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How to choose keywords on Google Ads?

Choosing keywords for a Google Ads campaign isn't an exercise to be taken lightly. On the contrary, taking the time to build a list of qualitative keywords, even if it may take a little more time, will only be beneficial for the future.

May 4, 2022

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Table of Contents

How crucial are the right keywords for a successful Google Ads campaign? This article explores the significance of selecting qualitative keywords that align with the searcher’s intention to improve campaign effectiveness. Keywords play a vital role in connecting advertisers with prospects actively seeking solutions, emphasizing the need for relevance in keyword selection. By considering factors like Google’s algorithm and prospects’ queries, advertisers can better meet users’ needs and qualify leads in the conversion funnel.

The piece also recommends using a variety of keyword types and formulations to cater to different stages of the conversion process. Thorough keyword research is deemed essential for campaign success, encouraging advertisers to adopt a prospect-centric approach, anticipate search queries, and test various keyword variants for maximum impact. In conclusion, the article advises applying these criteria to find suitable keywords for Google Ads campaigns.

Choosing keywords for a Google Ads campaign isn’t an exercise to be taken lightly. On the contrary, taking the time to build a list of qualitative keywords, even if it may take a little more time, will only be beneficial for the future. Let’s not forget that even with the best possible strategy for your Google Ads campaign, if your keywords are not chosen carefully, your results won’t be very good.

Why are keywords so important in a Google Ads campaign ?

People use Google Ads with a specific intention. They face a problem and naturally turn to Google to find the answer. It is not uncommon to hear “Google is your friend” or “Ask Google” whenever you are faced with an unanswered question. That’s the point! Did you know that 8 out of 10 people start their journey on the conversion funnel through search engines? Google provides advertizers with a pool of prospects actively looking for a potential solution. Here is where keywords play a role.

The keywords of a campaign are the link between prospects and advertizers. For advertisers, keywords control the distribution: ads will only be displayed if they use the keywords chosen beforehand. On the prospects’ side, keywords help define their intentions. In other words, keywords are used to pre-qualify an audience so that your ad is seen by the right people, when they need it.

Keywords that meet the needs of users

Considering that prospects ask questions and advertisers can answer them, it is important (even before thinking about keywords) to know which questions the advertizer is able to answer. So ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your product or service ?
  • How is your product or service useful to your target audience ?
  • To which target group does your product or service matter ?
  • Where is your target audience located ?
  • What arguments resonate with your target audience ?
  • What are the obstacles that your target audience needs to overcome ?
  • The goal is to know how to respond to prospects who ask questions about the products or services you are selling. The more precise your answer will be, the closer the more accurate you will be and the more likely you will acquire the prospect. For example, if we give you a rough sketch of a situation, imagine that your prospect asks Google “what time is it in Montreal today” and gets 4 answers:

    1. Today is Tuesday
    2. It’s noon in Vancouver
    3. The prospect is somewhere in Montreal in the afternoon
    4. It’s 2 p.m. in Montreal

    Answer 1 is of no interest, for it’s irrelevant to the answer you are looking for. The prospect will not stop on this answer.

    Answer 2, although it answers the question, is also irrelevant to the answer sought because the answer does not take into account the prospect’s time zone.

    Answer 3 is vaguely accurate, but not very precise and actually worthless. If the prospect guesses half an answer, the uncertainty will not make them stop at that answer.

    Answer 4 is accurate and correct.

    Advertizers must therefore be ranked based on keywords that they know they can provide an answer to. They must also be ranked on keywords that convey as accurately as possible the intention they are trying to achieve with their prospects. Even if it means reducing the audience’s scope, it is better to convert a smaller audience than to think that the more impressions you have, the more likely you will attract prospects.

    Keywords to qualify a lead in the conversion funnel

    Visibility does not guarantee results. Why? People with an intention do not mean that they:

    • Are ready to purchase or go down the funnel
    • They know exactly which solution is right for them.

    This makes it unnecessary to push a product in front of prospects that have not yet identified their problem. This is one of the challenges in selecting its keywords. Chances are strong that people’s first searches will be broad, fuzzy and rather vague.

    The more people inquire about their situation, the more a solution will emerge. During a campaign on Google, an advertizer has no interest in spending money on broad queries if users do not yet know what they need.

    Choosing keywords means knowing the conversion funnel of your targets, analyzing the steps, and knowing how to use keywords specific to each qualification phase.

    Above all, keywords must be relevant to the entire ecosystem

    Good keywords for a Google Ads campaign must be very relevant at each point in time

    Relevant with Google. You need to choose the right keyword typology in order to be properly matched with the platform’s algorithm. Favour action keywords and avoid information keywords.

    Relevant with the prospects. You need to choose the right phase in the conversion funnel and know how the prospers formulate their queries based on where they are landed in the funnel. This helps to catch the prospects’ attention at the best time. Prioritize the BOFU but do not exclude the TOFU and BOFU.

    Relevant with regards to the intention. Keyword formulations should be chosen as close as possible to the intention of prospects and maximize the chances of conversions. Use long-tail keywords, but don’t turn your back on middle keywords. Avoid short-tail keywords.

    Finally, when it’s time to do your keyword search, don’t exclude any possibilities. It is often easy to think that your audience knows the terminology of your product or service, yet this is far from being the case. The first terms that come to the advertizer’s mind will certainly not be the first ones that come to prospects. The difficulty, among others, is to get into the minds of prospects and guess as many different combinations as possible to describe the same product. It is always a good idea to test variants of keywords. For example, if you are looking to sell anxiety pills, you will have to think of synonyms for ‘pills’ and ‘anxiety’.

    • Tablet: treatment, medicine, capsule, pill, supplement, vitamin,
    • Relieve: reduce, overcome, counter, manage, calm,
    • Anxiety: stress, nervousness, anxiety

    All that’s left now is to start your keyword search so that you can apply all the criteria explained in this article to ensure that you have only relevant and adequate keywords for your Google Ads campaigns.

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

    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.