Google Ads Guide: How to build perfect search campaign fast and easy

This is how you can use a tool to build targeted long tail campaigns in Google Ads fast with great results.

Connecting searchers problem with a product and/or service

Our job is to solve the searchers problem with a product/service. The rest is just execution. This guide is all about coming as close to a perfect execution as possible, using as little resources as possible.  

We start with a fast guide, proceed with a more indeept guide with many tips and links to articles that focus one on thing.

Fast guide

This is the fast lane to make targeted long tail campaigns. If you like a deeper introduction, you are welcome to read the full guide now or later.

What product do you want to sell?

  • Start with your main product and make a list of what keywords searchers use to search for that product (ice, ice cream etc.)
  • Make a list of words searchers use to find specific kind of your product, that you also provide (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, mint etc.)

It works well to analyse search terms in Google Ads, Analytics and Google Console ect. To find the name searchers use to find your product and the added words they use to narrow the product search to a product that just fit them.

Make the targeted long tail campaign

  1. Insert the two keyword lists in the tool.
  2. Choose match type (we suggest: Exact and modified broad match)
  3. Write ads where you can insert the keywords in the ad text and thereby targeted the ads very precise.
  4. Choose setting as: Bid, geographic targeting, language etc.
  5. Push the whole thing up to Google ads with one click

Now you are ready to the next targeted long tail campaign.

Keyword research

To get on the right path, it is important to define which keywords we are searching for, which format we like them in and which keywords we don’t want.

Defining you market: What problems does your products and services solve

The first part of the keyword research is to define your market:

  1. Which kind of products and service are you selling?
  2. What problems are you solving?
  3. Who are the potential customers?

Sometimes it is straightforward and take less than 5 minutes. Other time it takes a bit longer to understand the searchers problem. Usually there are straightforward answers and some more hidden ones. 

If you are selling ventilation. The straightforward answers is: People who like to get more fresh air in their house. The more hidden problems is if people have a mold or radon problem. They might have installed better isolation in their house and need better ventilation not to get a mold problem. They might have discovered they are allergic or have a baby coming and therefore decided it is time to get better ventilation. 

The purpose is to focus the search for the right keywords and to see if there are any less obvious market segments you might have overlooked. 

Don’t use to much time on it. It is better to keep an open mind, for finding problems searches have, doing the keyword research.

Collecting keywords

If you have a running business with a website, Analytics and Google Ads account ect., you should start downloading search terms from them. If you don’t have them, then use the list to make as many accounts as you find valuable:

  1. Search terms from Google Ads and other paid platforms
  2. Search terms from Google Console and other search engines
  3. Search terms from Google Analytics and other analytics you might have

It is important that you download the search terms and not the keywords, because it gives better result if you use what the searcher actually wrote in the search box.

Expanding your keyword lists

Finding keyword lists

If your keyword lists isn’t complete or you just want to make sure you get keywords for the whole market, it is time to go hunt for keyword lists.

You find the lists by searching for the main keywords within your industry plus one of the words describing lists as: Glossary, list, dictionary, terms etc. So if you were in the car part business, you might search for: Car parts terms     

There are a bunch of small tricks, which I won’t bore you with in this guide. If you want to read more about hunting for keyword list then read more here.

Expanding keyword lists

There are many keyword tools that finds related keyword for the keywords you already know. The main problem is that you input one keyword and then sort or download the results. Then you insert the next keyword and continue the process. If you are trying to cover a whole market and have ten thousand keywords and you are fast and use a half minute on each, you need to use 83 hours of boring manual work (even if you can work that fast without your mind starts daydreaming). 

To use your time efficiently, you need to find a tool that:  

  1. Cover your market
  2. You can insert all your keyword once
  3. You only have to sort each keyword once

There are very few keyword tools that can do that. We have made a tool where you can upload a list of keywords and Google will return related keywords. The tool process it so you have a minimum of work to do. Thereafter you can sort the keywords in an efficient sorting interface, where each keyword is only sorted once.

Sorting your keywords

This is probably some of the most difficult tasks you have to do to be successful. Som let’s start with some key concepts.

Negative keywords

There are a lot of keywords that have nothing to do with the products you are selling. If they are mixed with relevant keywords, you need to gather them in a list of negative keywords.

When is a keyword relevant?

That is a difficult question. If you can make a profit in Google Ads with it, it is probably relevant. But that doesn’t answer the question when you are sorting.

We usually don’t look at metrice when we decide if a keyword is relevant for Google Ads. Usually it doesn’t matter if it has low/high competition/CPC/search volume. It matters more if you product are relevant for the searcher.

Small fish in a big dam or a big fish in a small dam: How aggressive do you want to sort?

