How To Best Use Keywords In Google Ads

When you're searching for something you're interested in, what website do you use to find it? Google, of course! Google Ads is a great way to help your company get discovered by people interested in topics related to your business. If you're already using Google Ads, or if you're a beginner, it's important to understand the impact that choosing the right keywords has on your Google Ad performance. Keep reading to find out how to get your ads seen using the right keywords for you!

What's The Difference Between Short-Tail and Long-Tail Keywords?

Short-tail and long-tail are pretty much as they sound… one is short and the other is long. Short-tail keywords are general phrases consisting of only a few words. For instance, an example would be "financial advisor". Moreover, long-tail keywords are more specific and typically longers than short-tail. An example of this would be "financial advisor in Alpharetta Georgia". It's important to include a healthy mix of long-tail and short-tail keywords in your keyword lists!

Which Keyword Match Should I Use?

There are four main categories of keywords that you should keep in mind: Broad Match, Broad Match Modified, Phrase Match, and Exact Match. Let's dive into each of these keyword variations to see which is right for you!

Broad Match:

Broad matches keywords are, well, broad! Your ad can be pulled into a search when any word from your key phrase is searched. For instance, if you use the phrase financial advisors near me as your key phrase, then your ads can be pulled into a search for career advisors because the term "advisors" is in your broad match key phrase. Because broad match is so broad, it's important to think about whether you want a large number of leads or a better quality of lead. Does it matter to you that people who might not be searching for the exact service you're selling are clicking on your website? If so, it may be best to avoid broad matches altogether… Or only use it for short-tail phrases in order to keep the broadness to a minimum.

Broad Match Modified:

This keyword type is a slightly different version than broad match. Broad match modified uses the plus sign (+) to signify words in your key phrase that must be included in order for your ad to be pulled into the search. If you use the phrase +financial advisors near me, then someone who is searching for "financial services" could see your ad. This is because the term "financial" had a plus sign next to it. A plus sign signifies that it must be included in the search in order for your ad to show. Let's say someone is searching for "career advisors near me". Your ad will not show since the term "financial" is not included in their search. This is a way to use broad match while avoiding some irrelevant search terms that could make your ad appear.

Phrase Match:

This is a stricter match, but it will result in your ad showing in a more accurate search. Phrase match uses quotation marks in order to show a phrase that must be searched for your ad to appear. Keep in mind, someone can search for your key phrase, but add words before or after it. This way, your ad still has the possibility of being shown.

Let's go over an example. If your phrase match key phrase is "financial advisors near me" then your ad can be pulled into a search for "retirement and financial advisors near me". Why is this? Because even though there are the added words "retirement and," they still searched for your exact phrase after the added words, which made your ad appear. If they searched for "financial and retirement advisors near me," your ad wouldn't show. This is because the words "and retirement" breaks up the original phrase "financial advisors near me."

Exact Match:

When you want your ads to show up under a very specific key phrase, it's time to use exact match. Exact match makes sure that your ads are being pulled into searches where people typed in the exact word or phrase you have listed for your key phrase. This is signified by brackets ([]) around your key phrase. Therefore, if your exact match is [financial advisors near me] and someone searched for "retirement and financial advisors near me," your ad would not be shown because of the added words "retirement and." The only way your ad would show is if someone searched for "financial advisors near me."

When creating your list of keywords for each ad group, make sure to try all of the types of matches we discussed above. Monitor them to see which match types pull in the most traffic, and the most relevant leads!

How Do I Know Which Keywords To Use?

Before you put together your list of keywords, think about the audience you want to attract. If someone were to find your product or service, what would they be searching for to lead them to you? List out all of the key phrases you think people might type in order to find your service. If you're a financial advisor using ads to gain more clients, you would want someone searching for phrases like "financial advisor near me".

Another approach you can try is using the copy from your website. When creating a keyword list for a new ad group, Google lets you plug in your website and pulls phrases. It can also add them to the list. However, before you simply plug in your website and click "Next," make sure to review the terms it pulled in. If your ad is based around a specific part of your company, there may be some keywords and phrases that simply don't belong to that ad group. Why would you include the key phrase "college planning" if your ad centers around retirement planning? Do a quick review to make sure the keywords and phrases make sense for this ad group.

A third approach you should check out is using a website such as Semrush to show you the most relevant keywords for your product or service. You can review the volume of people searching for keywords. You can also see the words you should add to your list of keywords! It's a great way to get up-to-date data that can help your ads be seen by relevant searchers.

I've Created My List Of Keywords… Am I Done Now?

Though you've put in a lot of effort and research into crafting the perfect list of keywords, the work doesn't stop here. It's important to monitor your keywords to see which are performing well, and which aren't bringing in any traffic. At least once a week, look through your keyword lists and get rid of poorly performing keywords. Google also has a recommendations tab that will recommend new keywords and phrases for your ad groups. Comb through these recommendations regularly to see which recommendations are right for your ads.

Google Ads take a lot of work, but the payoff can be great! If monitoring keywords and tracking performance are too daunting of a task for you, then head over to to schedule a consultation so that we can help you Turn Social Into Sales!


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