To use a keyword or not to use a keyword… Choosing Google Ads keywords can seem pretty elementary.
Use the wrong one, however, and you could end up wasting hundreds of dollars on ads that never get seen or clicked.
Today, we’re going to cover the different types of keywords, and examine some of the best Google Ads keywords you can use to drive traffic to your site based on your unique situation.
4 Types Of Google Ads Keywords
There are four different types of Google Ads keywords you can use when building an ad in Google Ads.
Each one will react differently to search results, so you can tailor your keywords to work based on how you predict your potential visitors will react to your specific ad.
Below are the 4 types of Google Ads keywords, along with short descriptions of each:
Negative Keyword – Keywords you don’t want your ad associated with
Broad Keyword Search – Everything that could potentially match with your keyword
Phrase Match Keyword Search – Matches your ad with a chosen phrase
Exact Match Keyword Search – Keyword must be matched exactly
Negative Google Ads Keywords
These keywords are exactly what they sound like – keywords that you don’t want your ad to be associated with.
Negative Keywords are a great way to limit your ad to searches that are relevant to your audience.
When combined with certain broad keywords, you can tailor your ad to only appear in specific situations, greatly improving how your ad performs.
Broad Google Ads Keywords
The broad keyword search is going to use anything that could match your Google Ads keywords. For example, you might use “Houses in Los Angeles”. Your ad will show up in any searches involving housing in the Los Angeles area, which means you’ll get a broad targeting range of anyone remotely interested in LA housing.
The biggest benefit to using the broad keyword search is that people searching google will still be shown your ad despite typos or alternative phrasing. For example, someone searching for “Homes in LA” would still be able to view your ad.
The downside to broad searches? There are going to be a lot of people who aren’t looking to buy a house in Los Angeles.
For example, anyone looking up home damage from a recent earthquake in LA could also be shown the ad, and that means money you’re wasting on an audience that has no interest in visiting your site.
Phrase Match Google Ads Keywords
A phrase match search will show ads that include a specific phrase. In this case, your keyword: “Houses in Los Angeles”. must be typed exactly for your ad to appear.
Words can be added to the beginning or end of your Google Ads keywords. “Great Houses In Los Angeles cheap” will still make your ad appear in their search.
However, words added in the middle will not prompt your ad, so “Houses in the Los Angeles area” won’t cause your ad to show.
Exact Match Google Ads Keywords
Exact match keyword searches will show your ad only when the keyword is matched, or is very closely matched.
As a general rule of thumb, this is an exact search meant to get the most specific audience possible.
There are some exceptions to your Google Ads keywords that are allowed, but the keywords need to be nearly identical, and can’t change the meaning of the search. If your keyword is “Houses in LA”, “LA Houses” can also prompt your ad to appear.
So, what keywords work best?
Generally speaking, a variety of search types is best. You don’t want to limit yourself, but you want to be sure not to make things too broad, or you risk showing your ad to the wrong types of people. If you have trouble choosing the right keywords, there are a number of tools you can use to make the job easier.
“Mostly I will use broad search key terms” Says agent Mike Hicks. “I will have a ton of negative keywords.”
“Having a few broad searches for houses in the area or for zillow”, Mike goes on. “I will put rentals in there, apartments. I will literally have a hundred negative keywords. “I may not know exactly what people are going to be searching for, but I do know what I don’t want to work with. I keep things sort of broad, and always monitor what is performing best.”