Intro to Google Ads Keyword Research

A common pain point for many marketers is the ability to conduct thorough and accurate keyword research.

When you are first starting to invest in Google Ads it is important to constantly be iterating on the keywords within your account.

If you are doing this early on and often, there is a better chance your performance will accelerate without wasting spend on poor performing keywords.

Using Google’s Keyword Planner:

When you are ready to begin searching for keywords to bid on it is good to make note of Google’s options for searching for new keywords.

Google provides two options to search similar terms. The first option is to start with new keywords. Second, is to use the website content to help fuel the recommendations.

Google just recently added the website search functionality within this past year.

Due to its newer release and lack of accurate results it may be better to begin by searching keywords that from your knowledge would be relevant to your target audience.

Google's new keyword planner updates.
Google Ads Keyword Planner – Start with Keywords or Website

Once you have have identified and added all the relevant keywords to your search enter “get results” and the below results will show.

The metrics in keyword research:

Google provides some key metrics that will help guide your decisions as to which keywords should be the start group of terms to begin bidding on.

The metrics include: avg. monthly searches, competition, ad impression share, top of page bid (low range), and top of page bid (high range).

You may be asking. What do we consider when looking at these metrics?

Here are my considerations when choosing from the list Google provides:

  1. Do the keywords have sufficient volume? (Depending on your geography targeting this can vary significantly)
  2. Is there a lot of competition? If so, is the keywords bids expensive? (This a rough estimate based on the CPC range for top of page bid)
  3. Which keywords have “higher intent” vs “lower intent”?Defining intent is important because it will help structure whether keywords fall into your user’s research phase of the journey or “ready to buy” phase.
  4. Which keyword are “short tail” vs “long tail“?
Google Keyword Planner results
Google keyword planner results

While you are making decisions on the above considerations you can then begin to select a decide to add the keywords to you “plan”.

This will be a rough draft of where you will add your keyword research before setting up to bid on them.

Here there will be the option to change the match type of the keywords that you add.

My recommendation is to keep the broad match active. This will allow the keywords you select to be included in a multitude of queries that relate to your keywords.

Keyword plan in Google Ads
Selecting keyword to add to your keyword plan

At this point you can start to view the keywords within the plan to see what the projections look like for spend and potential conversions.

Google planner for keyword research
Google Planner Keyword forecasts

This is the last step in the process of your keyword research. If you are not satisfied with the results you can go back to re-select and search for keywords that may satisfy your strategy.

Some people are indifferent with the results of keyword planner when:

  1. The cost Google is recommending is substantially higher than what they are willing to spend.
  2. The top states are not relevant to their existing market for search traffic. (This can be adjusted and does not mean a smaller market is a bad market to spend in).

If you would like to learn more about Google Ads feel free to reach out!