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3 criteria to help you choose your keywords for Google Ads

It is extremely important to choose the right keywords when running ads on Google. Keywords are one of the three main pillars of a successful Search campaign

Laurie-Anne Nault

September 13, 2022

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Table of Contents

What are the 3 criteria to consider when choosing your keywords for Google Ads?

Delving into the realm of Google Ads, it becomes evident that selecting the right keywords is a pivotal aspect of running successful ad campaigns. These keywords act as a vital connection between advertisers and potential leads, bridging the gap between supply and demand while aligning with user intentions.

The article introduces a breakdown of keyword selection based on the conversion funnel’s different stages: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision phases. It delves into how keywords evolve through each stage, emphasizing the need to tailor them to match the user’s level of awareness and engagement effectively.

Moreover, the article explores the importance of selecting keywords based on their typology, including information-seeking, action-oriented, and navigation keywords. It stresses the significance of understanding user intent and using the appropriate type of keyword to enhance the effectiveness of Google Ads campaigns.

Additionally, the article delves into the volume aspect of keywords, categorizing them into short-tail, medium-tail, and long-tail categories. It underlines the importance of maintaining a balance between keyword relevance and search volume, advising marketers to select keywords that resonate with their campaign objectives and target audience.

In essence, the article serves as a comprehensive guide to assist in choosing the most suitable keywords for Google Ads campaigns. By considering factors like user intent, funnel stage, keyword typology, and search volume, marketers can strategically optimize ad performance and elevate conversion rates effectively.

It is extremely important to choose the right keywords when running ads on Google. Keywords are one of the three main pillars of a successful Search campaign, alongside ad copy and landing page ergonomics.

In a previous article, we explained keyword basics for a marketing campaign.
In a nutshell, keywords are used to define users’ intentions. Keywords are therefore a link between supply and demand (aka: advertizers and leads).

The first step to choosing the right keywords is to define your products/services and explain why they answer your target audience’s specific problem. However, for qualitative keyword research, these are not the only criteria that can help you select the right keywords.

Choose your keywords based on the conversion funnel

Choose your keywords based on the conversion funnel
In its simplest form, a conversion funnel has these three phases:

  • Awareness (Top of the Funnel)
  • Consideration (Middle of the Funnel)
  • Decision (Bottom of the Funnel)
  • choisir-ses-mots-cles

    Source : RWA Insight

    Here’s an example. Let’s say we want to buy some new running shoes for a marathon.

    In the “Top of the Funnel,” or TOFU phase, prospects have no idea what solution will solve their problem. Actually, they haven’t yet truly qualified their problem; they start their search with more of an idea or a concept. This is relayed in the form of question-type keywords, usually with no technical vocabulary, and a broad, unspecific lexical field. Advertizers are not keen on positioning themselves with paid Google Ads based on this type of keyword search because prospects often do not know what they want. This phase is a playground for blog posts and any other informative content to help your target audiences become aware of their problem, explain various solutions, and guide them towards one solution or another.

    In the context of our example, we have to start out by learning what makes a good running shoe for marathon, what things to absolutely look for (or avoid) in these shoes, and how they are different from other types of running shoes.

    Then comes the consideration phase (“Middle of the funnel” or MOFU). Prospects have decided on the ideal solution for them. They have a much better understanding of their problem and know what to look out for. Now, they’re going to change the way they do their research. The keywords will be less generic and less broad; they will include more technical vocabulary. Typically, prospects will try to compare brands models, prices and shoe characteristics.

    They will read reviews and get some feedback from other runners. They will also wonder about how to make the purchase, whether online or in store. In short, they will gather all the necessary information they need to gauge their choices, judge their relevance and make their decision. In this phase, competition between advertizers begins to emerge as prospects have become increasingly more educated and attentive to all the options around them.

