Welcome back to my 7 part series on AdWords. Part 1 was an Overview of AdWords, Part 2 covered Campaign Types, Part 3 addressed Bid Strategies and Budgets and last posting was about Ad Groups.  In this post I cover Keyword Research, an integral part of a successful AdWords campaigns.

If are reading this series for the first time, be sure to catch up on previous postings. Part 1 was an Overview of AdWords, Part 2 I covered Campaign Types, posting 3 addressed Bid Strategies and Budgets and last post was about Ad Groups.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research

By now, you have organized your website and ad groups effectively and spent some time writing effective text ads. It’s time to add keywords to your ad group to match up search queries to your text ads. When coming up with keywords, try to think like a customer. What would you Google if you were looking for the products and services you sell? I

f you were looking for a criminal defense attorney in San Diego, you might Google “criminal defense attorney San Diego.” Or maybe something more specific like, “attorney for drug charges San Diego.”

In order to create your keyword list, you will have to do some keyword research.

Google’s Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is probably the most widely adopted tool. It’s free, easy to use, and allows advertisers to search for new keywords and ad group ideas. The tool provides estimated search volume and speculates on the average cost-per-click. Think of the planner as the first tool you use for some general guidance and assistance to lay the groundwork for a successful campaign. The data is not 100% accurate, and you can’t rely exclusively on the tool for your keyword research.

Google’s Autocomplete

I’m sure you have noticed that when you conduct a search on Google they try to autocomplete your search and provide a list of suggestions.

Party Rentals Google Search

Searches Related

At the bottom of Google, there is a section titled “Searches related to.”

Searches Related

Simply search on Google with some or all of your keywords and review this bottom section for additional ideas.


UberSuggest is a free keyword research tool. Just type in a keyword, click suggest, and review the returned results. Spend a few minutes browsing the list to see if they returned any new ideas.



You can use SpyFu for researching keywords, spying on competitors, building inbound links, and reviewing a competitor’s ad copy. The tool is not free, but you can conduct free searches with a limited amount of data returned to get a feel for the system, user experience, and available information. If you are serious about growing your businesses through digital marketing, SpyFu can be a worthwhile investment and a sound way to conduct keyword research.

AdWords Search Terms

One of the most valuable ways to discover new keywords is to review visitors’ search terms in AdWords. Once your campaign is up and running, you will be able to log in to AdWords and review the specific search terms that visitors used prior to clicking your ad. You can add performing terms to your ad group, and you can also add irrelevant terms as negative keywords (more on this later).

You can access this information via the Search Terms Report. To access the report, click the Campaigns tab and Keywords tab, and then click the Search Terms button. You will now see data on which search terms triggered impressions and clicks. The report is downloadable if you prefer to review the data in .csv or Excel.

Sometimes you will see data fall into the “other search terms” category. You will only see search terms that were used by people at least eight hours ago and have either received clicks in the past thirty days or were searched by a large number of people. Any term not meeting this criteria falls into the “other search terms” category.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next post in this series.

I own a San Diego PPC company and would love to help you launch and manage a Pay Per Click Campaign. Check out my PPC Services and call me today for your no obligation quote.

Email brian@rocketpilots.com or call me today at 858-775-4110 or request your no commitment consultation.

Are you currently running an AdWords campaign? Leave a comment a let us know your experience with the platform.
Brian Hansen