Tags : SEM

Refine your AdWords keywords to get a stronger response

Tags : SEM

Trial and error with Google AdWords can be costly. In fact, I have lost substantial amounts of my own money in my efforts over the years on personal projects. I have filed this away as ‘education’ and something I had to do in order to become better at search marketing though could have easily been avoided.

An easy yet effective way of refining your campaign keywords to get a stronger response is to understand the different methods of keyword matching.

Currently keywords can be set to:

  1. Broad match
  2. Phrase match
  3. Exact match
  4. Negative match


Let’s look at what these all mean and how it can benefit you understanding them.

For the sake of discussion, the keyword we are focusing on is ‘web design’.

Broad match keywords

If keyword is set to broad, your ad will trigger on broad matches such as: web, design, bad web design, good web design, the list goes on.

You can see where this could start to go pear shaped. We wouldn’t want to be spending our budget on people who simply type design as we are only designers for the web, not your next home renovation.

Try and avoid broad match in my opinion, only use for websites that need lots of traffic from any keywords they can imagine.

Phrase match keywords

Your ad will only trigger if the actual keyword is in that sentence. For example, the words web design must be featured in the users search to trigger.

An example of when the ads would show includes: web design Sydney, web design Melbourne and so on.

Exact match keywords

As the title says, they must be exact. Your ad will only show for ‘web design’.

Negative match keywords

Are great for eliminating any words you don’t want associated with your ad. For example we might put the word ‘Brisbane’ as a negative should we not want to service the Brisbane web design market (don’t worry, we do service all of Australia).

Takeaway points from this article:

  1. Be careful with broad match, it can eat your budget
  2. Using phrase match means you need to eliminate the negatives you don’t want.
  3. Exact match is for when you know exactly what you want and what converts for you.
  4. Negative keywords compliment all aspects of your campaign. Use them to protect your brand, validate your offering and eliminate any unwanted business your ads might create.