Google Ads keyword research 101

Google Ads keyword researchGoogle Ads keyword research can be crucial in dictating whether or not your search advertising campaign is a success or a failure.  The keyword research done at the start of a campaign will ultimately control many different factors in your campaign such as the cost of advertising and also whether or not your Google Ads will actually create conversions.  While there are many 3rd party keyword research tools that we use as an agency such as Long Tail Pro and Ahrefs a large amount of information is available within the Google Ads platform its self in the keyword planning section.  As an Google Adwords Management agency, we prefer to use 3rd party tools, simply because there is a lot of data floating out there that Google may be less than forthcoming about, but Google Keyword Planner is a great place to start if you don’t want to take on the additional costs of software.  

Where to start with keyword research for Google Ads

While there are a variety of different opinions of where to start with keyword research for Google Ads, as a general rule we always encourage people to decide what is important to them and base the research off of that.  Deciding things like what to budget with Google Ads and what types of keywords you want to bid on in the start will be the best first step you can take.  The CPC of different keywords is all over the map depending on how competitive they are and if your budget is limit you may want to choose lower cost keywords that may be different than what you originally had in mind.  First, choose your total monthly budget then start to filter in keywords that will allow for a fair amount of clicks per month based on that budget. (Hint: at least 100/mtjh min)

What is a Realistic CPC (Cost per Click) for your Google Ads Budget?

If you have run ads you are familiar with the CPC (cost per click) billing method, which is how Google charges for search ads.  When you are starting your keyword research you may be surprised at the cost of particular keywords and the estimated CPC to bid on those keywords.  As a general rule, I would always encourage people to allow for at least 100 clicks/mth if they want to gain any traction with Google Ads. The reason for this is because not everyone that clicks the ad will convert for you.  As a matter of fact, the vast majority will not even with the best-optimized ad campaign, so you need to consider that it is a numbers game and you will need to get lots of people to the website to ensure that you are getting conversations with your advertising spend.  

What types of keywords should you bid on?

Many clients we have worked with know exactly what keywords they want to bid on, but the Google Keyword Planner will give you a ton of ideas that you may not have previously thought about.  This being known, not all keywords are created equally. Every search term has different amounts of search volume associated with them. While it may be intuitive to choose keywords that get the most search volume, those are often times the most expensive, so it may be a good strategy to use more “long-tailed variations” rather than core keywords.  For example, rather than bidding on “plumber near me” you may choose “best plumber in my city”. Although the latter probably doesn’t get nearly the search volume, if it is pieced together with many other long-tailed variations, the search volume may be about the same and the CPC will likely be less as a result.

Wrapping It Up

While this is just a short lesson on what to think about with doing Google Ads keyword research it is a great place to start.  If you are just getting started, just log in and start playing around with the Google Keyword Planner and a lot of this will start to make sense quickly!  Spending time with really planning out your campaign will be time well spent I assure you and likely will save you a lot of cash in the long run, while getting the same result.  Hope it helps!

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