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Google Ads

Keywords are the core of your search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be. Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Creating a great keyword list is a great starting point to make your campaigns profitable and maximise conversions.


Now, this doesn’t mean you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.


Here are some tips to get you started building a killing Google Ads keyword list.


  1. Use the Keyword Tool.

  2. Google yourself!

  3. Use plurals and alternate spellings.

  4. Combine the words.

  5. Use (almost) all keyword match types.

  6. Analyse existing data from your account.

  7. Use local keywords.

  8. Split out in relevant ad groups.

  9. Optimise your keyword list.


Tip #1: Use the Keyword Planner Tool


The built-in Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool is the best tool to use when you start building your first keyword list.



Screenshot of Google Ads keyword planner tool.



You can find the tool in your Google Ads account and it’s free! By typing in a keyword, Google will give you keyword suggestions. Also, it will give you the average monthly searches, the average cost-per-click of each of the keywords and the competition of other advertisers.


Alternatively, you can also put in your website address and Google will give you suggestions based on this.


Tip #2: Google yourself!


Ever wondered what your customers type into Google? Why don’t you try and find out yourself!


Google is great with giving suggestions once people start typing something into the search engine. Did you notice the suggestion box that pops up as soon as you start searching?


Most likely, these will contain some keywords that you can use within your campaigns.



Screenshot of Google search suggestions box in search engine.



Tip #3: Use plurals and different spellings


True, Google will automatically show your ad for any plurals, misspelling or closely related keywords.


However, wouldn’t it be great to stay in full control yourself and be able to adjust your bids for any plurals or related keywords? From experience, I know there could be a big difference in performance for a keyword like “locksmith” vs “locksmiths. So it’s worth the extra effort to split these out in your campaigns as well.


Tip #4: Combine the words


People type things into Google in all different orders. As an advertiser, you want to make sure you capture all of these. Therefore, you will have to add all of them to your campaigns.


So, this means you will add the keyword “locksmith sydney” as well as “sydney locksmith” to your campaigns.


There are some great keyword combining tools online that you can use to make this easier for you.


Tip #5: Use (almost) all keyword match types


Keyword match types are great. When used correctly, they will be able to give you full control for which search queries your ad will be shown.


To do this, make sure you use a mix of broad match modifier, phrase, exact and negative keywords.


Noticed that one of the match types is missing? Correct, don’t use broad match keywords. They’re for lazy people. Instead, build out your keyword list with long tail keywords to make sure you capture the most relevant search queries for your business.


Tip #6: Analyse existing data


Ah, you already been running your Google Ads campaigns for a while? Great, there’s probably loads of data within your account. Let’s use this to your advantage.


The Search Terms report in your Google Ads account is one of the most useful reports for you to use. You can find the Search Terms report in the keyword tab of your account.



Screenshot of search terms report in Google Ads.



Previously, this was called the search query report. It shows all the search queries that lead to a click on your ads. A great starting point to expand your keyword lists or negatives.


The Added/Excluded column shows if the search query is currently added as a keyword to your account. If not, it will show “None”. These are potential new keywords that you can add to your account.


But, don’t rely on your match types to be triggered for these keywords. Instead, you can have more control by adding them directly to your account. You will be able to change your bids, create different ad copies and landing pages etc.


Tip #7: Use local keywords


Adding local keywords to your account is a great way to expand your reach with relevant keywords.


For example, you can add “australia”, “sydney”, or even suburb keywords to your list and combine it with your amin keywords.


Are you running a local business? Have a look at our previous article with Google Ads tips for local businesses.


Tip #8: Split out in relevant ad groups


Don’t just add all of your keywords into a single ad group.


Instead, make sure you split them out. There’s no limit in the number of ad groups and campaigns you can add. So, make sure you create (at least) multiple ad groups.


The main reason why you would want to split it out is so that it’s easier to manage for yourself. Also, you will be able to write more relevant ad copies for each of your ad groups. A win-win situation.


Tip #9: Optimise your keyword list


It doesn’t stop when you launch your campaigns. Your keyword list should not be a set-and-forget thing. By analysing the data, you should constantly tweak your campaigns.


Based on the data, you can pause underperforming keywords. Also, you should keep an eye on keywords with a low click-through rate or Quality Score. By using the Search Term report (see tip 6) you can identify new keyword opportunities and add these to your campaigns.


Conclusion


Setting up an extensive and relevant keyword list is the most important thing when setting up your Google Ads campaigns. This decides if your campaigns will be successful in the long run.


Then, after you launched your campaigns you will constantly tweak your keyword list. You should be pausing underperforming keywords and add new once based on the data that is available.


That way you will constantly improve your campaigns and will be able to squeeze more conversions out of the budget.

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