It is easy to sort keywords that is either 0% or 100% relevant, but most keywords are somewhere in between. So you have to decide how aggressive you want to sort. If you are a small player in a big market, you have the luxury to be super picky. On the other hand, if you are a big player in a limited market and your boss wants groth, when you are looking to turn even faint related searchers into customers.

Bid high on relevant and lower on less relevant subjects/keywords

You can also include all keywords and subject in your campaign, if they are just a little relevant for your products. You can then adjust the bidding according to the value you get per click.  

This strategy works especially well with bid management tools like Google Ads CPA or ROAS.

It is a good idea to use a little time to make up your mind about which keywords your are looking for and how relevant they need to be, before you will work with them.

Sorting in subjects or lists

The traditional method in Google Ads have been to sort keywords in subjects. The subjects can be organised in different kinds of ways: Keywords relevant for a product/service/page/category/subject etc. with a new landing page or the most suitable landing page in the site.

Keyword lists

When you have done a lot of keyword research, you realise most keywords can be made with a combination of a few keyword lists. To find the words, your target keywords is combinations of, you can use a frequency tool and then add each relevant word to a list sorted after words, that can be used the same way and be written in the same part of the ad.

Building targeted campaigns

Most SEM professionals have tried to single out a very important keyword, because it was relevant and highly valuable. After optimizing bidding, ads and landing pages etc. you achieved great results. 

After being deservedly proud of your results, you start to think, if you could optimise all keywords in the same way and thereby dominate the market. A second later you wake up of the daydream and realize that it would take you a thousand years to do that.

Here we want to go through, how you can get 80% of the gain of optimizing one keyword and use less time than building and maintaining traditional campaign.

Using keyword list

We will assume that you have made your keyword lists and found the syntax in the keywords.

Sometimes you have to go back and look for the syntax in the keywords. The syntax is often a list of product/service names combined with:

  • Adjectives (like: Cheap, best…)
  • Geographic locations (like: Lordon, New York, Japan…)
  • Brand (like: Adidas, Nike, Puma…)
  • Comparable products (Headset/cover for Iphone, headlight/door/tires for Toyota Corolla…)
  • Problems (like: Back pain, leaking pipes, falling revenue)
  • Questions (Who, How, What, which…) 
  • Kind of products (Like: Racing/track/fashion/trail, overpronation…(shoes)

Other times the searcher have problems without the searcher looking for a products and/or services. They are often a bit more tricky and less valuable, but might offer the key to extra market share and part of the market that your competitors can’t handle. It can be a searcher searching for a solution for their back pain without looking for akupunktur/yoga/physical therapy etc.

Now you have made your keyword lists and you know how to combine them, it is time to get started.

We like to start with the combination of the product/service list(s) with each of the other lists and then work with combination of 3 lists if there are enough demand. In rare conditions we work with 4 or more list in combination.

Now is a good time to sign up for a free account, if you haven’t done it already. Then you are make your first long tail combo campaign while reading.

Match type

You can choose the 3 normal and the extra generated match type:

  • Exact
  • Phrase
  • Modified-broad
  • Broad

We almost always choose exact match to get the extra bonus in quality score. Modified broad match is a match type that is tailored to this kind of campaigns, because it will target all the combinations of the words we have specified in the lists. Sometimes we include phrase match to get in between exact and modified broad match. The problem can be that we are very target already and the few searchers will then spread between 3 match types. We use broad match seldom, because in nature it is not very target and the opposite of what we are trying to do. One exception is when we are working with clients that have a Google Ad Grants where they don’t pay Google. If they don’t have problems with CTR we normally include broad match to get the extra market share.

Long tail ads

This is where the magic happens. All the other things we have done so far, have been preparing for this moment. Done right, it isn’t difficult or time consuming. So a little extra time spent here will come back many times later.

How to write long tail ads

It is just writing ads where you insert your keywords from the lists into the ads. We could finish the chapter here, but there are a few tricks to make the ads successful.

Starting with the important first

The keywords from the list is the most important aspect of the ads. The searcher are usually scanning the search results for relevant results. The fastest method to do that, is by seeing if any results are using the same words as she has written in the search box. Here lies the magic powder you can sprinkle over yours ads.

Headlines

We usually start with the first headline and insert the keywords there. Usually it can be pretty easy and can look like:

  • {Adjectives} {product/service} => Cheap track running shoes, Best track running shoes…
  • {Product/service} in {Geographic locations}=> Locksmith in Paris
  • {Brand} {product/service} => Adidas running shoes, Nike running shoes, Puma running shoes…
  • {Product/service} for {Comparable products} => Headlights for Toyota Corolla, Doors for Toyota Corolla, Tires for Toyota Corolla
  • {Product/service} for {problems} => Acupuncture for headache, Acupuncture for back pain, Acupuncture for stop smoking
  • {Adjectives} {Brand} {product/service} in {Geographic locations}=> Best Adidas running shoes
    in New York…

Other times it can be more difficult. A solution can be to:

  • Insert the keywords in the headline without any other words. Like {Product/service} in {Geographic locations} => Shoe Shop – London
    Write the keywords over two headlines. Like:
  • {Adjectives} {Brand} {product/service}
    in {Geographic locations}
    =>
    Best Adidas running shoes | in New York
  • Use the description to include all the keywords if you don’t have space in the headlines

For the headlines without keyword insertion, we usually make a list of headlines we copy/paste from.

