Keywords are the frequent words or phrases that consumers enter into search bars when looking for a product. For example, when I am hungry, I often google, “Food”, just to see what restaurants are near me. Food is then the keyword. Consumers will rarely type in exactly your product. In my example, I ended up eating a big mac from McDonalds. However, while I was searching, I did not even know that’s what I was looking for.
Keywords help advertisers in several different way. First of all, they let us tell google for what searches and bid auctions we would like to compete in. It is important that McDonald’s appears high in a search for, “Food”, however they do not want to show up if someone searches for hotels. This would be costly and would not have hope of generating many sales.
Another reason keyword help advertisers is that the keywords can let us know how far into the purchasing decision a consumer is. Someone who is searching the keyword, “Camera”, is more than likely just getting into the purchasing decision and could still be a long way away from making a purchase. However, if a consumer searches for, “Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm, on sale today”, then this consumer is going to most likely be closer to the purchasing point of their decision. We call the ladder keyword, a long-tail keyword. Long-tail keywords are rarer, and normally more costly, but that is because they are so closely associated with sales.
Some keywords will be obvious. McDonalds will definitely want to appear in food searches, and Cannon will definitely want to appear in camera searches. However, some keywords will be less obvious. Car manufacturers will not only want keywords around make and models, but also around qualities. Consumers could search something like, “Fuel Efficient”, or, “Electric Car”. Google has created a tool called the Keyword Planner Tool to help advertisers get keywords related to any given topic.
The keyword planner will show you related keywords, and their searches per month for any potential topic. The keyword planner also has unique features that let you narrow in on specific searches you are looking for. You can enter keywords as being broad match, phrase match, or exact match. You can also create negative keywords that will keep you out of some search results. For example, a company who is selling tableware may want to be in a search for, “bowl” but be excluded from any searches with, “Bowling”. The negative keyword can accomplish this. Broad match keywords are very vague. For example, a broad keyword such as red shoes, may trigger a search for blue sneakers. Broad match is meant to be vague, so advertisers do not have to specifically type in every possible keyword. Broad match searches are also considered to be consumers who are just starting their search for an item. You could target users in this phase if you are trying to influence purchase behaviors away from other brands.
The next possible keyword search is the phrase match keyword. Applying this modifier will make sure that your searches are much closer to the actual phasing of your keywords. This will now only be triggered by searches that have both the words red + shoe from the example above. This lends some flexibility to the searches while keeping them relatively close to your keywords. The tightest possible choice is exact match keywords. These will only trigger for searches that are almost identical to your keywords chosen.
Keywords can be tracked and monitored closely. It is possible to delete some keywords, and add others once the search data is filtered. You can even adjust how much money you would like to spend on each keyword. All of these tools are created to give advertisers complete control over exactly what and when consumers see ads.