Anyone with even a small amount of experience with Google AdWords can tell you – It’s a complicated beast. Over the years, Google have added a huge variety of different matching options, reports, & features that allow you to have maximum control over your campaign targeting.Because of this, it’s not uncommon for advertisers to overlook the basic parts of creating an optimal campaign.

One of the most basic, yet most important parts of any AdWords campaign is the keyword list.Below I’ve listed 4 fundamental steps that every AdWords user should undertake when conducting research.

1)      Analysis of your own website. This is where every keyword research endeavour should begin, and it’s vital for 2 reasons:

  1. Your website tells you exactly what products/services to promote via your AdWords campaign. If there are particular products/services that your business provides but are not listed on your website, it’s recommended that you do not advertise these as most users will simply leave your site after being unable to find the relevant information.
  2. It is good practise to create an AdWords structure similar to the structure found on your website.

2)      Analysis of your campaign goals. What kind of traffic are you looking for? Are you looking to attract visitors looking for information? Users looking to request a particular service? Or maybe only people who are ready to make an online purchase? Answering these types of questions will give you some good direction on what kinds of keywords you should be targeting with your Google AdWords campaign. For example, if you’re advertising a law firm looking to attract visitors that are looking for information, some good ideas may be phrases such as “unfair dismissal laws” or “what are my workplace bullying rights”. However if the same law firm was only looking to attract visitors that are looking for a lawyer to represent them in court, they’d want to focus on terms such as “unfair dismissal lawyers”.

3)      Use of free Google tools. Once you’ve analysed your website & thought about your campaign goals, it’s time to get out there and find every possible keyword variation that would be relevant to your products and/or services. A great way of doing this is by using some of the free keyword research tools available online. One of the best tools for the job is a free tool by Google which can be found here – http://adwords.google.com.au/o/Targeting/Explorer?__u=1000000000&__c=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS. This tool works by allowing you to either a keyword idea or website, and then generating a variety of keywords which it recognises to be related to your specified keyword and/or website content.

4)      Competitor analysis. If you’re in business, it’s highly likely that you’ve got at least a few competitors who have been in the game longer than you – and this goes for the AdWords market, too. Spending a bit of time to look into what your biggest competitors are doing on AdWords can save you a lot of time figuring out what keywords you should be focusing on, and what keywords you should be avoiding. For example, if you notice a competitor that you know is succeeding in the industry, do some Google searches to try and figure out which keywords they’re bidding aggressively on. If they’re managing their AdWords campaign correctly, then chances are these are the keywords that are working well for them (and therefore will probably work well for you too!).

Follow these 4 steps and you’ll have your AdWords campaign working on the right foot right from the start. Got any questions? Ask away in the comments section!

Post by Jeremy Decker at Click Click Media