Display path

The display path is a great place to insert the keywords. There are several methods to do it, but inserting the {product/service} as path 1 and inserting the second most important keywords as path 2 usually does the trick.

site.com/{product/service}/{adjectives} => site.com/running_shoes/cheap

As long as it makes sense and you keep the characters in each path to under 15 it usually work very well.

If you are automatically forbidden to use certain trade marks, it normally no problem to use them in the paths.

Description lines

When you use keywords in the description, it is important not to over do it. If you have used the keywords in the headlines and path, it can sometimes look spammy if you use it to much in description.

We usually insert it one or two places or just keeping it more general without using keywords in the description.

Final URL

You can either use a static URL or insert keywords in the URL.

Don’t over do it

In the beginning you can get over excited by the possibility to make targeted ads for even the most long tail search query. So you fill the whole ad with keywords. If you do that, it can be seen as too much by the searcher. 

We usually try not to insert too many keywords into the description. So instead of being specialist in: Original headlights for Toyota Corolla’s from 2003 in Hiroshima we might just write that we are specialists in: Spare parts for Toyota Corolla 2000 – 2009 in Japan.

To many or too few characters

If you have a keyword list with keywords that include both short and long keywords, you run into the problem of both having ads that exide the characters limit or/and using only a fraction of the characters allowed. You can overcome that by:

  • Write difference ads, where some use a lot of characters and other make sure that all limits are kept for all keywords. Ads that exceed the limit won’t be uploaded to Google.
  • Delete some of the longste keywords. They are usually not search that much.
  • Split the keyword lists in lists with certain number of characters. So short keyword and long keyword goes in difference lists.

Adjusting the keyword lists

It is best practice to sort the keywords in general keyword lists to start with. When you start making ads, you see what kind of adjustments you need to make. The goal is to address what the search are looking for, make a good sales pitch (so they click on the ads and are halfway to convert) and keep the langues naturel so the searcher have no idea that you just wrote 10.000 targeted ads in under 5 minutes.

Lower, upper or as list case

Sometimes you want the keywords from you lists to appear with the first letter in lower or upper case. In some occasions you want a special mix of lower and upper case. In that case, you just use the case, you want in you keyword list. This is how you specify the case:   

  • {listname} => All letters in lower case
  • {Listname} => First letter upper case
  • {LiStname} => Lower and upper case as in the list

Difference variants

Because you are doing very targeted ads for long tail keywords, they are going to perform very well and take a minimum of maintenance. We only have to maintain the ads when things change or we get new information that can help improve the ads. 

Usually we try to make the best ad first and then trying to make improvements. Because the keywords in the difference list have different number of characters we usually include an ad that don’t break the length limit of any field.

Contents

Most contents work well with targeted long tail campaigns. Some are tailored made for it.

Webshop

If you have a webshop with a filter and sorting, you can target the ads by inserting the keywords in your URL. Like:

  • Cheap => Price: Low to high
  • Popular => Best selling
  • Best => Customer reviews
  • Sale => Discount
  • Red => Color = red
  • Size 11 => Shoe size = 11 
  • Brand X => Brand = X
  • Best Puma running shoe size 11 in red => Sorting: Customer reviews, Filter: Brand = Puma, shoe size = 11 

Geographic location

Even if you are a shop or service provider that provide nation or even worldwide, you can still say you provide service in a small city or neighborhood. 

It always helps to back up your claim, on the landing page, but it is not necessary to do so. You still get the benefit from high CTR, quality score and market share etc.

Questions

If you are going to target questions, it is our experience, that you need to answer the questions in the landing page. If you don’t, you get a low quality score and conversion rate.

Optimizing

Bids

Artificial intelligence need a good dataset to perform optimal. Sometimes Google’s bidding strategies have problems with normal campaigns, because each keyword cover a big variety of search terms. 

Long tail targeted campaigns gives quality and detailed data, that is easy for Google’s bidding strategy, that depend on artificial intelligence to outperform manual bidding.

We usually use manual bidding until we are allowed to use automatic bidding strategies.

Search terms

As always it is a goldmine to go through your search terms. It isn’t needed as much as with a normal campaign, because you started targeting long tail ad groups from the beginning and have added negative keywords as part of the keyword research.

It is always possible to find more keywords you can add to your lists and find the negative keywords that you missed in the first part of the keyword research.