A Guide to Google Adwords: Selecting Keywords to Profit Your Business

June 6th, 2013

Ads in Google search offer companies an effective way of advertising. Efficiency is a reachable aim, provided that you target your ads well. The simple rule is: the higher the quality you target, the cheaper and especially more effective the campaign will be. For online campaigns in search engines, this means that you need to properly select the keywords for which your ad shall appear. In this part of our series on Google AdWords, we’ll uncover a few tricks on how to target your campaign successfully.

Simply put, keywords are the words people use to search in search engines. Well-chosen keywords correctly placed are the alpha and omega of your AdWords campaign. You might be surprised to learn that quality keywords are more important than a creative and well-written ad!

1. Build a List of Keywords

Brainstorm words customers would use to search for your business

Before you start searching in any keyword tool, give your campaign a human touch and think how customers would search for your product, service, or company. Make a list with your ideas and discuss them with your colleagues (especially if you have a team of SEO specialists).

TIP: Do not forget synonyms, slang expressions, adjectives, and plural forms.

Research the keywords related to your business

Conduct the search based on the list you’ve brainstormed, indicating the language and location of your targeted audience. There are a number of tools online that track user searches: Google Adwords Keyword Tool, etc. You can pick and choose keywords based on competition, and preferably local monthly searches.

Get inspired by your competitors

Some online tools will also show what keywords your competitors are using, not only for search engine optimization, but also for AdWords campaigns. For instance, Keyword Spy might come as a useful addition to your list.

TIP: People in different stages of the purchasing process use different keywords. Think about what the person is looking for who enters “holiday 2013” or “going sightseeing in Norway in 2013.” Which one of them is closer to a purchase?

2. Divide Your Keywords into Groups

Now you probably have a long list of keywords. Some with a broad meaning, some more specific. First, you’ll want to divide the keywords into groups before you add them to your AdWords campaign. Basically, it can be done in two steps, by first dividing phrases by topic and then creating subgroups by broad meaning.

1) Keywords grouped by topic

In AdWords, keywords are divided into groups, which always include a series of ads. For the ad to be successful, it needs to be relevant to the keywords.

For a Webnode campaign, keywords are divided into thematic groups:
– Website
– Blog
– Online shop
– Template

For most online stores, it’s straightforward. Create ad groups based on the type of merchandise (for example, pants, belts, shirts, dresses). However, you might encounter more complex cases. For example, how would you split keywords for an allergy clinic? When we were building a campaign for our customer from Spain, Pilar, we chose the following groups:
– Asthma
– Allergic rhinitis
– Treatment of Allergies
– Food Allergies

2) Breaking down broad keywords

After the initial distribution, you’ll have a large number of phrases. The broader the term, the more likely it will have more searches, and the more competitive it will be (more companies will advertise using this word). Therefore, it will be more expensive. In order to track costs and optimize your campaign, it is recommended to divide groups according to broad terms.

Let’s see what this means for example, for Webnode and the keyword “website”:

Free Website – broadest phrase
Create website – verb included, more precise
How to Build a Website – very specific

Let’s take another example of various general keywords about “T-shirts”:

T-shirts – Google shows that the word is searched 165,000 times a month, but it is so general that it is not certain that your shop will match the taste of the person searching
Printed T-Shirts
Funny printed cartoon T-shirts– this group has very specific keywords and specifies the most sold product, but monthly searches are only at 1,000

3. How to Apply Keywords to Your Campaign

Go back to AdWords and create your first ad group. You can now insert one of the sets of keywords that you created in the previous step and create one ad.

TIP: You can return to the ad text later next week when we’ll bring you many tips on how to handle them.

When inserting the keywords you can select the match type. This allows you to have control over what search term triggers your ad. What match to use?

Broad match keywords trigger your ads for a user query that includes any of the words in the keyword, as well as synonyms, plurals, and other variations.
“Phrase match” keywords trigger your ads for the keyword phrase, with words in that order, as well as additional words. For example, “computer mouse” can trigger wireless computer mouse, but not wireless mouse.
[Exact match] keywords trigger your ad when users search for exactly that keyword. For example, [black tea] triggers the term in brackets, and only close variants, nothing else.

Think of your goals and budget! If you want to target people specifically interested in your product, phrase match or exact match will give you more relevant clicks and as a result, a cheaper price.

1. Start out using broad match but with care. If you are a beginner and you don’t yet know your market thoroughly, start with fewer keywords with a broader match to get an idea of what people search for. But be careful! If you use broad match, you might trigger a lot of unwanted clicks, so monitor your campaign very closely.

TIP: If your market is highly competitive and you need to set up a campaign very well, avoid using broad match, it reduces the quality of the campaign!

2. Opt for phrase match if you want more flexibility in reaching customers than exact match, thus aiming for a higher CTR. Once you have a clear picture of searched terms generated by broad match keywords, the proper next step is to increase CTR and narrow down your campaign via the use of phrase matching.

3. Use exact match especially with very general keywords. These keywords are generally the ones which are short (1-2 words) and with a broad meaning, i.e. “computer store”. This match can help you lower costs, but take note that it causes you to lose impressions.

Are you planning to monetize your website? Try this step-by-step guide.