keyword search

Pointers on Building a Keyword List for Your Google Ads Campaign


Google defines a keyword as a word or phrase describing your product or service that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear. To start, it’s important to know:

  • The keywords you choose are used to show your ads to people. Select high-quality, relevant keywords for your ad campaign to help you reach only the most interested people, who are more likely to become your customers.
  • When someone searches on Google, your ad could be eligible to appear based on the similarity of your keywords to the person’s search terms.
  • A great keyword list can help improve the performance of your ads and help you to avoid higher prices. Poor keywords can ultimately cause you to have higher prices and lower ad position.

A good keyword list should be limited to between 5 to 20 keywords for each ad group. An important point to note is that you shouldn’t create keywords that overlap with other ad groups in your campaign.
There are four different keyword match types:


  1. Broad Match – According to Google AdWords, a brad match creates variations when you search. Even when you search by different or similar keywords, you might see the ad. For example, with the keyword “running shoes,” your ad could appear in a search for running shoe, running, shoes, red shoes, running boots, etc.
  2. Phrase Match – Phrase match allows you to reach people that search using your phrase,event if there other terms/phrases before or after your phrase. For example, the keyword “running shoes” could trigger your ad when users search for “red running shoes” or “running shoes red,” etc.

  3. Exact Match – As the name suggests, exact match triggers your ad only when users search for the exact same keyword. For example, your ad would not show up when a user searches for “red running shoes” or “running red shoes” if your keyword is “running shoes.”

  4. Negative Match – To control your cost, you can set the keywords that you don’t want your ads to show up for. For example, if you’re selling new clothes, you would not want your ad to appear when users search for used clothes.

It’s not always effective to use broad keywords because it’s doesn’t enhance your reach to potential customers nor is it more competitive. Moreover, it requires higher bid amounts. In contrast, using more specific keywords doesn’t allow you to reach as many people as you would expect – it is so specific that it limits the searching audience. Therefore, it’s important to strike a proper balance and plan a good strategy to build your keyword list. This can be a work in progress – you can always change your keywords by removing or adding them based on performance.
There are many tools to help you build an effective keyword list.

  • “Google AdWords Keyword Tool” helps you by recommending related keywords with the frequency of how often users search for particular keywords to see how competitive it is. By using this tool, you will not only receive more information, but can cut down on guesswork.
  • “WordTracker” is a tool that allows you to choose what type of match you want: broad, phrase, or exact. It also allows you to include misspellings, plural forms of the word, or adult keywords. With this tool, your able to broaden your keyword list even further.
  • Soovle” is a great tool that helps find useful keywords. Have you noticed that as you type your keywords in the search box, Google immediately begins suggesting related keywords in the drop down menu? That is exactly what Soovle does for you.  Soovle shows the drop down menu keywords from different sites including Google, Yahoo, and Amazon.

For a better and clearer understanding, take a look at this video of how you should choose keywords based on Google AdWords


-Written by Chris Nuniam, 451 Marketing search marketing intern.  Chris is a December 2011 graduate of Emerson College. Tweet at @ChrisNuniam

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From the team at 451 Marketing @451Marketing!

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