What are Keywords, negatives and Match-types?

Google AdWords is an auction-based search engine advertising platform, which uses the keywords typed in the Google Search bar in order to match the searcher to the advertiser's ad. A key element of a successful campaign are picking the right keywords to bid on.

How do you select your campaign's keywords?

For your ads to show when people search for products or services like yours, you'll want to choose keywords that are similar to the words or phrases people might use when conducting their search. When someone's search terms are similar to your keywords and the text of your ad, your ad can be eligible to show next to their search results.

As we've mentioned before, it is important to organize your campaigns and ad groups into categories or themes of the products and services you're advertising. Then, within each ad group, you'll choose keywords and write ads that relate specifically to that theme.

Let's take a look at these steps

1. What's the theme of your ad group?

Let's say you're a shoe retailer running a campaign for "Athletic shoes." You break out your campaign into ad groups for different types of athletic shoes, like "kids basketball shoes" and "men's soccer shoes."

2. What are the words or phrases someone might use to search for products or services related to your ad group's theme?

For best results, we recommend picking between 5 and 20 keywords for each ad group. Once your ads start running, you can evaluate how your ads and keywords are doing and make any adjustments to improve performance. For your "kids basketball shoes" ad group, your keyword list might look like this:

  • youth basketball shoes
  • kids basketball shoes
  • boys basketball shoes
  • girls basketball shoes
  • childrens basketball shoes


When someone searches Google using the phrase kids basketball shoes or a similar term, your ad might appear next to Google search results, or on other websites related to youth basketball.

3. Keyword tool

You can use Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas and traffic forecasts. Keyword Planner is like a workshop for building new Search Network campaigns or expanding existing ones. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.

Finetuning your keywords

In order to make sure that your ads only appear for relevant searches you can use Keyword March types, like broad match or exact match.

In general, the broader the keyword matching option, the more traffic potential that keyword has. Conversely, the narrower the keyword matching option, the more relevant that keyword will be to someone's search.

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