Optimize your keyword list

You've already created a keyword list, and now you'd like some tips on how to make it perform better. Learn more about how to add, edit, and remove keywords.

This article explains some advanced ways you can optimize your keyword list.

Find new keywords with the Keyword Planner

When building a Search Network campaign, get keyword ideas and estimate traffic for those keywords with the Keyword Planner.

This tool will show you how a list of keywords might perform and the average number of times people searched for those terms. Use this information to decide which keywords might increase clicks on your and increase awareness of your product.

Learn more about using the Keyword Planner.


If you enter the phrase "running shoe" in the Keyword Planner, it might show you "discount running shoes" or "motion control running shoes" as additional keywords to consider. For each keyword idea, you'll get statistics showing how competitive the keyword is and the average number of times people searched for that term worldwide.

Try it out

Improve your clickthrough rate with negative keywords.

In some cases, you'll want to prevent your ad from showing for terms that aren't relevant to your product or service. Try adding negative keywords to help you reduce costs and make your ad appear only for the search terms you want.

Learn more about adding negative keywords to your campaign.


Let's say the running shoe store you own sells only men's shoes. You might consider adding "women" and "girls" as negative keywords to prevent your ad from showing when people search for women's shoes or girls' shoes.

Use the search terms report

The search terms report gives you information on what people were searching for when they saw your ad and clicked it. This information can help you remove poorly performing keywords or add new keywords. You can also use the search terms report to help you identify negative keywords.

Learn more about understanding the search terms report.

Use keyword match types to better control who sees your ads

Keyword match types give you greater control over who sees your ads.

For example, with the exact match option, you can specify an exact keyword, which also includes close variations of that keyword such as misspellings, plural forms, abbreviations, reordered words, and other variations with the same meaning. For details, see Exact match: Definition.

Learn more about using keyword match types.


If you want to show your ad only to people interested in buying men’s running shoes, you might want to add a term like “men’s running shoes” as an exact match keyword.

That way, your ad will be eligible to show when people search for that exact term or a close variation such as “running shoes for men.” Your ad won’t show when people search for terms like “best running shoes for men” because that phrase includes the term “best,” which isn’t an exact part of your keyword or close variations of it.

Use Smart Bidding to help prioritize your best performing keywords

Smart Bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that uses Google AI to optimize for conversions or conversion value in every auction—a feature known as “auction-time bidding.” If you’re using Smart Bidding on your Search campaigns, Google will prioritize your keywords that are performing better in order to achieve your campaigns' goals. Learn more About Smart Bidding.

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