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Choose the right Google Ads keywords for effective targeting

Directly from Google, read these Google Ads keywords best practices, designed to help you reach the right customers and grow your business.

Official guide to effective keyword targeting and management in Google Ads.

Table of Contents

  1. Manage match types for growth and control
  2. Expand the reach of existing keywords
  3. Refine your traffic with negative keywords

1. Align keywords with business goals

  • Think holistically about how customers could reach you.
Why: Your keywords should reflect all of the different types of user queries that could help someone find you when they’re looking for something you offer.
  • Align your keywords and their management with your overall business goals.
Why: Different keywords have different purposes, and they should be held accountable to the goal that most aligns with their purpose.
Get Started: Add new keywords to your account.
  • Analyze your keyword list and delete low search volume keywords.
Why: Reduce clutter. If keywords aren’t going to drive any traffic for you, there’s no need to keep them around.
Get Started: Remove keywords with low search volume from your account.

2. Manage match types for growth and control

  • Use broad match to capture long tail queries, reserve exact match for your primary volume and value drivers.
Why: Maximize coverage on queries relevant to your business while keeping account management reasonable.
Get Started: Learn about the different match types to control which searches can trigger your ad.
  • Don’t create granular variations of phrase/exact match keywords.
Why: Phrase and exact match types expand to cover close keyword variations, so you don’t need to worry about creating additional keyword clutter in your Google Ads account.

3. Find new targeting opportunities in Google Ads

  • Use Dynamic Search Ads to streamline account management.
Why: Avoid the need for continual updates to your keyword lists every time you make a change to your site.
Get Started: Learn how to create Dynamic Search Ads.

4. Expand the reach of existing keywords

  • Maximize the presence of your keywords by improving their Ad Rank.
Why: Adding new targeting options isn’t the only way to grow volume. A more aggressive bid coupled with higher quality ads can drive volume on existing keywords.
Get Started: Start improving Ad Rank by changing your bids and ad text.
  • Extend your reach to users that aren’t on by targeting search partners.
Why: Get more volume from the same set of keywords in your account.
Get Started: Include search partners in an existing Search campaign.

5. Refine your traffic with negative keywords

  • Make negative keyword additions a regular part of Google Ads account maintenance.
Why: Save money by avoiding clicks from people that aren’t going to become customers.
Get Started: Add negative keywords to your Search and Display campaigns.
  • Just like your main keywords, focus negative keyword management on the places that will do the most good.
Why: Your account’s health depends on adding impactful, not exhaustive, negative keywords.
Get Started: Create a negative keyword list to apply across multiple campaigns.

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