Choosing keywords for Google Ads

Keyword selection Contextual advertising

If you decide to launch an effective contextual advertising campaign in Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), but don’t know where to start, then this article is for you. Using search advertising, a business can get a place in the TOP of organic search results using contextual advertising and without having to spend many months on SEO promotion. Targeted traffic for the site can be obtained on the same day simply by running an ad.


So why aren’t all business owners using AdWords? The answer is simple – the tool will pay back the investment and bring benefits only if it is configured correctly.

Choose the right keywords is the main thing if you want to get really working advertising that brings in profit. If you select the right keywords, this will lead to the fact that many visitors will visit the site, which in most cases will be converted into customers. And vice versa, if the words are selected incorrectly, this will lead to the fact that the expenditure of funds will be useless.

The tips in this article will be useful not only for newbies in contextual advertising, but also for business owners who decide to do the setup themselves.

A keyword (search query) is a phrase or phrase that, when entered into the Google search bar, will see your ad for a search engine site visitor.

What is important to remember when selecting keywords for Google Adwords?

When choosing keywords, you need to be guided by the following points:

  1. When organizing and launching an advertising company in Google Ads, you need to decide on the product that is most in demand among consumers and is the most competitive. The conversion rate of visitors with this approach will increase significantly. If the site has a lot of product items (large online store), then this strategy will not work. In this case, you need to run separate groups of ads for each specific product, directing user requests only to landing pages;
  2. Almost always, the business owner will be accompanied by competitors. They will be willing to pay the same price, or more, to get the ad shown as high up on the page as possible. Competing with competitors will result in higher bids and higher CPCs, which can often affect your ad campaign revenue. In the future, this can significantly reduce business revenues or advertising will no longer pay off. Therefore, it is better to compete with quality, not price. Work on improving the landing page, collect all the semantics in the topic, and you will get more impressions with the same budget as your competitors:
    Ad Quality Score
  3. The keyword must match the advertised product. It should also be relevant to the content of the landing page that the user will see when they click on the ad. For example, you install turnkey baths. In this case, the keywords “bathhouse” or “sauna” will not be relevant for your business. The user who uses this query frequently just wants to book a sauna for the weekend. In addition, among the requests there will be such phrases as “photo of the bathhouse”, “types of bathhouses”, “accessories for bathhouses” and much more;
  4. Keyword selection in Google AdWords (all semantics) is an important point when setting up ads. In order for an advertising campaign to give the desired result, it is sometimes necessary to select from hundreds to thousands of key queries for each product. This is the only way to reach the entire target audience;
  5. When choosing keywords, you should carefully consider commercial queries. Usually they are made by people who are ready to immediately make a purchase. Such queries include the following words: price, order, buy, delivery, etc.

The main tools for selecting keywords for contextual advertising

Google’s built-in tool (the so-called keyword planner) and third-party developers help to assemble the most complete semantic core. Often, to achieve the best result, you need to combine several tools.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

One of the Google Ads keyword selection tools is Keyword Planner. It helps to collect all possible keywords for ad impressions and provides statistics on the number of impressions per month, the level of competition, etc.

The tool is free. To use it, you need to register with Google Ads. The planner collects and displays data on the number of clicks on targeted queries, can calculate the budget, guided by the assigned CPC and the specified keywords.

Keyword Planner Benefits:

  • No payment required;
  • Produces division by region and city;
  • Has a large database of user queries;
  • Easy to collect negative keywords;
  • Performs separation by platform and location;
  • If the keyword is already used in the campaign, the tool will show detailed statistics on it (query dynamics, etc.);
  • Requests can be downloaded in any format;
  • At the stage of collecting the semantic core, it is possible to separate requests into separate groups.


  • The service shows statistics that are not entirely accurate, rounding the numbers;
  • You can get more accurate data by running an advertising campaign, but for this you will have to spend part of the budget.

Serpstat service

Keyword selection in Serpstat

The service is almost as popular among Internet marketers as the previous one. There is a free plan with limited functionality and several paid ones with additional features and benefits.

In the free package, the tool returns only 10 similar keywords for a keyword or site.

Tool Benefits:

  • The service is suitable for both SEO specialists and contextologists (there are useful functions for both);
  • You can analyze competitors – for which keywords they show ads, how much money they spend on it, etc.;
  • Analyzing the site, Serpstat will identify the missing keywords and expand the semantics, which will help to include missed requests in the promotion.

Cons of the service:

  • Statistics are collected late;
  • Most useful options require payment.

Key Collector Application

Collecting semantics for contextual advertising in Key Collector

Another service for selecting keywords for contextual advertising is Key Collector. This is a highly specialized tool, and it deals only with the semantic core.

The Key Collector collects information from various sources: Yandex Metrica, Yandex.Direct service, Google Analytics, AdWords, search suggestions of both systems, Serpstat, Rookee, Rambler and many others. The tool is paid, but not expensive. You need to pay a one-time fee of approximately $28 for a lifetime license. Key Collector will work even if you change your computer – you need to write to the developers by mail the configuration of the new PC, and they will send an updated license number.

The advantages of the service include the following:

  • To collect keywords, this is perhaps the most effective service today (it collects them from all possible sources);
  • Upload is performed in the required format;
  • Determines the cost per click and competition for each keyword;
  • Selects a relevant page for all queries;
  • Show statistics for seasonal analysis;
  • Performs division by city and region.


  • The tool is paid, but the fee is one-time.

