SEO optimization is an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. Choosing the right keywords for Google Ads, formally known as Google Adwords, is one of the most important decisions you can make in marketing to build solid search campaigns.
Keywords won’t just determine how much traffic an ad group can bring in—they’ll also determine the quality of the leads you generate during a user’s Google search.
That said, finding relevant keywords for your next ad campaign isn’t always straightforward. It can be challenging to predict what terms searchers will type into a search engine as they look for solutions to their problems.
The process doesn’t have to be complicated, but it is easy to fall into marketing traps that can hurt the effectiveness of your keywords and the bottom line of your eCommerce business.
Today, we’re going to look at why you need to choose the right keywords and what best practices to follow when it comes to building campaign-boosting keyword lists for Google Ads.
Why choosing the right Google Ads keywords matters
By Google’s definition, keywords are: “Words or phrases describing your product or service that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear.”
In short, Google Ads uses keywords to put your ad in front of the right people. It uses the data you provide (keywords) and the data users provide (terms they use to search for things) to determine who your ad will show up to.
At all times, Google’s algorithms are trying to put the most relevant information in front of their users. Google does this to offer its customer base the most value possible through high-quality search returns and ad placement, and that’s the first thing we need to keep in mind when choosing keywords.
So, you must choose the right keywords because it’s how Google decides which users to display your ads to. This means that if you don’t choose the right ones, your ads may go unnoticed, unclicked, and missed by potential customers.
Photo by Philipp Pistis
There are many other reasons why you need to choose the right words for your Google Ads campaigns, including:
- Increased Conversion Rate
- Improved Click Through Rate, or CTR
- Increased Impression Share
- Better Quality Score
- Support for your overall SEO strategy
Let’s look at what makes a good Google Ads keyword to ensure your ads make it in front of the right people.
What makes a good Google Ads keyword?
As you go through the process of keyword research, all keywords you target must be highly specific and relevant to what your business has to offer.
When users type these keywords into a search engine, they are looking for a business just like yours. So when they click on your ad, you want to make sure you’ve done everything in your power to ensure they have come to the right place.
It’s easy to come up with a list of keywords, but how do you know if your keyword ideas will work in the long run? Let’s look at some characteristics that will help you determine whether or not a keyword is worthy of your Google Ads PPC campaign.
1. Think like your customer
You may be paying for an ad, but you aren’t Google’s primary customer as a marketer. Alphabet—Google’s parent company—makes 80% (approx. $147 billion) of its annual revenue from advertising. That money doesn’t come from marketers paying for ads because Google Ads are pay-per-click—you only pay when users view and interact with your ad.
That’s the biggest thing to keep in mind when choosing keywords. Google is always thinking about how those keywords help with relevance for customers, and you should too. Don’t think about which words or phrases define your brand. Think about which words or phrases people use to search for products like yours.
Keywords that describe your brand or product might be “high-quality activewear.”
Keywords your customers might use are “jogging shorts women’s.”
2. Strong buying intent
Ideally, you will build your ad campaign around a specific product. After all, you’re not trying to sell your business; you’re trying to sell your stock. Focusing on one product, or a section of your catalog makes it easier to get specific with your keywords.
Is your campaign built around shoes? A seasonal collection? Is it a restaurant with a signature dish? Every business can break down its native keywords by honing in on its most marketable products.
Specificity also helps with building keyword phrases. Let’s make an example of a restaurant that specializes in oxtail. What would help the algorithm rank that ad campaign higher? Well, if it’s special, having a date and time is fantastic data to provide, as well as pricing and location.
A keyword phrase like “oxtail special sit-down restaurant” is vague and unclear. “Oxtail special” as a keyword would put you in direct competition with anyone running a similar campaign. On the other hand, getting into those specific details might leave you with a keyword phrase like:
“3-for-2 oxtail special in Portland, every Wednesday at 5 pm”
A phrase like that offers you a few options. You can split it into two phrases when entering your metadata behind the scene. If you keep it as one phrase, it will make for useful ad copy. Having phrases you can knit throughout the text of your ad gives the algorithm even more valuable data to help you rank higher in your search field.
