How to setup keywords in Google Ads like a pro

Google Ads: Like A Pro

Are you currently running a Google Ads campaign for your business? Are you struggling to get results and often find yourself lost in the sea of settings, data & terminology? This is a struggle we’ve found that a lot of businesses have, and we wanted to help. In this guide, we’re going to start by taking a closer look at match types, choosing keywords & how keywords affect your ads, helping you learn how to properly setup your keywords in google ads.

Setting up your keywords

Arguably the most important part of any Google Ad Campaign are the key phrases you are looking to rank for, as this directly affects who your ads are served to. This being said, it can seem relatively straightforward to just setup your chosen keywords and be done with it, but there is much more to this that isn’t plainly obvious.

Keyword Match Types

Did you know that there are technically 3 ways you can set a keyword up, which drastically changes how it performs? For example:

You own an online e-commerce store specialising in sports shoes, your chosen keyword is “red trainers’ and you want to create a google ad campaign around this.

Normal Keyword: red trainers

Result: Your ads are going to be served to the vast majority of people searching for any kind of shoes online, including the kinds of shoes that you don’t sell. Not good.

Phrase Match Keyword: “red trainers”

Result: Your ads are going to be categorized by sportswear, and your ads are going to be served to people searching for sports related clothing in your chosen area. Better.

Exact Match Keyword: [red trainers]

Result: Your ads are going to be only served to people specifically looking for red trainers in your specified area. Much better.

Each of these have their own benefits and drawbacks, but just knowing this alone can help you better target what you want to.

Choosing the right keywords

Another thing that seems simple is choosing what keywords you want to run ads for, but needs to be some careful consideration in-particular for “competition”, “search volume” & “CPC (cost-per-click). Using Google Ad’s Keyword Planner, all of these things are available to you, and a lot of it can be measured with common sense.

Going back to the previous example of “red trainers”, let’s create a hypothetical situation. You’re setting up your keywords in the keyword planner, you find out that the key phrase “red trainers” has the following data:

Competition = High Search Volume = 1000 CPC = £4.50

While you’re carrying out this search, Google offers alternative keywords similar to what you’ve searched for. After looking through the list, you see that “red trainers for football” has this data:

Competition = Medium Search Volume = 800 CPC = £3.00

This illustrates that it’s really important to refine your keywords, because there are often really good opportunities that have less competition, are cheaper to rank for & have a higher chance of you converting someone into a customer, which is the dream situation.

How keywords affect your ads

As a general rule, each account, campaign & ad is given a “quality score” which is a measure of how well you’re using the tools available to you, and how dynamic your campaign is. This is why its incredibly important for these things to marry up and synergise.

By having a high quality score, you’re likely to be paying less per click. By having a low quality score, you’ll be paying through the nose for the position you want to be in. With what we’ve learnt so far, lets say you’ve got your refined keywords, and now you’re ready to create your ads.

As a practical example, lets take the previous example of “red trainers for football” and let’s go through some general rules of thumb:

#1 | Your exact keyword(s) must always be as one of the headlines in your ad.

#2 | Your ad description must also contain your exact keywords or as close as possible.

#3 | Make use of the extensions, especially sitelinks, linking to the most relevant pages.


The world of Google Ads is very complicated, and there is so much more that goes into it. I hope this whistle-stop tour of setting up your keywords has been helpful, and I hope you take some value from it. Over the coming weeks there is going to be more and more marketing content filled with more tips, tricks & advanced guides to help you when navigating your own marketing.

In the meantime, if you are interested in Google Ad Management, please do get in touch with us here and we can have a conversation.