How to pick the right keywords on Google Ads?

21 Apr, 2024

1 min

Contact us

“Earn $1000 per day without leaving your couch”, “Buy the latest trendiest best sneakers everyone fights over”. These are clickbait headlines to attract curious customers. Most of the time, it leads to shallow content and incredibly high bounce rates

But you don’t want that for your Google Ads campaigns, don’t you? How to find good consistent keywords that reflect your content well? What should you learn from clickbait?

Picking the right keywords for your Google Ads campaigns can turn out to be more complicated than it seems: expensive keywords, time-consuming process of research, too many words… It’s essential to position your business on some keywords as it helps you maximize your conversions. And you don’t want to miss that opportunity... Today we’ll help you understand which keywords you can find on Google Ads, how to choose your keywords and where to find the relevant ones. 

We bet you’ll find what you are looking for!

What types of keywords can you find on Google Ads?

Is “Vans sweatshirt” a keyword? Yes. Is “woman blue Vans sweatshirt” also a keyword? Yes.

Keywords are words used to describe and match an ad. The more precise it will be, the more it will match your ad. How to get your bearings?

Understand the 3 types of keyword matches

What’s a keyword match? It determines how precisely your keywords need to fit the user’s query to show on Google’s SERP.

There are 3 types of keyword matches according to Google: broad match, phrase match and exact match:

  1. Broad match is also called loose matching: it’s the default option. Loose matching means that ads will show on search results even if they don’t exactly include your keywords. This match considers the user’s search activity, the content of the landing page and other keywords in the ad group.

  2. Phrase match or moderate matching: ads will show if they have the same meaning as your keywords. It helps you reach more customers.

  3. Exact match or tight matching is the most specific keyword match. Your ad will show only if the research includes your exact keywords.

If you want to know how the type of match you select impacts your impression, read Google’s point on match impression share.

Long-tail vs short-tail keywords

Are keywords just words? They are more like a bunch of words. 

In concrete terms, long-tail phrases contain 3 or more keywords while short-tails have only 1 or 2 keywords. What does it change? Long-tail keywords are precise which means that the users targeted are more likely to convert into customers. 

As for short-tail keywords, they reach a broader audience and give your ad more visibility… but the audience reached is more imprecise.

 4 tips to choose the right keywords

Tips #1 - Align keywords with your business goals

As you may have understood by now, your keyword’s strategy will depend on your business goals. If you want to reach a wide audience: go for short-tail keywords and broad matches. Be careful, those keywords are more competitive, but they also cost more. 

We’ll go deeper into the cost of keywords later. If you want to target specific audiences: go for long-term keywords and exact matches. This strategy will help you reach a more qualified audience that is searching for your product or service. 

Bear in mind that if your keywords are too specific, you might not be able to reach as many customers as you wish. But if you want to target the most specific audience possible, you may be interested in negative keywords. What are they? If you want to prevent your ad from showing on irrelevant queries, pick negative keywords. Thanks to them, you can exclude some terms from your campaign. 

It means that if you’re selling red men’s shoes and select “women” as a negative keyword, your ad won’t show for research like “red women shoes”.

Tips #2 - Know your customers

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. You have to think as they do. If they’re more likely to search for “Laptop under $1,500” than “Macintosh 128k M0001” then pick the keyword “laptop” and not “Macintosh”. 

Building your keyword’s strategy starts with knowing your audience the best. How to do so? To help you understand your audience, we advise you to try those 4 powerful web analytics tools: Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Adobe analytics, Hotjar. They’ll help you know your audience demographics, behavior, interests, and so many other things. Discover how they help you leverage your data in our dedicated article.

Tips #3 - Pick keywords that correspond
to your product(s) or service(s)

Take a step further. Good keywords help you attract customers ready to buy your product(s) or service(s). But you won’t pick the trendiest keywords if they don’t match your ad, right? If your ad bounce rate is too high, it might be that you’ve chosen clickbait keywords and that customers are left disappointed with the unmatched products they find on your website.

Discover clickbait and its drawbacks.

Tips #4 - Use Google dynamic keywords

They allow you to personalize your ad to users’ search queries. An excellent way to create more specific ads! What is it exactly? Dynamic keywords are keywords that adapt to the user’s search query. 

How does it work? To use dynamic keywords, you need to insert a piece of code in your ad.  Then, when a user searches for your keywords, Google Ads will replace the code with the keywords that triggered your ad. Learn how to insert them into your ads.

Once you’ve selected your keyword, it’s time to bid! There’s a lot of different bidding options: smart bidding, CPC bidding, CPV bidding… Depending on your objectives (increasing your ROI or ROAS, lowering your bounce rate…) you won’t choose the same. 

Where can you find relevant keywords?

To pick the best keywords, you should try these 3 tools.

#1 - Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planneris a free tool that helps marketers choose keywords that match the topic of their ads. It suggests keywords related to your products or services, gives you insights on how keywords perform and helps you estimate your bids.



#2 - Google Trends

Google Trends provides daily samples of queries. It helps you know what people are looking for depending on their location. It also gives you the opportunity to compare keywords so that you can pick the most relevant one:



#3 - Google Search Console

Google Search Console is useful if you want to know through which channels your audience arrives on your website. It helps you monitor the ranking of your ads. Use this tool to get a better insight into the performance of your keywords

This is what your Google Search Console dashboard could look like:



3 Key takeaways

To pick the right keywords isn’t an easy task but to make it as efficient as possible, you should:

  • Understand your audience to match their queries
  • Define your goals to choose a good format of keywords and matches
  • Use tools to stay on the page and analyze the performance of your keywords

How often do you try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes? Go through the looking glass and start thinking as they do. It’ll help you pick the right keywords but not only. 

If despite our precious advice, you still have difficulties picking the right keywords, don’t worry… Our expert team would be glad to help you.

By Emma Jeanpierre

02 Feb, 2022