How to Plan Keywords with Google AdWords - Digital Image Group
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How to Plan Keywords with Google AdWords

Before the Internet, businesses didn’t need to do keyword research to help people find their business. But we, as customers, have used keywords for decades. We have used them to find restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, or video rental stores in the yellow pages.

Nowadays, people are much more specific with their search terms.

Sure, they will start with a broad term, but as they get closer and closer to finding what they want, they will begin searching for longer or more specific terms. (long-tail keywords) It’s your job to find and use those keywords that are in that sweet spot of when your customer is ready to buy, but not when they either give up or have found a competitor to buy from.

How do you research keywords?

Types of Search

Let’s start by looking at the three main search types: transactional, informational, and navigational.

Now consider a recent search of my own: “thunderbolt to HDMI cable” and determine what these three searches mean.

Informational – “How do I connect a MacBook Air to a second monitor?” and “MacBook Air dual monitor” searches would fall under this category. There’s no indication that I’ll buy anything. I’m kicking tires, as it were.

Transactional – “Thunderbolt to HDMI cable for sale” and “Buy thunderbolt to HDMI cable” are obviously searches that indicate I am ready to buy, but I’m completely open to buying from whatever site catches my eye.

Navigational – “Amazon app,” “Target app,” or “Best Buy app” would essentially mean that I’m trying to look for a specific site (or app) to search within. It means I’m ready to buy from a specific place. Period.

While we want to target transactional search terms, targeting those keywords is only half the battle. How do you get the most bang for your buck when you’re launching a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign? How do you know the rest of the search string, outside of “buy” or “for sale”?

Say What Your Customers Mean

When should Google bring up your site for a potential customer? How will you tell AdWords what to do? What’s the best way to conduct keyword research?

While AdWords has its own keyword planner and Google Trends is a good resource, you should start at your own website to find the words you’re already using, look at your competitors, and ask people who have actually made a purchase how they found you.

The following image is a Google Trends search for several terms. The blue line is what people commonly used to call larger televisions: “big screen TVs.” Up until flat screens and new technology came around, you weren’t necessarily worried about whether it was 60 or 70 inches. And while there are people still searching for a “big screen TV”, they don’t compare to people searching for more specific types of televisions.Now, even trying to search for a TV size seems somewhat passé. The most searched size, 40”, pales in comparison to people searching for the features they want in a TV, like a 4k screen or a smart TV. Here’s another Google Trends search to better visualize what I mean: It’s knowing these bits of information that will help you use Google AdWords to target very specific groups of people looking for exactly what you are selling. Before, you may have been decades out of touch by thinking people searched for a “big screen TV” or just slightly out of touch by thinking they wanted a size of TV. But even if you’re a few months out of touch, there will probably be a competitor who knows how the people are looking for what they want and waiting to scoop up customers because had a better ad campaign with the right keywords.


Here at Digital Image Group, we have helped businesses and organizations stay in touch with how customers are searching through keyword research, ad creation, testing, and result analysis. For your free PPC consultation, contact us today at 720.261.0847.