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How to build killer keywords lists for Adwords

How to Build Killer Keywords Lists for Google Ads

11 min read

Using Google Ads for promoting your e-commerce business is awesome but anyone using the service already knows that optimizing keywords is an ongoing task. We are here today to help you build a killer keywords list for Google Ads.

Say hello to keyword match types

Before creating the list, it’s important to realize that there are four keyword match types – parameters that can be set on your keywords to control which searches trigger your ads to appear:

  1. Broad match
  2. Broad match modifier
  3. Phrase match
  4. Exact match

By using broad match your ads will show when people search for any word in your key phrase, in any order. It also allows misspellings and synonyms. Broad match will help you to reach the widest audience. The problem is that the audience is very often irrelevant.

Let`s say you sell Christmas trees. For example, if you use broad match on the keyword “Christmas tree”, your ad might show when a user searches for “fruit tree” or “Christmas present.”

Broad match modifier is something between broad match and the more restrictive match types below. You can “lock” individual words in a key phrase. When you lock a word in place, you are telling Google that you only want your ad to show when that word appears in the search query.

To use the example from earlier, if you use a Broad Match Modifier on the keyword “Christmas tree”, Google can show your ad when a user searches for “X-mas tree” or “trees for Christmas” but will not show your ad when a user searches for “fruit trees”.

Phrase match allows people to see your ads when they search for your keywords in that exact order but also with some additional words.

It’s good to use phrase match on two-word keyword phrases. If you use the keyword “Christmas tree” in Phrase Match, your ads are eligible to show for users searching for “artificial Christmas tree” or  “buy Christmas tree”, but not for “trees for christmas”.

An exact match will display your ads only when the exact keyword is typed into the search engine. If you use the keyword “Christmas tree” in exact match, your ads are eligible to show only when a user’s search query is “Christmas tree”. If a user searches for “artificial Christmas tree” or “tree for Christmas”, Google will not show your ad.

It is very effective to use multiple match types. Many people use just one type, typically it’s broad match but sometimes only exact match. In the first case, they are wasting money, in the second they are limiting their reach and not uncovering new keywords.

It is also good to have different match types of the same keyword because as mentioned above each match type serves  a different purpose.

Related: 5 Google Ads Tips Every Small Business Owner Can Use

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Creating a list of keywords for your ad campaign

Creating a list of keywords for your ad campaign

Are you still fumbling for the right keywords to make your campaign successful?

Neither too broad nor too specific

Using general keywords or keywords that have high search volume will give you lots of clicks — lots of irrelevant clicks to be more specific. This is really important.

These words will eat up your budget very fast while providing a low conversion rate.

You should always use words relevant to your business. Google Ads is not about getting the most impressions or clicks. It is  about getting relevant clicks from qualified customers while keeping your impressions at a minimum.

On the other hand, to be too specific is also inefficient. It will lower the possibility of targeting even your relevant customers.

A very effective way to reach relevant customers is by using long-tail keywords. We will talk about this in a moment.

When creating your keywords lists, don’t forget to think like your customer. List out what you think you would be typing into Google when you are searching for products you offer.

If you sell women’s running footwear, you might start off with some basic categories that customers would use, like “women`s sports shoes.” You can also add “running shoes” and other commonly used terms. Then expand the list by more specific keywords including your brand or name of the product.

Long-tail keywords

The key to being competitive on Google Ads is to make use of long-tail keywords.

These are keywords that are more detailed than simple generic search terms. They are more specific and have lower search volumes. However, they often have lower suggested bids, meaning that you can bid on these keywords and still be profitable.

Also, the fact that they are more specific means that they will catch users who are more certain of what they are looking for and are therefore more likely to purchase.

Let’s take a look at an example.

If someone were to type “men’s shoes” into Google, they would be making a very general search and likely do not know exactly what they are looking for. However, someone who typed “Nike men’s trainers size ten in red” would likely know exactly the type of shoe they are looking for.

The latter search term would have much lower search volume, but the user would be much more likely to convert once they clicked on the associated PPC ad.

Now, it is up to you to build a list of long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business. Take the primary keywords on your website and put them into a list.

Let’s stay with the previous example and say your site is selling athletic apparel. You might have a few primary keyword phrases such as “running shoes”, “dry-fit tees” and “compression shorts”.

Create a second list of auxiliary keywords that would add on to your primary keywords such as “men’s”, “women’s”, “children’s” or the colors or brands of your products.

Put these lists in two separate columns in Microsoft Excel, and then use a combine function to add the lists together and create long-tail keywords from each possible combination.

Take a look at this example below.

After this, put your list of long-tail keywords into the “get search volumes and trends” section of the Keyword Planner in Google Ads.

This will tell you how many people search for each term as well as the suggested bid. You can then pick the keywords which will fit within your budget and which will provide you business value.

The whole process does take a bit of work, and you need to be creative to come up with terms and long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business.

However, by using this method, you will be able to get a very clear idea of what sort of volumes you can expect from certain keywords and how much you will need to pay to get them.

Negative keywords

Negative keywords

Negative keywords will help you reach your target audience, reduce your costs and increase your revenue

Negative keywords give you the possibility to exclude words that aren’t a good match for your product or service.

Doing so can help you reach your target audience, reduce your costs and increase your revenue. Your paid search should be shown only to people that need your services. However, a lot of business owners have no idea what negative keywords are and how to use them.

To find negative keywords you can use for example Google’s keyword planner which is not primarily used for finding negative keywords but where you can find terms that users search for but for which you don’t want to bid. Do the research to identify different ways users are searching for information that includes related keywords.

Continue building your negative keyword list by reviewing your campaigns and the search terms. WordStream research shows that almost half of Google Ads users don’t add any negative keywords, so they are not optimizing their campaigns.

If you find a very important negative keyword you should also think of its misspellings and add them to your list.

It is necessary to put some time into creating your list of negative keywords, but it is definitely worth your effort. Here is a list of few useful negative keywords fitting to almost all businesses (unless of course, you are selling products related to these keywords). Our short list includes: information, review, craigslist, eBay, salaries, job.

Finally, testing and optimizing make you a master!

Finally, testing and optimizing make you a master!

It is essential to test your keyword list to find the winners

Keep trying new keywords to see how effective they are. Don’t rely on your own opinion on what you think is effective, but instead, analyze your data to see the best performing keywords. Good luck guys, don’t stop testing and improving!

Pictures by: unsplash.com,  pixabay.com

Read also: How to Plan Long and Short-Term Ad Budgets for Small Business

Do you want to learn more about advertizing with Google?

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About the author

Jana is MonkeyData’s Content Specialist. She is fascinated by the growing independence of small retailers and an avid proponent of an e-commerce (r)evolution. Outside of work, she loves knitting and you can often find her in the mountains or traveling around Europe.

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