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Words that Sell

How to create a cost-effective and sales-generating keywords list

Google AdWords is Google’s pay-per-click advertising program – you create simple ads directly related to your business that users see when they’re searching online for information. Sounds great, right? That’s why this is one of the most effective ways to get quality leads to your website; but it can be really expensive though. As with any online advertising, if you use all the options that the platform offers, you can reach high ROI levels and get great results from your campaigns. Google AdWords is suitable and relevant for almost every kind of business, and it’s really helpful for small businesses, especially in the beginning – when they need targeted traffic for their website to get customers.

No doubt, one of the biggest benefits that Google AdWords offers is the precise targeting – users see relevant ads just when it’s most likely that they will click on the ads: when they’re actively searching for that exact information. The topic of “successfully using Google AdWords” is extremely huge, but one of the key factors within it is the choice of keywords. In this article I’m going to take you through some useful tips on how you can make the best keyword list for your business so that you can maximize the effect of investing money in Google AdWords advertising.

Note: Keep in mind that before starting a Google AdWords campaign, you have to spend time writing great content on your website and landing page. This makes it much more likely that users will know everything that they need to know when they visit your website, and that will make it easy for them to become your customers.

Before proceeding further, you might want to learn how to set up a Google Adwords campaign.

The right keywords list will help your ads to be shown to users that you want to become your customers. You should match (or be similar to) the words which your potential clients would use when they search for products or services that you provide.

1st step: Start thinking like a customer

Write down the main categories of your business and try to invent as many terms and phrases as you can which a customer might use when trying to find products that you sell. Think about words that describe your services. Expand the list by including your brand, product names, etc. For example,  if you’re selling organic food, you might write down “organic vegetables” or “organic products shop”. Be creative and make your list as long as you can. Do you have enough phrases? Have you used every synonym of the main words linked to your business? Use a dictionary or thesaurus to find more, and include as many two- or three-word phrases as you can. Keyword phrases are not so competitive (and not so expensive) and get a decent number of searches on Google – so they can be really effective for your campaign.

2nd step: Use the Keyword tool

You can get keyword ideas for extending your list with the Keyword tool. Google will suggest keywords for you to consider including in your list. The tool will also show you how often the keywords showed up in user’s searches. I suggest that you concentrate on monthly searches so that you can better see how often people search for a particular word or phrase. You can also determine the region of the searches – globally, or locally for your country. It all depends on the markets that you’re trying to sell your products in – if your business is in Italy, you don’t care about global searches, because you don’t want to advertise globally, right?

After filling out your list with the Keyword suggestion tool, go back to it and add modifying words which are relevant to your product or service such as free, cheap, discount, premium, superb, etc. The main aim is to generate the longest possible list of relevant search words – you pay only when someone actually clicks on your message, so having more keywords doesn’t cost any more. The longer list of relevant phrases increases your chances of attracting visitors to your landing page at a lower cost – if the search term is less popular, you’ll pay less.

3rd step: Reviewing the list – more general or more specific

Review your list and remove irrelevant keywords – in the end, you only want to pay for users who are interested in your business. Be aware of the symbols that Google recognizes and ignores in your keyword list. In fact, it’s really simple: Google recognizes ‘&’ and accent marks like ‘á’ and ignores any other symbols, such as punctuation marks (periods, dashes, etc.). The symbols , ! @ % ^ * () = {} ; ~ ` <> ? \ | are invalid.

Whether the keywords on your list are more general or more specific depends on the goals that you have. If you want to reach users more effectively, specify words that directly relate to your ad’s theme. If you want to reach a broader audience, be more general. General keywords are in most cases more competitive and so clicks are more expensive. If you have a women’s clothes boutique with expensive brands, a general keyword may be “cocktail dress”, and a specific one may be “black Valentino dress”. No matter how specific or general your keywords are, they must always be relevant to your ads and your website content.

Not sure if  Google is the right advertising tool for you? Check out our complete guide to Facebook Ads and Linkedin Ads

4th step: Group your keywords

If you want to get better performance from your ads, group your keywords in ad groups by a theme – by product, by service or by any other category that is relevant to your list. You can create your ad groups from your Campaign tab -> Ad groups tab. Keep your keyword group small and manageable – 20-30 words. This grouping will help you show more relevant ads to potential customers when they’re searching for specific information. And your account will be better organized, which helps a lot when monitoring and analyzing. If you have a shoe store, you may have an ad group for “women’s shoes” and another one for “sports shoes”. This way you can create an ad campaign for your sports shoe sale, use this ad group (with keywords like “sports shoes discount”, “men’s sneakers sale”, etc.) and better analyze the results.

5th step: Consider excluding keywords

Some keywords may create clicks that you don’t really want – because they’re irrelevant and they won’t bring you customers. That’s why you can use negative keywords – this means that your ad won’t show when a user has typed these words in their search. This will help you reduce costs and make your ads more relevant. The negative keywords should be related to your keywords but not relevant to your product or service. If we go back to the example with the women’s clothes boutique: you have a keyword “women’s dresses” in your list, but you don’t want your ad to appear in searches like “second-hand dresses”, so you have to consider excluding phrases like that.

How can you add negative keywords? Go to the campaign or ad group where you want to add negative keywords. Go to the bottom of the table of keywords and find the negative keywords section – add your words there, but be careful that they are not the same as your keywords because that will stop your ads from showing. You can add negative keywords on ad group level or on a campaign level.

If you don’t use negative keywords, your ads could show to people who aren’t interested in your products or services. This will cost you money and lower your ROI.

Following these steps and tips will help you build the best keyword list for your business. Including negative keywords in your campaign will help you achieve better results with your campaign. There are two other main aspects of getting the maximum from selecting keywords for your Google AdWords campaign – using keyword matches and monitoring keywords. We’ll go through these in Selecting the best keywords for Google AdWords campaign (part 2). 


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About Lili Petkova

Enthusiastic young online marketing professional. Fully engaged in the way how people communicate and react on different situations – both online, and offline. Living in Bulgaria - a country of contrast, where life is somewhere in the middle of Western countries and Asia. Love to travel, meet new cultures and friends. Blogging about how online tools, social networks and internet advertising can help small businesses to benefit from their online marketing.