Create a campaign that reaches new customers

Select the right keywords

Choose the right keywords to connect with customers

For your ads to show when people search for products or services like yours, you'll want to choose keywords that are similar to the words or phrases people might use when conducting their search. When someone's search terms are similar to your keywords and the text of your ad, your ad can be eligible to show next to their search results.

So how do you know the right keywords to pick? Watch this short video to get 5 simple tips for picking the right keywords.

5 tips for choosing the right keywords in AdWords

You'll want to organize your campaigns and ad groups into categories or themes of the products and services you're advertising. Then, within each ad group, you'll choose keywords and write ads that relate specifically to that theme.

Account
www.electrostore.com
Campaign 1 Campaign 2
Televisions Cameras
Ad Group 1 Ad Group 2 Ad Group 1 Ad Group 2
3DTVs HDTVs Compact Cameras SLR Cameras
Keywords Keywords Keywords Keywords
2-3 Ads 2-3 Ads 2-3 Ads 2-3 Ads
 

Answer these questions to start building a keyword list for one of your ad groups.

1. What's the theme of your ad group?

Let's say you're a shoe retailer running a campaign for "Athletic shoes." You break out your campaign into ad groups for different types of athletic shoes, like "kids basketball shoes" and "men's soccer shoes."

2. What are the words or phrases someone might use to search for products or services related to your ad group's theme?

This is the beginning of your ad group's keyword list.

For best results, we recommend picking between 5 and 20 keywords for each ad group. Once your ads start running, you can evaluate how your ads and keywords are doing and make any adjustments to improve performance.

For your "kids basketball shoes" ad group, your keyword list might look like this:

  • youth basketball shoes
  • kids basketball shoes
  • boys basketball shoes
  • girls basketball shoes
  • childrens basketball shoes

When someone searches Google using the phrase kids basketball shoes or a similar term, your ad might appear next to Google search results, or on other websites related to youth basketball.

3. Want some help coming up with new keywords?

If so, use Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas and traffic forecasts. Keyword Planner is like a workshop for building new Search Network campaigns or expanding existing ones. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together. Learn more about using Keyword Planner.


Do it now: Add keywords to your ad group

Guided tour: Add keywords

Click the "Guide me" button below to go to your account and be guided through the steps to add keywords.

Guide me

The steps for adding keywords to your ad group vary depending on your campaign type. If you're not sure what your campaign type is, you can find it by clicking the Campaigns tab, selecting the campaign you'd like to check, and looking at "Type" under your campaign name.

Add keywords to a "Search Network only" or "Search Network with Display Select" campaign
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Keywords tab. Keywords tab
  3. Click the + Keywords button at the top of your keywords table.
  4. Select which ad group you'd like to add your keyword to. Add keywords
  5. Add your keywords to the keyword box, one per line (your keywords can include multiple words).

    Tip

    You might see a list of keyword ideas to the right of the keyword box. Click the add link next to any keyword you'd like to add to your ad group. You can get an instant estimate of how many people use each keyword you add by clicking the Estimate search traffic button below the text box.

  6. Click Save.
Add keywords to a "Display Network only" campaign
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Display Network tab.
  3. Click + Targeting above the graph.
  4. Select which ad group you'd like to add your keyword to.
  5. Click the "Add targeting" dropdown menu and select "Display keywords." Add your keywords to the keyword box, one per line (your keywords can include multiple words) and click Add keywords. Or, type your keyword in the box and click Find related keywords to get keyword ideas. Then, click the double arrows next to each keyword you'd like to add.
  6. Click Close to save your changes.

Fine-tune your keywords to match your goals and budget

To get the most out of your budget, you might want to widen or narrow your ad's potential audience for a given keyword.

For example, you may want your ad to show to anyone who uses a search term that contains your keyword in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Or, you may want more precise control of when your ad shows. For example, showing your ad only when someone searches specifically for your keyword, with other words before or after it.

You can do this with "Search Network only" or "Search Network with Display Select" campaigns by using keyword matching options.

How To Use Keyword Match Types on the Search Network

Select the statement that best describes when you want your ads to show.


I want the broadest reach for my ads, so show them when someone searches for terms that are similar to my keywords

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You'll want to use broad match for your keywords. With broad match, your ad may show if the term a person searches for contains your keyword terms in any order, and possibly along with other terms. Your ads can also show for close variations of your keywords, including misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.

Broad match is the default matching option so you don't need to do anything in your account to use it. Sticking with the broad match default is a great choice if you don't want to spend a lot of time building your keyword lists and want to capture the highest possible volume of ad traffic.

