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How to Find the Best Keywords in Google Ads

Ever wondered how some businesses seem to magically appear at the top of Google search results? 

It’s no sorcery; it’s the art of mastering how to find the best keywords in Google Ads.

Drawing from a vast experience of managing a 109k monthly ad spend, let’s embark on a journey to unlock this keyword goldmine.

Let’s dive deep into the secrets of Google Ads mastery.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

The Foundation: Understanding Your Business and Audience

Before you even think about diving into the vast ocean of Google Ads, it’s crucial to anchor your ship firmly.

And that anchor? It’s a deep understanding of your business and the audience you’re trying to reach.

Imagine trying to sell ice to an Eskimo or sand in the Sahara; it just doesn’t make sense, right?

Similarly, without a solid foundation, your Google Ads campaign might just be shooting in the dark.

Your Unique Business Perspective

Every business has its own story, its own niche. And if you’re in the SaaS industry, you know just how diverse and intricate these stories can be.

Having worked with over 200+ SaaS companies, each with its own unique business model and marketing funnel, it’s evident that a one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it.

  • Tailoring to Your Niche: To truly stand out, you need to find those relevant keywords that resonate with your specific product or service. Think of it as tailoring a suit – the better the fit, the more impressive it looks.
  • Understanding Your Audience: It’s not just about what you offer, but also about who you’re offering it to. Dive deep into understanding the needs, desires, and pain points of your potential customers. Only then can you craft a message that truly speaks to them.

The Data-Led Approach

Remember those days in school when we thought we’d never use math in real life?

Well, think again! With a background in Physics (yes, you read that right!), it’s clear that data is not just numbers on a screen. It’s the heartbeat of every successful campaign.

  • Obsessing Over Numbers: Every click, every conversion, every bounce rate – they all tell a story. And if you think like a data scientist, you can decode this story to understand exactly what’s working and what’s not for your business.
  • Making Data-Driven Decisions: It’s not just about collecting data, but about making sense of it. By focusing on the metrics that truly matter, you can make decisions that are not just based on gut feelings but are backed by solid, tangible evidence.

Keyword Research: The Heart of Google Ads

Imagine you’re a detective, and every search query is a clue.

Your mission?

To find the perfect set of keywords that will lead your business to the treasure trove of conversions and sales.

But where do you start?

Welcome to the world of keyword research, the beating heart of any successful Google Ads campaign.

Starting with the Basics

Every epic journey begins with a single step, and in the realm of Google Ads, that step is understanding the basics of keyword research.

  • The Power of the Right Tool: Just as a carpenter wouldn’t be caught without a hammer, a savvy marketer knows the importance of tools like the Google keyword planner and keyword research tool. These tools help you find relevant keywords that people are actually searching for.
Google Ads Keyword Planner's dashboard
  • Brainstorming Session: Before diving into tools, take a moment to brainstorm to come up with keyword ideas. Think about the products and services you offer. What terms would potential customers use to find them? This initial list will serve as your foundation.

✏️ If you’re just starting out and need a comprehensive overview, this Google Ads Tutorial for Beginners got you covered.

Diving Deep into Keyword Match Types

Now that you’ve got your basic list, it’s time to refine it. Enter the world of keyword match types.

  • Broad, Phrase, and Exact: These are the three musketeers of keyword match types. Broad match will show your ad to a wide audience, phrase match narrows it down a bit, and exact match is, well, exact. Understanding the nuances of each can drastically improve your campaign’s performance.
  • Decoding the CPC: The cost-per-click (CPC) is a crucial metric. It tells you how much you’ll pay every time someone clicks on your ad. By targeting the right match types, you can optimize your CPC and get more bang for your buck.

Competitive Keyword Analysis

In the world of Google Ads, knowledge is power. And knowing what keywords your competitors are targeting? That’s like having a secret weapon.

  • Spying (Ethically, of Course!): Tools and platforms allow you to peek into the keywords your competitors are using. By understanding their strategies, you can find gaps in your own and capitalize on them.
  • Relevancy is Key: It’s not just about finding a lot of keywords. It’s about finding the right ones. Keywords that are highly relevant to your business and have a higher click-through rate will drive more conversions.
Google Ads relevance score

Ready to dive into the world of competitive keyword analysis? Here’s a comprehensive guide on Competitive Keyword Analysis with Google Ads.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Keyword Strategies

So, you’ve got the basics down, and you’re seeing some results. That’s fantastic!

But in the world of Google Ads, there’s always room to level up.

