
  • Use the typo generation by Searchspell at
  • Ask your friends or family members about common misspelling that’s related to your niche.

If you think using misspell keywords is a waste of time, and bring in no traffic then check out this page from Google. The data shows some of the misspellings detected by their spelling correction system for the query “Britney spears”. This applies to other search terms too so you can see how you can profit from it.

Apparently, there’s a lot of people searching for “ Brittany spears”.


2. Identify and Use Common Abbreviations and Acronyms

Understanding and using this tip can lead to the discovery of new keywords which may be harder to identify using the traditional keyword research tools.


Dec vs. December
1st Place Software vs. First Place Software
Windows XP vs. WinXP

Acronyms Examples:

PDA vs Personal Digital Assistance
F1 vs. Formula One
PC vs. Personal Computer

Use the free online tool such as AbbreviationZ at to find common abbreviations and acronyms related to your niche.


3. Use Various Verb

Different searchers express themselves differently so use different variations of verbs.

For Example:

Learn to type
Learning to type
Learn typing
Learning typing 


4. Use Plural vs. Singular

Using both plural and singular version of your keywords can easily double the number of keywords in your list. For example, consider using

Computer book
Computers book
Computer books
Computers books

When using this technique, keep in mind that while Google AdWords distinguishes between plural and singular keywords, Yahoo Search Marketing doesn’t. However when it comes to organic search, almost all the major search engines distinguish between the plural and singular forms.


5. Use Separated, Hyphenated and Merged Keywords

Some keyword can either be merged or separated by a hyphen or space. If you do not use its variations, you might be missing out on half the searchers.

Email, e-mail, e mail
Selfhelp, self-help, selp help
Payperclick, pay-per-click, pay per click


6. Use Geographical Location

Some searchers add a location to their keyword search to find local results. Even if what you sell works all over the country or world, people are still interested on using a local provider or at least a company that recognizes their town or state.

For examples:

Kota Kinabalu ford escape dealers
Nintendo Wii Florida
New York law firms

This tip allows you to expand your keyword list exponentially. If you are selling products in the US , you may want have a look at the Census Bureau’s list of cities. It features 25,000 us cities and town that you can combine with your keywords.

Click here for instructions on using the file.


7. Use Variations of US and UK spellings

Searchers may use the US or UK spelling variation. Use both variations in your keyword list. Example

Color pencil, colour pencil
Cheque – check
Anti ageing – anti aging


8. Use Adjectives

Consider using adjectives in addition to your main keywords. Many people use adjectives when searching such as:



9. Use Domain Names

Many searchers often include domain names in their search. So be sure to include the relevant domain names and all their variations in your keyword list. However be caution when using this tip as a domain name can be considered a trademark. Example


If you have keywords tips of your own, please feel free to share it with us.


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Comment by Joneh
2007-02-02 00:39:35

How come i missed this article!? This is so good info. for others they may said i know that.. but as gaman said, misspelling, mispelled word(s) can help your site be at the top. dont just stick with proper english or whatever language or grammar in your keywords. my site as example. i got hit many times for wrong spelling or abbreviations and end up as my subscribers. how cool is that. thanks gaman. appreciate these post.

Comment by ankur
2008-05-07 14:21:56

Hey Bro,

Though i know all these thing already but hats off to ur Presentablity and the way u shared the list of US cities database that was simply Kool man……..

When u said that some domain names can not be used as cpz og trademark infringement that how do v come to know which domain names is safe to be used??


Comment by Damodar Prasad Subscribed to comments via email
2008-08-14 15:12:07

these tips are very imporatant any seo beeginer.

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