3. High search volume
Much like you would approach organic search keywords for your SEO optimization, you want Google Ads keywords to have a high monthly search volume. This will give you a better chance of reaching more potential customers.
If you check your Google Ads account, you’ll notice they flag keywords with low search volume to bring them to your attention. While they are allowed, these words are unlikely to improve your CPC campaign because no one is actually searching for them.
As you do your keyword research, use a keyword research tool to ensure the keywords you are targeting have enough search volume to make them worth your while.
4. Landing page relevancy
Chances are, the Google Ads keywords you use in a particular ad will also be targeted on the linked landing page.
If not, you may risk creating an inconsistent user journey as they navigate from search terms to search engine results to your landing page.
This could lead to customer dissatisfaction and make them feel as though your ad has deceived them. Make sure your targeted keywords match the search queries of your potential customers.
You can even add negative keywords in your Google Ads settings, which will help filter out unrelated traffic.
Depending on your type of business, targeting customers geographically can be a great way to find qualified leads. These keywords are easier to rank for and do a great job of positioning your business at critical points in the buyer’s journey.
Keyword modifiers that target geography allow you to target a local market and typically cost less than industry keywords. They can help local customers find you quickly, especially if you use the right ones in your PPC campaign.
Now that you know what makes a good keyword, let’s look at some tools that will make keyword research easy while offering metrics that will help inform your Google Ad campaigns.
Tools to help you find the best Google Ads keywords
While it is possible to do an independent keyword search, there are tools available to make it easier to see which keywords you need to target.
Let’s look at some tools you can use to find the best Google Ads keywords for your pay-per-click campaign.
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Google Ads Keyword Planner
The Google Ads Keyword Planner is a tool that is helpful for building lists of solid keywords that will get your PPC campaign up and running. It will recommend all types of keywords, including specific keywords, board keywords, and long-tail keywords.
It’s free to use with your Google Ads account to help you generate keyword ideas and bid estimates to design your digital marketing strategy.
- Grouped ideas
- Monthly search detail
- Add keywords to existing campaign
- New competition metric
- Daily Cost Per Click budget suggestions
Even though you’re an expert in your field, you probably talk about it differently than your potential customers will. Using Google Trends will help you understand the way your audience speaks which will lead you to new keywords to target in your ad campaign.
- Keyword tool
- Trend variation by location
- Determine how stable a search term is
- Find niches for your products
Metigy AI-Powered Recommendations
If you’re looking for a more straightforward way to generate Google Ads campaigns, this tool is for you. Metigy offers AI-powered recommendations that will make your PPC campaign more efficient and budget-friendly.
This extra layer of support will not only recommend keywords but will give you insights into your audience and ad performance that you can use to improve your approach. It gives you more perks than a Google keyword tool because you gain access to AI-driven insights that offer suggestions customized to your unique brand.
- Ad creator
- Ad status tracking
- In-depth customer research
- AI-driven insights
- Budget insights
- User-friendly dashboard
Optimize your keywords with Metigy
As a PPC marketer, it’s crucial to understand how to select keywords for your Google Ads campaign. If you play your cards right, it’s a popular and highly competitive platform that can lead to better ad positions and a sharp increase in conversions.
Try Metigy today and break down the process of creating Google Ads every step of the way with a simple setup. Our AI recommendations will help you capitalize on missed opportunities through keyword and audience suggestions so you can focus on other aspects of your digital marketing strategy.
How many keywords are good for Google Ads?
Use no more than 20 keywords per ad group.
What are some popular Google Ads trends to look out for?
Focusing on the customer journey, an increase in the use of AI, and the rise of smart bidding are Google Ads trends to look out for.
Which Google Ads metrics should I be tracking?
Impressions, clicks, CTA, and impression share are some metrics you should be tracking in Google Ads.