It’s like playing a video game; there are always hidden treasures and secret levels to discover.

Ready to unlock the next level of your Google Ads game?

Let’s dive into some advanced strategies.

Negative Keywords: The Unsung Heroes

Ever heard the saying, “It’s not about what you add, but what you take away?”

In the realm of Google Ads, this couldn’t be truer.

  • The Power of Exclusion: Think of negative keywords as the bouncers of your Google Ads club. They ensure that only the right people (or in this case, searches) get through. By excluding irrelevant terms, you ensure your ads only appear for searches that truly matter.
  • Maximizing Budget Efficiency: By using negative keywords, you’re not just improving relevancy; you’re also ensuring your budget is spent wisely. No more wasted clicks from unrelated searches!

Optimizing for Devices

In today’s digital age, people aren’t just searching from their desktops. They’re on their phones, tablets, and even smartwatches!

  • Mobile-First Approach: With the majority of searches now happening on mobile, it’s crucial to optimize your ads for these devices. Think about it: if your ad isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a massive chunk of potential traffic.
  • Device-Specific Bidding: Did you know you can adjust your bids based on the device? This means you can allocate more of your budget to the devices that are driving the most conversions.

✏️ Ready to optimize your ads for every device? Here’s a guide on Optimizing Google Ads for Mobile Devices.

The Power of Ad Extensions

Imagine you’re at a buffet.

Sure, the main course is delicious, but it’s the side dishes that truly complete the meal. Similarly, ad extensions are the “side dishes” that enhance your main ad.

  • More Real Estate: Ad extensions give your ad more space on the search results page. This means more information for potential customers and a higher chance of them clicking on your ad.
  • Enhanced User Experience: From location extensions to call buttons, these features make it easier for users to engage with your business. It’s all about removing friction and making the user’s journey as smooth as possible.

Measuring Success and Scaling

In the thrilling world of Google Ads, it’s not just about setting up campaigns; it’s about understanding their impact and knowing when and how to scale.

Think of it as planting a garden. You’ve sown the seeds (your keywords), watered them (optimized your ads), and now? It’s time to watch them grow and flourish.

But how do you measure the health of your garden and ensure it continues to thrive? Let’s find out.

Conversion Rate Optimization

The ultimate goal of any Google Ads campaign? Conversions.

Whether it’s a sale, a sign-up, or any other desired action, conversions are the true measure of success.

  • Landing Page Magic: Your landing page is where the magic happens. It’s the final destination for users and plays a pivotal role in converting them. Ensuring it’s optimized, user-friendly, and aligned with your ad can significantly boost conversion rates.
  • A/B Testing: Ever wondered if a different headline or image might perform better? A/B testing allows you to compare two versions of a page to see which one drives more conversions. It’s like a digital experiment, and you’re the scientist!

✏️ For more on maximizing conversions, check out our Conversion Rate Optimization guide.

Quality Score: The Silent Influencer

Behind the scenes of every Google Ads campaign is a metric silently influencing your success: the Quality Score.

  • What’s in a Score: Your Quality Score is determined by the relevance of your ads, keywords, and landing page. Think of it as Google’s way of ensuring users get the best experience possible. A high score can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.
  • Improving Your Score: Focus on relevancy. Ensure your keywords, ads, and landing pages are in sync. Remember, it’s not just about getting clicks; it’s about providing value.

Scaling Strategies for Success

You’ve laid the groundwork, seen some success, and now you’re ready to take things to the next level.

  • Identifying Winners: Analyze your campaigns and identify which ones are driving the most conversions. These are your winners, and they’re ripe for scaling.
  • Adjusting Bids: Consider increasing bids for keywords that are performing well. This can help you dominate the search results and drive even more conversions.
  • Exploring New Avenues: Don’t be afraid to test new keywords or ad formats. The world of Google Ads is vast, and there’s always something new to explore.

✏️ Ready to scale your campaigns to new heights? Here’s a guide on Scaling Google Ads for Success.


Embarking on the Google Ads journey is like setting sail on the vast ocean of digital marketing.

We’ve navigated the intricate waters of keyword match types, dropped anchor at optimization bays, and now, as we approach the horizon, mastery is within sight.

The next step is to monitor and find keywords that are underperforming.

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder is a Google Ads and SaaS marketing consultant. He has been managing $200k-$300k monthly ad spend and has worked with 200+ SaaS companies. The thing that makes him unique is his data-led approach and his focus on SaaS businesses.