Struggling to find out what the best Google Ads keywords are for your targeting strategy? We’ve all been there. It’s undeniably crucial that you target the right keywords if you want there to be any chance of your campaign succeeding. But for most people, this added pressure to get their research right just makes them doubt themselves.
Even if you do everything right you’ll be left wondering, “Did I really choose the BEST keywords?”. We’re here to help. In this post we’ll be explaining how to determine the best keywords for your niche, strategies, and Google Ads tools you should use.
Before we get into that, know that Google made over $160 billion in 2019 and over $180 billion in 2020 from advertising, most of which comes from Google Search Ads. This should highlight that they’re not cheap, but the intent is undeniable and with so many people searching on Google, converting as many as possible to customers is a clear goal. Costs aside, let’s jump into it.
Start Using SpyFu to Find Google Ads Keywords
This is a tool that we’re passionate about for one simple reason: it works. SpyFu is a PPC spy tool which is great for researching your competitors and finding out what keywords they’re bidding on. Better yet, you can see which ads they’re repeatedly running. This is extremely useful because it tells you that those ads are getting results. As such, you can save a lot of time (and money) that would otherwise be spent trying to figure out what gets results by yourself.
If we give Dropbox.com a search on SpyFu, you can see what we’re working with. Usually you’ll want to go to the PPC Research section and here you’ll find a lot of great data. This includes a rough estimate of the competitor’s budget, who their top competitors are, and how many paid keywords they are targeting.
The data you find here isn’t entirely accurate, since it’s impossible to know the exact figures. However, these estimates still give you a good idea of what the competition are up to.
Kombat is one of the best features of SpyFu. With this feature, you can compare the keywords of up to 3 competitors and see where they overlap – which Google Ads keywords are they all bidding on? This shows you where you’re missing out and you can refine your bidding strategy to include those easy keywords.
Another great section is the Keyword Groups section. Here you’ll discover the actual keyword groups that your competitors are bidding on with their Google Ads account. For Dropbox, we can see that they have a group of keywords related to file sharing and another group for file transfer.
Again, you can use this to your advantage. Comb through the groups that are relevant to your business and find keywords that are worth targeting.
Next, there’s the PPC Keywords tab. This shows even more keyword data but gives you more information about each keyword. You can see how many searches each keyword gets, how much they cost your competitor, and their CPC. Sure, this isn’t as accurate as Google Keyword Planner, but it’s a good indicator of where to start.
Last up is the Ad History tab. We mentioned before that if a competitor is repeatedly running the same ads, those ads are definitely getting promising results. If those ads weren’t that profitable, your competitor wouldn’t continue to run them.
On this tab you can see exactly which ads they’ve been running. You can see their top ads and which keywords they target, and you can use this to develop a similar strategy for your Google Ads keywords.
Google Keyword Planner
The other great tool that we can’t forget about is Google Keyword Planner. If you’re new to Google Ads then all you have to do is go into Google Ads, click the search button, and search for Keyword Planner. You’ll be taken to the main page where you can either get keyword ideas or find out more about the keywords you already have in mind.
Assuming you’re relatively new to running ads, here’s a neat trick we recommend trying. Go ahead and click Discover new keywords but instead of throwing in your ideas, click Start with a Website. Type in any of your competitors’ websites and hit the search button. Google will return a list of keywords they have on their site
We went ahead and searched the Papa John’s website and this is what we got. Obviously it would be challenging to start tackling these keywords, but you can see that they’re very relevant to your competitor and it’s more than likely that they’re bidding on those too.
Now you can go ahead and select any keywords you like the look of that you want to start bidding on, and add them to your own list.
You can also enter a few of your own ideas and have Google Keyword Planner generate more based off of them. Do the same as before but instead of the website tab, click on Start with Keywords. Again, choose some keywords and add them to your list for bidding later.
Choosing Good Google Ads Keywords
This is extremely dependent on your industry and several other factors. However, there are a few key factors to consider when choosing keywords from the Google Keyword Planner.
- Average Monthly Searches. Obviously you’ll want to be bidding on keywords that get searches. The low-hanging fruit strategy works great, but be cautious of keywords with very low searches.
- Competition. This is an indicator of how many other marketers are bidding on the keyword. If there’s High competition, it’s going to be challenging to bid on the keyword without a hefty bid.
- Top of Page Bid. The two bid columns show the low and high ranges. This indicates how much you can expect to bid on a keyword and this is usually the deciding factor.
What we advise is the low-hanging fruit strategy. This strategy focuses on keywords with low competition but a sizeable monthly search volume. It takes time to find these keywords but it’s undoubtedly worth it in the early stages.
Tip: Fix Google Ads Showing a Search Volume Rage (100-1k)
Usually when you’re in the Keyword Planner and looking at the list of keyword ideas, the average monthly search volume is rounded to the nearest thousand (or hundred for lower volumes). If you’re seeing a range like 100-1k searches, you’re not spending enough on Google Ads.
First instinct might tell you that you have a tight budget so this is fine, but it’s not that simple. The threshold is around $1,000 per month. This might seem high but if you’re spending less than this you aren’t going to get the massive benefit of data from your campaigns.
Let’s say you spend $100 on an ad and it gets you 5 sales. We could say that it costs you $20 per sale, but this is a tiny sample size and not nearly enough for us to make accurate assumptions. What if you spent $101 on an ad and it got 6 sales? This gives you a vastly different result of $16.84 per sale and paints a different picture.
So, if you’re not spending enough to see the Google Ads Keyword Planner, consider raising your budget to at least $1,500 per month. Not only will it get you access to the tool but you’ll also get a lot of valuable data.
Is High Intent Worth the Cost?
The next thing about Google Ads keywords that we’re going to discuss is high intent keywords. Generally these are going to be a lot more expensive, but it’s usually worth the cost. You have people who are searching for a solution to their problem and these keywords allow you to put your solution front and center.
We won’t disregard that some industries are even more expensive which makes it easy to lose a lot of money with just simple mistakes. However, those are in the minority and high intent is usually worth the cost.
If you’re in those highly competitive industries then there are some things you can do. Improving your ad copy is a good first step as it will increase your CTR. Going a step further, the more effective approach is improving your landing page design. When you’re bidding on these high intent keywords you’re going to be paying a lot to get them to your landing page. Why invest so much in these keywords if your landing page is sub-par?
Check out the video above to find out how the best and worst practices we see in landing page design.
Google Ads Keywords to Avoid
The final tip is to determine which keywords you must avoid. We’re not just talking about negative keywords (keywords that have been added to your exclusion list). Rather, broader keywords that have low intent but a higher CPC.
For example, you might be in the ads automation software space and target keywords related to just automation software. This would be way too broad. Your ads would be shown to people who want to learn about automation software or who are researching it for a project. These people have no intention of buying your software and this is a common Google Ads mistake.
To counter this you might target terms like automation software for Facebook. This is a step in the right direction but your search volume will be much lower. Finding a middle ground here takes time but prevents wasteful spending.
Why Risk Targeting the Wrong Keywords?
Whichever Google Ads keywords you choose, they will be the foundation of your campaign. It’s crucial that you take the time to do your research and find the right keywords. Otherwise, you risk wasting your budget.
It doesn’t have to be this stressful though. KonvertLab has helped businesses in a wide array of industries to set up and run their Google Ads campaigns. This involves doing keyword research and we know exactly what to look for. Let us help you too! Just book a call and we’ll show you what we can do for your business.