Google Adwords 101: Introduction to Keyword Selection

Posted by Nick Pizzolato on Mon, May 11, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

Google Adwords 101: Introduction to Keyword Selection | Wicked Local Media Solutions

Search engine marketing offers you the chance to be one of the first businesses a user finds when searching for a product or service. You don’t need to be one of the actual search results, you just need to be one of the active links on the page. But how does your text ad appear after a search?

Search engine marketing is driven by promoting the keywords you want to represent your business. A user does a search for an item or service and the search engine will place ads on the results page that match that keyword. The words you select hold a lot of responsibility, so it’s important for you to consider how you want to describe your business.

Every search engine offers an advertising platform and dashboard. This dashboard is where you build a text ad and bid on where it will be placed. They may have different names based on the engine, but they all work the same way. Since Google search has more than 1 billion unique users, we’re going to focus on ways to use Google Adwords more effectively.

Adwords offer different keyword groups to help you expand and define your desired audience. In a Broad Match, the keywords you select will be connected with similar terms or synonyms that are used in a search. A Broad Match Modifier will search for that specific word or similar terms, but not synonyms. If you don’t want to find similar terms use keywords in an Exact Match. Exact match keywords only respond to a specific word.

Using these keyword groups seems very straight forward. Your business sells shoes, so the keyword you select is “shoes.” However, depending on the popularity of your industry, these direct keyword searches could be a detriment. If you create an ad and use keywords that are already popular, you’ll have to pay more to get a notable result. If your competition is a corporate chain, then you may not have the budget they have to place competitive bids for top placements.

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Take some time to do some Google searches of your own. Think of the keywords you want to have represent your business and see if they are already being used. Look to see what searches result in competitors ads. Find the words that are being used the least. You may not have to bid as much if there is no one else using a particular keyword.

If you find yourself in a situation where it’s just not affordable to bid on one word, Phrase Match may be an alternative solution for you. This is when you select a phrase that you think people will search for. If you sell fly fishing lures and kits, you might think of using the phrase “make fly fishing lure” to capture a user.

You also have the opportunity mark keywords as Negative Keywords. These are keywords that you want to be omitted during web searches. For instance, you own an art gallery but you only sell paintings. You decide to use keywords like “art,” “gallery,” and “portraits” in your ad. You don’t want your ad to show up for people looking to purchase portrait photographs. If you select the term “photographs” as a negative keyword, your ad will not be listed when a user searches for “portraits gallery photographs.” This function will allow only prospective customers to see your ad.

There are more than 5 billion internet searches done on Google every day. Yes, that’s a global number, but your customers are also a part of that figure. Internet searches deliver results people want to find, whether they be organic or text ads. 64% of people click on these ads when they are looking to buy an item online. By understanding which keywords to select to represent your business, you have a better opportunity to create a successful search engine marketing campaign.

Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at

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Tags: SEM, Digital Advertising, Small Business, Email Marketing