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Google ads keywords - yellow typewriter
Mar 26, 2024

Looking to improve your Google Ads? Try stronger keywords

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

Identifying the right keywords is essential for a successful SEO strategy. However, keywords are also essential for effective Search Engine Marketing campaigns (SEM) through platforms like Google Ads. Selecting the right keywords is critical for getting the most eyes on your ad and creating compelling copy that drives clicks. 

Impactful pay-per-click (PPC) keywords are about more than selecting popular words, they’re about understanding user intent and behavior patterns to create a meaningful connection. By Understanding the thoughts and needs of your target audience, you can choose keywords that resonate with them and create a relevant connection between their needs and your offerings. 

A strong understanding of search intent also lets marketers create better-targeted Google Ads. With this understanding, they can tailor their approach to the audience that matters most and reduce wasted ad spend. 

In addition to understanding search intent, marketers also need to understand the three keyword-matching options offered by Google

  1. Broad Match – This type of keyword match shows in searches related to, but not directly using the targeted keyword. This can attract a larger audience, using less time. 
  2. Phrase Match – These matches will display on searches with the same meaning as your keyword (or keyword grouping). This form of matching reaches fewer searches than a broad match but targets a more specific audience. 
  3. Exact Match – This type of match only shows your ad to audiences who’ve sought results for the exact same meaning and intent as your keyword. Of all the match types, this gives marketers the most control over who sees their Google Ads. 

Search intent is everything for Google ads

There are many tools marketers can use to find and analyze keywords for their Google ads, but having a tool that factors in search intent is critical in finding the most effective keywords for your campaign. 

Semrush defines search intent as “the reason why a user types a particular query into a search engine.” While Search intent can feel intimidating, since the list of possible reasons a user might search a topic looks endless, it can be narrowed down to four main categories. 

  1. Informational searches: A user is looking for more information on a subject or about a product. This search is often performed at the beginning of a purchase journey when a customer is considering solutions. 
  2. Commercial searches: A user is looking to conduct deeper research into a product before making a purchase decision. Where informational searches are more broad, commercial searches dive deeper and fall later in the purchase journey. 
  3. Transactional searches: A user is actively looking to buy a product. These searches happen at the end of a purchase journey. 
  4. Navigational searches: A user is interested in a specific item or specific company and is looking to find the corresponding webpage. These searches usually happen towards the end of a purchase journey.

US search behaviours by keyword Intent 2023

The marketing funnel is also a great tool for keyword research since it captures search intent. By taking advantage of journey marketing techniques, marketers can easily capture the Google ad keywords that are going to connect with their audience. 

Tips for getting the best keywords possible

Some other great tips for improving your Google Ads keywords are: 

  • Use negative keywords to exclude words that indicate your brand isn’t good for a user. This means your ad won’t show in search results that are unlikely to yield a sale. 
  • Organize your keywords and streamline management for quick and efficient copywriting. 
  • Use long-tail keywords for more effective targeting and to save ad spend
  • Use local keywords like city and neighborhood names to target customers in a specific region.
  • Test varying keyword match types to see which combinations are most effective.
  • Conduct competition analysis to understand where competing businesses are gaining and losing and how their copy compares to yours. 
  • Collect and analyze current and past ad performance data to better understand how campaigns can be improved moving forward. 

Using specific, intentional keywords lets marketers narrow their scope, zoom in on a specific niche, and create a meaningful message that better resonates with users. This is easily done when marketers jump into journey marketing and put user intent at the heart of their campaigns.

Of course, Google Ads are just one part of the marketing mix in journey advertising. Head here to learn more about the different formats used to reach potential customers along their purchasing journey.


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