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Choose keywords for Display Network campaigns

Display Network keywords help you connect your campaigns to likely buyers.

For example, if your most likely customers hike, you might add keywords around hiking or the outdoors. AdWords will find relevant websites that include your keywords as well as relevant audiences interested in those keywords. Try to pick keywords that are relevant to entire ad groups, and not just a single ad.

This article explains how to use keywords on the Display Network.

How it works

Keywords are one of the targeting options on the Display Network. Sometimes your ads may show on placements that seem unrelated to your keywords. Depending on your keyword setting, your ads instead may show to audiences based on their recent browsing history or other factors, rather than the content of the page they’re currently viewing. Learn more at About contextual targeting.

When choosing keywords for your Display Network campaigns:

  • Create ad groups for your products or services so we can show ads related to them.
  • Choose keywords that you imagine could appear on websites where your customers might browse.
  • Get additional ad group and keyword ideas.

Create ad groups

Before you choose keywords for your Display Network campaigns, make sure that the ad groups for each of your campaigns are organized by the products or services that you offer. Once you have keywords that describe the products or services that you're advertising, you can then create ads related to those keywords.

Example

Let's say you're building a campaign for your bakery. When you set up your campaign, you should separate your ad groups into the different types of products that you sell. Here are examples of poorly structured and effectively structured ad groups to get a better idea of how to organize ad groups for your campaign:

 

Poorly structured ad group

Ad group: Bakery

Keywords: chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, snickerdoodles, chewy brownies, brownies with nuts, dark chocolate brownies, red velvet cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes

 

Effectively structured ad group

Ad group: Cookies

Keywords: chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, snickerdoodles

Ad group: Brownies

Keywords: chewy brownies, brownies with nuts, dark chocolate brownies

Ad group: Cupcakes
Keywords: red velvet cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes

Choose keywords

Your ad group's keyword list helps AdWords show your ads on relevant websites or to relevant audiences. Follow these guidelines to create a high-quality keyword list:

  • Choose keywords related to your product or service.
  • Create a set of 5 to 20 keywords that relate to the ads in that ad group. Two to three-word phrases tend to work well.
  • Select keywords that are related to each other. For example, if you sell flowers, you may want to add "roses" and "flower arrangements" to your keyword list. That way, your keywords could show ads to customers who are interested in buying roses or flower arrangements.
  • Select keywords related to the websites your customers see.
  • If you have a strong and well-recognized brand, include branded keywords.

Example

Ad group: Brownies

Keywords: chocolate brownies, dark chocolate brownies, chewy brownies, dessert recipes, brownie recipes

Choose the AdWords experience you're using. Learn more

Get ad group and keyword ideas

You can use Display Planner to get themed ad group and keyword ideas that you might not think of when you build your campaigns. Here's how to use Display Planner:

  1. Click the Tools tab and select Display Planner.
  2. Enter your customers’ interests or types of landing pages they typically visit.
  3. Click Get ad group ideas.
  4. To see keyword ideas, click the Individual targeting ideas tab and then the Keywords sub-tab.

Monitor and improve your keyword performance

To see results metrics for your Display Network keywords, go to the Display Network tab and click Display keywords. You’ll find a table including impressions, clicks, and other results showing how well your keywords are meeting your advertising goals. Based on the these results, you can make decisions about revising your keyword list.

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