Keyword Tool Service

If you are looking for keywords not only for Google Ads, but also for other services where you can place contextual advertising, try using the service. It allows you to collect search suggestions from Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon and many other services and social networks:

Keyword Tool functionality

Such search suggestions are generated based on the auto-completion of the search string when the user starts typing a query into the search engine:

Google search suggestions

In the free plan, you can find keywords from search suggestions, mark the ones you need from the list and copy them or download them as an Excel spreadsheet:

Upload search suggestions in Excel format

If you go to the settings, you can filter the received search phrases or set negative keywords for which the system will not display results:

Filter and include negative keywords

In the paid plan, you additionally receive data on frequency, cost per click and competition, which allows you to immediately filter out “zero requests” or those for which the Google Ads auction is overheated:

Frequency, CPC and competition

Pros of the tool:

  • It is possible to collect semantics from Ebay, Instagram, Twitter (besides Google);
  • A free version with impressive functionality is available;
  • There is a handy extension for Google Chrome;
  • You can customize the user interface language and search region;
  • Convenient filtering of results, the ability to set negative keywords;
  • Shows competition and CPC by keyword.


  • The paid version is expensive – plans start at $69 per month (if you pay for the year at once).

This is a free tool from Google that allows you to analyze the popularity of search queries in real time. With Google Trends, you can find out what keywords are currently popular and searched by users. This helps to identify the most relevant and in-demand queries for contextual advertising.

Google Trends Keyword Selection

The service also shows how the popularity of queries changes over time. This allows you to select keywords that are relevant for a particular period, for example, seasonal or related to some significant event. In addition, the tool gives you related queries and keyword ideas.


This is a popular keyword generation and analysis service that allows you to quickly expand the semantic core based on the queries entered or the landing page URL.

KWFinder Keyword Finder

KWFinder can also automatically suggest related queries using artificial intelligence algorithms. In addition, KWFinder helps you analyze seasonality, regionality, and other keyword parameters.

The tool also provides up-to-date statistics – frequency and competition by key among advertisers. This data allows you to correctly plan the budget and rates for an advertising campaign.

KWFinder is free to use for basic features, but you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans that start at $39 per month to get the full experience.


Ubersuggest matched search terms

A popular free keyword generation and analysis tool developed by well-known SEO specialist Neil Patel. The main advantage of Ubersuggest is the ability to quickly assemble a semantic core based on marker queries or by site URL (you can also specify your competitor).

The tool uses search engine data and shows you hundreds of search suggestions that are relevant to the keyword you enter or the site’s topic. It also allows you to view statistics on the entered keywords – the volume of traffic, the level of competition and the monthly dynamics of popularity.


SERanking service interface

The service allows you to analyze your competitors and find out what ads they show in the search results and for what keywords, what approximate budget they spend on this and what traffic they collect.

You can also connect Google Analytics to upload your keys from it and get recommendations for expanding the semantic core based on them.

The tool is paid, but the price is affordable even for businesses with small budgets and private PPC specialists. A flexible system of tariff plans allows you to choose an option for a variety of tasks.

Ahrefs Service

Ahrefs is one of the most powerful tools for SEO and search advertising professionals. It has the most complete database of keywords on the market, which means you can enter your competitors’ sites and get a full upload of queries relevant to your business that can be used for search advertising.

Ahrefs Keyword Analysis

The system shows any data, from the frequency of each keyword, to the level of competition in SEO and PPC, the estimated cost per click, seasonality and search trends. The only downside to Ahrefs is the high prices, which start at $99, and the limited data upload limits in each plan.

SEMrush Platform

SEMrush is the main competitor of Ahrefs in the battle for the attention of Internet marketers. Its keyword base is almost as impressive, while the pricing plans are generally cheaper. There is also a free trial period.

It also allows you to collect semantics based on competitors and has its own system of grading the complexity (competitiveness) of each request. The service shows keyword frequency, estimated traffic, and cost per click.

Service for Semrush PPC specialists

Additional ways to collect semantics

  1. Brainstorming. For yourself, you need to formulate the question – “what query would I ask to find this product or service?”. Put yourself in the place of a potential buyer. Ask employees, friends, relatives – how they would search, this can significantly expand the semantic core;
  2. Search hints. When you start typing a keyword into the search bar, Google offers several endings. Use them when setting up a campaign – their base is formed based on the intent of potential buyers. Hints can be collected by Key Collector or you can do it manually:
    Google search suggestions
  3. Related queries. Another way to select keywords is to analyze the queries offered by Google under the search results on the first page. These keywords are considered by the search engine to be relevant to your query. You can often find something useful among them:
    Related queries

About the importance of using negative keywords in Google Adwords

The correct selection of keywords for Google AdWords is already 50% of the result, but it is also important to find those phrases for which customers should not see ads. Let’s say you sell smartphones, and your ad campaign is set to display for the query “smartphone”. In this case, the ad may be displayed for the queries “smartphone repair”, “photos of smartphones”, “used smartphones”, etc.

The user opens the page, but sees that it doesn’t match their goals and returns to the search results. As a result, the click on the link will be paid, and the conversion to the order will not occur. In order not to waste your budget, you need negative keywords.

After the start of the advertising campaign, you need to do optimization. Keep track of what phrases led to the site, expand the semantics through real user requests. This is especially important in the first month of work. Cut off untargeted transitions with negative keyword lists.


The effectiveness of the created and launched advertising company depends on the correct selection of keywords in Google. By investing time and effort in choosing the most relevant and appropriate phrases, you can achieve good results and ultimately profit for your business.

Сергей Шевченко
Rate author
Add a comment

Sergey Shevchenko Google Logist GoogleLogist
Google Ads 90 Days Package, will help make your advertising campaign not only profitable, but also increase sales from it