Keywords research 101

Unlock the secret to Google Ads success with our concise guide on keyword research. Learn to select winning keywords, cut waste, and boost relevance in just a few steps.

Everybody working in paid search knows the saying "Keywords research is the most important thing to do in Google Ads", but never add more detailed information on why and how to perform a keyword research for your Google Ads search (and pMax and shopping) campaigns.

Today you'll learn both the importance of keywords research, why it's a fundamental thing to master/perform and how to action it out with steps.

Why is keywords research so damn important?

With Google Ads being the "only pay per click" advertising platform, it's safe to say that Google Ads is a keyword driven platform.

Keywords are literally your gateway, as a business owner/marketing professional, into potential customers minds and buying behaviour. Choosing the right keywords for your business to spend ad spend is a crucial discipline to master with 1 mission to follow - ad relevance - the higher ad relevance = the better chance of more business (revenue/profit) generated from your paid search

But i often see keyword research being neglected which ultimately results in lack of overall strategy in the given PPC account(s), with a lot of wasted ad spend to follow.

So why is keyword research so damn important, it's important because: 

  1. You get to determine which searches your business/campaigns want to appear on (duh) 
  2. It trains your Google Ads algorithm to know which people that could become customers faster
  3. It reduces wasted ad spend on irrelevant searches from the start
  4. It gives an idea on which keywords you DON'T want to appear on
  5. It will have a positive impact on your quality score

Yes that's right. Building a solid negative keyword list is also part of the keyword research process. Building a solid negative keyword list from the get go also enables you to filter out more searches that do not make sense for you in the starting phase

So how is it done, and what is the process?

Good question!

Let's begin by making it a step by step: 

Step 1.

To begin with you need to brainstorm which keywords that would be relevant for your business to bid on.

Start by using your own brain to think of keywords, and then transit over to using tools like: 

  1. Google Keyword planner
  2. SpyFu
  3. Google Search
  4. ChatGPT
  5. SemRush/Ahref
  6. Competitor websites

Remember to build your negative keywords in this step.

Step 2.

Now we want to your keywords into fitting themes as consulated as possible.

Reason for doing this is both to make our RSA ads as relevant as possible, but also not segment your ad groups to much - Aim for +3000 impressions per. ad group per week (you headline/description assets gets a performance label when you hit +5000 impressions per. ad group per. week)

Keyword/ad group themes could be: 

  1. Computers (keywords = laptop, gaming pc, macbook, chromebook, mini-pc etc) 
  2. Office inventory (keywords = deck, standing desk, chair, gaming chair etc) 

You do not need to contextualize your negative keywords.

Step 3.

Take one keywords/ad group theme at the time and see impressions and CPCs in Google Keyword Planner, so eventually see if they still make sense for you to bid on, and if you could add some long-tail keywords to the mix.

Move as much focus on the keywords with the highest impressions per. month., and add super high CPC keywords to your negative keyword list

Step 4.

Built 3 negative keyword lists.

  1. "Global neg list" for account wide negative keywords
  2. "Brand neg list" for your very own brand terms
  3. "Competitor neg list" for competitor search term

Make sure to distribute them to each of their own campaigns for example so that "global neg list" gets added to all search/shopping campaigns, and "brand neg list" gets added to your non-branded search campaigns and so on and so forth.

Step 5.

Build your search campaigns and connect all the dots.

As of writing this, this is exactly my own go-to process of drafting keywords, and having a structured way of working proactively with the selection of the keywords that i want to bid on and the ones that i don't want to bid on.

Hope you have found value from this, that you could apply into your own business/workflow

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