Keywords are words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms people are searching for.
Selecting high quality, relevant keywords for your advertising campaign can help you reach the customers you want, when you want.
This article explains how keywords work, where your ads will show.
How they work
To get your ads to appear when people search for your product or service, the keywords you choose need to match the words or phrases that people search for.
If you sell frisbees, you can add "buy frisbee" as a keyword in your Google Ads campaign. When people type "buy frisbee" on Google search, your ad might appear on the search results page. In addition, if your Search campaign is also targeting the display network, then your ad could also appear on websites about ultimate frisbee.
When a customer searches for a term that matches your keyword, your ad enters an auction to determine if it will show. Learn more about the ad auction.
The cost for each keyword will be different depending on the quality of your keyword, your competition in the auction, and other factors. Make sure your keywords and landing page are all closely related to the terms that a customer might be searching for. To help you understand the quality for your keywords, each keyword has a Quality Score.
This score is based on expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Higher quality ads and relevance to user searches typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions. Learn how to make sure your ads are relevant.
How your keywords match to searches
You can use keyword match types to choose the range of what searches your keywords can match. With exact match your keyword will only show on searches that are the same meaning as the keyword. With phrase match, your keyword can show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword.
If you don’t specify a match type, your keyword will default to broad match and can match to searches related to your keywords. Learn more about keyword matching options.
How to exclude searches
To prevent your ad from showing for particular searches, you can also add negative keywords.
Negative keywords can help you make sure your ad only shows on the searches you want. Learn more about negative keywords.
If you sell dog clothes you can target searches for “pet clothes” and add "cat" as a negative keyword to make sure your ad doesn't appear to people looking for cat clothes.
Where your ads appear
You can choose to target your ads to a number of different ad networks. Keywords work a bit differently on each network:
- Google search and search partner sites: When you build your ad groups, you select keywords relevant to the terms people use when they search, so your ads reach customers precisely when they're looking for what you offer.
- Google Display Network: If you've chosen to show ads on Display Network sites, Google Ads uses your keywords to place your ads next to content that matches your ads. Google's technology scans the content and web address of a webpage and automatically displays ads with keywords that closely match the subject or web address of the page. For example, on a webpage that includes brownie recipes, Google Ads might show ads about chocolate brownies or delicious dessert recipes. Learn how to choose your keywords for Display Network campaigns.
- Choose your keywords carefully. Include terms or phrases that your customers would use to describe your products or services. Make sure your keywords directly relate to the theme of your ad and the page you're directing your customers to. Keywords of two or three words tend to work most effectively.
- Group similar keywords into ad groups.Try grouping your keywords into themes. These themes can be based on your products, services, or other categories. For example, if you sell rings, you can have a group of keywords for "engagement rings" and another group of keywords for "wedding rings." Then you can create separate ad groups for these groups of keywords and have specific ads for "engagement rings" and specific ads for "wedding rings."