This is the second blog post in my Google AdWords series. My first blog post focused on planning your campaign strategy. This post will explore keyword development a little deeper and provide some ideas on how to create your keyword list.

Keywords and landing page selection go hand-in-hand: together, they determine your ad copy. It’s necessary to consider this relationship to ensure your ads are successful. There should always be a match between your keywords, your ad copy, and your landing page copy. A direct match will increase your quality score (the score of relevancy Google assigns your ads), which will keep your costs lower than competitors with a low quality score.

1. Keyword Match Types

Choosing the match type is an important step that could either save or waste your money. Here are the 3 types:

Broad: your listing will appear when your search term is used in the broadest form. If you bid on “insurance” your ad will be triggered for any search including the term “insurance” i.e. “cat insurance” “cheap home insurance.” The downside of broad match is that you achieve a lot of visibility and clicks, but not relevancy, so conversions are low.

Phrase: Ads will show if that phrase appears with that search query, in that order with no words in between. Ads using the keyword “cheap insurance” will show for “cheap insurance for home” but not “cheap car insurance.”

Exact: Ads will only be displayed when the exact phrase is search on. The downside of using exact match is that clicks are very relevant but volume is very low.

2. Use Relevant Keywords

Your buyer persona or profile will inform your decisions on keywords, so keep the buyer in mind during this process.

  • What would your typical customer search?
  • What type of words do they use to describe your product/service category?
  • Which words would they use to describe your brand?

This should help you to come up with some keywords.

3. Consider Your Objectives

Choose general keywords for generating brand awareness, and specific keywords to encourage a direct response (making a reservation, purchasing a product, etc). Specific keywords may not appear in as many searches, but they are more relevant to users. Keywords that are closely tied to your business can lower costs and increase conversions, because searchers are getting exactly what they were looking for.

4. Buying Cycle Stages

Your keywords will vary based on the stage of the buying cycle your customer would be in for your particular campaign. You may use more generic terms if the customer is simply researching, or very specific terms if they are closer to the purchase stage.

5. Add Negative Keywords

Negative keywords can be added to a campaign to prevent ads being triggered for certain words. This reduces paying for irrelevant clicks and it can lower your cost per click (CPC). For example, if you have a premium product such as a luxury watch, you can enter a negative keyword “cheap” – your ad will not show if someone searches “cheap watches.”

You can add a negative keyword the same way you would a regular keyword, just with a dash in front of it: -cheap. Or, you can add them in the Negative Keywords section of your campaign or ad group.

6. Competitors

Depending on your objectives and the competitive market, it may make sense to use keywords that describe your competitors. For example, if you own a hotel in New York City and your top competitor is ABC Hotel, you could use keywords such as “ABC hotel” or “ABC manhattan.”

7. Keyword Planner

This Google tool provides keyword ideas, as well as estimated impressions, clicks, and cost. This tool will give you insights on what actual users are searching. You can find Keyword Planner under the Tools & Analysis tab.

keyword planner


In this post, I’ve provided 7 ways you can gather ideas for choosing keywords appropriate to your business. Next, I’ll dig a little deeper into landing page selection and the best practices for creating an effective landing page. Stay tuned for my next post!


Published On: June 8th, 2014 / Categories: Search Engine Marketing /

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