 
Broad match keyword Ads may show on searches for
women's shoes women's shoes
buy ladies shoes
womens footwear
formal shoes for women
womans shoes
Buy red shoes for women

I want a more precise reach for my ads, so show them only when someone searches for my keyword, or my keyword with other words before or after it

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You'll want to use the phrase match option for these keywords. This will make sure that your ad only shows when someone's search includes the keyword as you've entered it in AdWords.

We'll also show your ad when someone searches for a close variation of your phrase match keywords, such as misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. So there's no need to separately add close variations as keywords.

With phrase match, your ad will still show if someone searches for your keyword with other terms before or after it. This can help you reach more customers, while still giving you more precise control.

To use the phrase match option, surround the entire keyword with quotation marks, like "keyword".

 
If your phrase match keyword is: Your ads can show when someone searches for: Your ads won't show when someone searches for: 
"high heel shoes" high heel shoes stiletto heels
  buy high heel shoes shoes with heels
  high-heel shoes buy high heels

Ready to go? Do it now.

I want the most precise reach for my ads, so show them only when someone searches for my exact keyword, without any other terms

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You'll want to use exact match for these keywords. This is the most precise matching option and is best used when you know exactly what search terms you want to trigger your ads to show. With exact match, your ads can appear only when someone searches for your exact keyword, without any other terms in the search.

We'll also show your ad when someone searches for close variations of your exact match keyword, such as misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. So there's no need to separately add close variations as keywords.

Keep in mind that exact match is also the most restrictive keyword match type. If you use only exact match keywords in your ad group, your ads could be limited in how often they show to customers.

To add a keyword as exact-matched, surround the entire keyword with brackets, like [keyword].

 
If your exact match keyword is: Your ads can show when someone searches for: Your ads won't show when someone searches for:
[red high heels] red high heels buy women's high heels
red shoes
black high heels
red stiletto heels

Ready to go? Do it now.

How do you know if you've chosen the right match type? In the next guide in this series, we'll show you how to review your keyword performance and determine if you need to make any changes to your match type. Make sure you continue to the next guide!

Do it now: Add keyword match types to an ad group

If you're using broad match, you don't need to do anything since this is the default setting.

Keyword match types are only available with "Search Network only" or "Search Network with Display Select" campaign types.

  1. Follow the instructions above to add keywords to your ad group.
  2. When you enter your new keyword, surround the entire keyword with the correct characters as follows:
    • For phrase match: Quotation marks, like this: "phrase match keyword"
    • For exact match: Brackets, like this: [exact match keyword]
  3. Save your new keywords as explained in instructions above.

Do this now in your account

 

Identify search terms that you don't want to trigger your ads

You only want to pay for ad clicks that can lead to real business. Once your ads start running, you can use AdWords to view the search terms that are triggering your ads to show (we'll show you how to do that in the next guide). If your ads are showing on searches that aren't valuable to you, you'll want to add those terms as negative keywords. Negative keywords prevent Google from showing your ad to anyone who includes these words or phrases in their search.

For example, if you were advertising women's shoes but you don't sell flip-flops, you might add flip-flops as a negative keyword. This way, your ads won't show when someone includes the term flip-flops in their search.

For best results, we recommend including at least 3 negative keywords per ad group. Once your ads start running, you'll want to regularly review your search terms report (covered in the next guide) to identify new search terms you might want to add as negative keywords.
 

Think about the keywords in your ad group. What other words or phrases are often associated with these keywords, but aren't exactly what you offer?

Let's say you're an optometrist who sells glasses. You'd want to prevent your ad from showing to someone searching for or visiting webpages that contain terms like wine glasses and drinking glasses, since that person isn't likely to buy a pair of your eyeglasses. So you'd add wine and drinking as negative keywords.

Do it now: Add negative keywords to your campaign or ad group

Guided tour: Add negative keywords

Click the "Guide me" button below to go to your account and be guided through each step to add negative keywords.

Guide me
How to add negative keywords in AdWords

Keep in mind

Make sure that your negative keywords don't overlap with your regular keywords, because this will cause your ad not to show.

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Keywords tab.
  3. Click the Negative keywords tab.
  4. You'll see two tables: "Ad group level" and "Campaign level." Ad group and Campaign level
  5. Add negative keywords at the ad group or campaign level by clicking the + Keywords button above either table. Use the drop-down to select the ad group or campaign that you'd like to add negative keywords to, then add one negative keyword per line in the text field.
    • To add broad-matched negative keywords, you'll need to add the plural version of these keywords in addition to the singular version, such as "wine" and "wines."
    • To add a negative phrase-matched keyword, surround the term with quotation marks.
    • To add a negative exact-matched keyword, surround the term with brackets.
  6. Click Save.
 

Way to go! You've finished customizing your AdWords campaign. It takes about a day for your ads to be reviewed and start showing. In the meantime, let's review how AdWords billing works so you know just how you'll be charged once the clicks start rolling in.

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