AdWords Made Simple: Selecting Keywords and Billing Setup

To help you start the New Year with more traffic to your business website we’ve been showing you how to get started with Google AdWords. Last week’s AdWords blog post  covered:

  • Creating an Ad Group
  • Creating text ads

This week we’ll cover the last couple of steps in the process:

  • Selecting keywords
  • Entering your billing information

We’ve covered getting started with AdWords in 3 posts, but you may be setting AdWords up all at once. If so, the Keywords section is just below where you created your text ads. If you logged out before setting up your keywords, you can sign back in, click the Keywords tab, and then the green + Add Keywords button.

Adding keywords with different match types

Number of Keywords

The keywords you add determine which Google searches your ads show up for. Google says most businesses use 5 – 20 keywords per ad group, but there’s no one right number.

You want to cover the terms and phrases people would use to try to find the types of products or services you are promoting in your ad.

The more specific you are, the more likely your ads will show up to the right potential customers, but it will also limit your audience. Using more general or broad keywords will help you reach more people but that group may include people searching for things unrelated to your business.

Keywords Should Match Ad Groups and Ads

The keywords you use should be appropriate for the ad you are running. Using last week’s example, if you are selling 3D glasses and your ad is written to sell 3D glasses, your keywords should relate directly to 3D glasses, perhaps including active 3D glasses, passive 3d glasses, discount 3d glassesPanasonic 3d glasses. If you also sell 3D movies, you probably don’t want to include 3d movie related keywords in your 3D Glasses Ad Group. If you want to advertise using keywords that don’t apply to your ad, that probably means you need to create a new Ad Group with new ads that can match those keywords. But it’s up to you how specific you want your ad groups.

If you are, lets say, a general contractor, you may want to set up an Ad Group for your services in general, to capture people looking for a contractor in your area (you can either specify in setting that your campaign only run in a certain area or you can use geographic terms in your keywords). But you also may want to set up Ad Groups for the specific services you offer: room additions, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, floor refinishing, window replacement, etc.

Keyword Match Types

By default, when you enter keywords without any specific match type specified, Google uses a Broad match to decide when to show your keywords. When set to Broad, your keywords will trigger your ad if someone types in any variation of the keyword, including misspellings, plurals, different word order, longer phrases containing your keyword, as well as synonyms of the keyword and related searches.

The Broad match type is the best to capture the most search traffic volume, but it is also most likely to trigger your ads for irrelevant searches. Using the general contractor example above, a Broad match on the term general contractor would trigger your ad when someone searches for best general contractor in Los Angeles but also how to sue your general contractor.

Other match types in addition to broad match are broad match modifier, phrase match, exact match, and negative match.

  • Broad match modifier: add a plus sign in front of your keywords to trigger this match type, e.g., +general +contractor. This type will trigger your ads for all the searches (misspellings, singular/plural, abbreviations, acronyms, stemmings, etc) that trigger the broad match except synonyms and related searches.
  • Phrase match: put quotes around your keywords to make them a phrase match, e.g., “tennis shoes”. This match type shows your ad only if the searcher uses your keywords (or close variants) in the order you specify. With a phrase match, there can be words before or after the terms you specify, as in buy tennis shoes or red tennis shoes for women but not variations such as shoes for tennis or tennis sneakers.
  • Exact match: Exact match gives you the most control but the least volume, since it only triggers your ads when someone searches using your keyword (or very close variants) without any other terms before or after. To specify exact match, put brackets around your keywords, such as [atlanta house painter].

Negative Match

Negative keywords are the exact opposite of your other keywords. All the other keyword types define they keywords that do trigger your ads. Negative keywords are what you specify should not trigger your ads. To create a negative match, use a minus sign (-) before the keywords you want to exclude. Using the tennis shoe example above, you would add the negative keyword  - nike if you didn’t sell Nike tennis shoes and didn’t want your ads to show up for searchers looking for that brand.

Negative match can help you filter out irrelevant searches and prevent unwanted clicks, especially if you are using broad match or if you know of totally different types of products that share the same keywords.

On one of our business high-speed internet access AdWords campaigns, we were promoting T1 and T3 internet access. Before we added negative keywords we found lots of irrelevant searches were triggering our ads. There was the Terminator 3 movie, a t3.com gadget website, a t3 spinal nerve, a t3 thyroid hormone, a t3 magazine, a t3 rapper, a t3 “personal transportation vehicle,” Tylenol 3, and others. So we added –movie, -terminator, -gadget, -thyroid, -magazine, etc. to filter out those irrelevant results.

The screenshot above shows an example of different match type keywords, including negatives, entered for one ad group.

When you are finished entering your keywords, click either the Save button or the Save and continue to billing button (depending on where you are in the process).

Set Up Billing

AdWords billing setup is very straightforward. Just follow the prompts to fill out your business information, how you want to pay, and accept the terms and conditions.

One caution: If you want to complete your AdWords setup but you aren’t ready for your ads to start running and generating costs, make sure you go back and pause your campaign. If you complete billing setup with automatic payments set up, your ads may start running immediately.

To pause your campaign, click back to the All online campaigns page and click the drop-down next to the green dot to the left of your campaign name. Green means the campaign is Enabled. Select Paused from the list until you are ready to start running your ads.

We hope this introduction to AdWords has been helpful to you. We encourage you to take advantage of all the additional help resources Google offers in AdWords. And remember to keep monitoring your campaign’s performance and adjusting it as necessary. You may need to change keyword match types, add more negatives, limit the geography your campaign runs in, modify you ads, etc. Google makes it fairly simple to refine your campaign to achieve better results.

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