Improve your campaign

Step 1: Improve keywords

Keywords are the words and phrases that trigger your ad to appear when a potentialadd customer searches for your products and services. If you sell electronics, for example, you might choose laptop delivery and free laptop delivery as your keywords. When someone uses those words in a search, the keywords can trigger your ad.

Let us show you how to select great keywords.

Think like your customers

You’ll create a group of ads — or ad group — for each of your products and services. For each ad group, you’ll want to pick at least 20 relevant keywords.

As you pick your keywords, think like your potential customers. What are they searching for? What words would they use to describe your product?

Use themes

To show more relevant ads to potential customers, try grouping your keywords into themes that are based on your different products or services. For example, you might create one group of keywords about the laptops that you sell and another group about the mobile phones you offer.

In general, you'll want to choose specific keywords that directly relate to your themes. Using specific keywords means that your ad can appear when potential customers search for terms that are relevant to your business.

Keep in mind

You don’t want to choose keywords that are too general because your ad might show to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer. And you don’t want to choose keywords that are too specific because your ads might not show to all the people who are interested in your products and services.

See steps for adding keywords
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. Click the Campaigns tab. Campaign tab overview
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click the + Keywords button at the top of your keywords table.
  5. Select which ad group you'd like to add your keywords to.
  6. Add your keywords to the keyword box, one per line (your keywords can include multiple words).
  7. Click Save.


It's worth taking about 20 minutes a week to review and update your keyword selection based on what's working for your customers.

Use negative keywords to improve your customer reach

You’ll want to think about negative keywords. Negative keywords prevent your ads from showing when people use search terms that are similar — but not relevant — to the products and services you offer.


Let’s say you’re creating ads for your online electronics store. If your keywords are MP3 player, CD player, and DVD player, your ads could show to people using keywords such as antique record player and piano player. To filter out products that you don’t sell, your negative keywords could be antique, record, and piano.

As you can see, negative keywords help filter out the people who you know aren’t interested in what you have to sell. By better targeting your best customers, you’re helping to reduce your costs and boost your return on investment.

See steps to add negative keywords
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. Select the campaign or the ad group that you'd like to edit.
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Scroll down to find the negative keywords section below the main keywords table. Expand the section by clicking +.
  5. You'll see two tables: "Ad group level" and "Campaign level."
  6. To add a negative keyword to an ad group, click Add. To add a negative keyword to a campaign, click the Add drop-down menu and select "Add Keywords." Add keywords
  7. Enter your keywords (one per line).
  8. Click Save.

Follow steps in your account

Click this link to go to your account and see a guided tour that walks you through each step to add negative keywords to reach the right customers. Note that this step-by-step flow is available for “Search Network only” and “Search and Display Networks” campaigns. Show me how

Brainstorm new keywords

If you’d like to find new keyword ideas, the free Keyword Planner can help. Keyword Planner can also help you estimate traffic for existing and new keywords.

To get keyword ideas for your electronics business, for example, you might search for the term computer on Keyword Planner and get ideas like computer parts and computer hardware. Then, you could get traffic estimates — say, the estimated number of clicks — for these keywords based on different bids and budgets.

See steps to use the Keyword Planner
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. Click the Tools tab and select Keyword Planner. Tools and analysis tab
  3. Click the Keywords tab.
  4. Click Search for new keyword and ad groups ideas to expand the search section. Enter a word or phrase, your website's address, or select a product category.
  5. Click Get ideas. Your results will appear in the table.

Next step

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