Calculate and improve your return on investment

Refining your keywords and bids

Invest in keywords that produce results

Choosing high quality, relevant keywords for your advertising campaign can help you reach the customers you want.

Be sure to invest in keywords that are producing results for you. To see if the keywords you've chosen are on the right track, answer these questions:

1. Are your keywords specific and targeted to the right people?

Your keywords should be closely related to what you're advertising. The more relevant and specific your keywords are to what you offer, the more likely they'll be to bring in customers for you.

Keywords of 2 or 3 words (a phrase) tend to work most effectively.

 

Let's say that you're advertising kid's basketball shoes. How would you assess each of these potential keywords?

 

Keyword: Basketball

Keyword: Basketball shoes

Keyword: Kids basketball shoes

Keyword: Cheap kids basketball shoes

 

2. Are you capturing the different ways people search?

To help you reach more customers, think of other terms and phrases that people might search for to find your business. It's a good idea to include other commonly used terms and word variations in your keyword list.

For example, customers looking for kids basketball shoes might be using words similar to kids, such as children, boys or girls so you might consider adding keywords such as:

  • children basketball shoes
  • boys basketball shoes
  • girls basketball shoes

Or, customers may be searching for athletics shoes or trainers instead of basketball shoes, in which case you could add keywords like:

  • kids athletic shoes
  • kids sports shoes
  • kids trainers
 

3. Are you filtering out irrelevant terms?

You can filter out specific terms that people might search for that aren't related to your business. Adding a keyword as a negative keyword prevents your ad from being triggered when someone searches using that word or phrase.

For example, if you're using the keyword basketball shoes, but you don't sell adult basketball shoes, you probably don't want your ad to appear when someone searches for men basketball shoes or women basketball shoes. In this case, you could add men and women as negative keywords.

We recommend having at least 3 negative keywords in each ad group. You can also have negative keywords at campaign level. By filtering out searches that aren't relevant or specific enough, you ensure that you're only paying for clicks that bring in business for you.

 

Do it now: Add keywords

To add keywords follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Keywords from the left page menu.
  3. Click Keywords on the top.
  4. Click the plus button .
  5. Click Select an ad group and choose the campaign and then the ad group that you want to add keywords to.
  6. Add your keywords to the keyword box, one per line (your keywords can include multiple words).

    • To add broad-matched 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 phrase-matched keyword, surround the term with quotation marks.
    • To add an exact-matched keyword, surround the term with brackets.
  7. Click Save.

To get ideas for keywords:

  1. Follow steps 1-5 above.
  2. Fill in one or both fields in the “Get keyword ideas” section:

    • Enter a related website
    • Enter your product or service
  3. Click a keyword suggestion to add it to your list. 
  4. When you’re ready, click on Save.

Do it now: Add negative keywords

To add negative keywords follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Keywords from the left page menu.
  3. Click Negative keywords on the top.
  4. Click the plus button .
  5. Click the drop-down menu and choose whether you want to add negative keywords to a Campaign or Ad group.
  6. Click Select a campaign or Select an ad group and choose the one you want to add negative keywords to.
  7. Enter your negative keywords, one per line.

    • 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.
  8. Click Save.

Automate your bidding to get more clicks and conversions

Managing your bids effectively is a big part of maximising your return on investment.

If you're new to online advertising, we recommend letting Google Ads manage your bids automatically to help bring you the most possible clicks within your budget. The automated Maximise Clicks bid strategy is the simplest bid strategy. It's ideal for advertisers who want to maximise clicks to their website but don't want to spend a lot of time setting bids.

Better still, once you've set up conversion tracking, you can use automated bidding that uses your conversion data to bid even more effectively. Google Ads will adjust your bids to get you the most conversions, whilst staying within your budget. This can help you maximise your ROI even further.

To help you choose the right type of automated bidding, choose the option below that best applies to you:

 

I want to get the most possible conversions for my budget

Recommended for you

To help drive more conversions, consider using Target CPA bidding, an automated bid strategy that sets bids to help you get as many conversions as possible at the target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) you set. It adjusts your bid based on your conversion history to get you as many profitable clicks as possible. It sets higher bids for more valuable clicks and lower bids for less valuable clicks, whilst staying within your budget.

With Target CPA bidding, you set a target cost per acquisition (CPA) – the average amount that you'd like to pay for a conversion.

Ready to go? Set up Target CPA bidding now.

I want to get more conversions but still control my CPC

Recommended for you

To help drive more conversions, consider using Enhanced CPC, a bidding feature designed to get you more conversions at a lower cost. It raises or lowers your max CPC bid, based on how likely that click is to lead to a conversion.

If you'd like to increase your conversions, but still have control over your manual CPC bid more than your existing CPC bid, then Enhanced CPC is a good choice for you.

Ready to go? Turn on Enhanced CPC now.

  

Do it now: Set up Target CPA bidding

Before you start using Target CPA bidding, you need to have conversion tracking enabled. For better performance, your campaign should receive at least 50 conversions per month. This conversion history enables the system to make more accurate predictions about your future conversion rate.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Choose the campaign you want from the left navigation panel. 
  3. Click the Settings page.
  4. Click Bidding.
  5. Click Change bid strategy.
  6. From the drop-down menu, choose Target CPA.
  7. Add your target CPA amount.
  8. Click Save.

Do it now: Turn on Enhanced CPC

Note: Your campaign must have conversion tracking enabled in order to use ECPC.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Choose the campaign you want from the left navigation panel. 
  3. Click the Settings page.
  4. Click Bidding.
  5. If you’re already using manual CPC bidding, check the Enable enhanced CPC option. To switch to manual CPC bidding, click Change bid strategy and choose Manual CPC from the drop-down, then select the Enable enhanced CPC option.
  6. Click Save.

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