    Last is the decision phase (“Bottom of the Funnel” or BOFU). Prospects choose the model that would enable them to perform well at their next marathon. All that’s left is to select the brand and the place of purchase. At this point, prospects have all the information they need to make their choice and there isn’t much left to tip the scales on another advertizer’s side A good ad or quality service can make all the difference.

    Keywords are often long-tail, with clear intent and extremely specific words, such as the model or brand of the shoe a prospect wants. Here, the competition between advertizers is fierce.

    When selecting keywords for a Google Ads campaign, you’ll want to use as many BOFU keywords as possible. However, you should also add MOFU keywords that have potential and which you know can make a difference. On the other hand, the TOFU keywords are to be used as part of your conversion campaigns.

    Choose your keywords according to their typology

    Now that you know what kinds of keywords to use, you must decide the type. Google knows how to recognize user intentions based on the nature of their keywords. It can also group keywords into semantic groups to discern various subject matter from keywords. Google therefore knows how to read a user query to align personalized search results with exact intent. Google groups these intentions into three categories:

    • Information-seeking keywords, such as “trip to Italy”, “recipes without sugar”, etc. Google deems that these keywords need a quick response or inspiration. Google also knows these keywords often have high search volumes. It is easy to recognize these keywords with the presence of the Knowledge Graph on the results pages as well as the almost systematic absence of paid ads. Google favours organic results, such as blogs, how-tos, step-by-step guides, tips and experience stories. These keywords are SEO’s golden eggs and, as you can understand, the sworn enemies of paid marketing.
    • Action keywords, such as “summer dress”, “editing software”, etc. Google believes that prospects using these keywords want to take action quickly. These keywords are easily recognized by the overwhelming predominance of advertizing, which takes up a very large part of the results page, as well as very visible links to the shopping section page. It’s needless to say, but these are the keywords that should be your number-one priority for your campaigns.
    • Navigation keywords, such as “Facebook”, “Gmail”, etc. These are of little interest for Google Ads campaigns since prospects know exactly which site they want to go to and simply uses Google as a means to search. Unfortunately, unless you own the brand in question, the playing field here is very limited.

    Choose your keywords according to their volume

    We now know what kind and what type of keywords make sense for your Google Ads campaign. Now, you need to figure out the volume to use. This is a question that comes up often and does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.

    Every marketer opts for what they think is the most reasonable. Behind this otherwise innocuous question emerges an underlying question: which keywords are the most relevant? With Google, you can’t have volume at the same time as relevance. You have to choose one over the other.

    Choosing words that are too generic or high volume provides no value for a Google campaign because prospects are not yet qualified. Also, Google does not classify these keywords with an intent to take action. But is there a happy medium? For that, let’s look at the different types of keywords:

  • Short-tail keywords: According to Raventools, these keywords represent 18.5% of queries on Google and account for approximately the top 1000 of the platform. The volumes here are in the thousands. These are single word keywords that have a very low chance of conversion, such as “shoes,” for example. You need to consider if these kinds of words should be part of your selection.
  • Medium-tail keywords: According to Raventools, these keywords represent 11.5% of queries on Google and account for approximately the top 10,000 of the platform. The volumes are smaller but still appealing, around 1000 and 100 impressions. These keywords consist of two or three terms like “marathon running shoes” or “women’s marathon shoes”. These are keywords that should not be excluded because they provide some potential for a Google Ads campaign.
  • Long-tail keywords: According to Raventools, these keywords represent 70% of queries on Google. These are the most relevant keywords for a campaign but also those with the least volume and the most competition because the chances of conversion are at their highest. For example, “Red Nike shoes for women”.
  • Now that you have a better grasp of how keywords work, all you need to do is determine which keyword search methodology works best for you, write impactful and effective ads, and then create a landing page that will entice your audience to convert.

    For some help in the field or simply to hire a certified agency, contact us!

    Laurie-Anne Nault
    Determined, ambitious and passionate, Laurie-Anne Nault has already acquired several years of experience in administration and customer service. She joined the Turko Marketing team in October 2021 to fulfill the role of administrative manager and social media manager.