How to build a good keyword list

Building a good keyword list, along with writing quality ad content and choosing an effective image, is essential to running a successful ad campaign.

To create the best keyword list possible, we recommend you follow these tips:

1. Think Like a Potential Customer

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Typical factors your customer might search for include:

  • Product utility

  • Product price

  • Location

  • Product brand

For example, say you have an English center – where you provide courses for learning English. Here are some things your potential customers might search for:

Based on what you’ve brainstormed, you will have a basic keyword list. Now you can try adding terms or phrases your customers would use to describe your products or services.

After that, you can use our "Keyword Planner" tool to predict the effectiveness of your keywords.

Log in to your account and choose "Keyword Planner" from the navigation bar. Once you’re on the Keyword Planner page, you can enter your keywords and our system will give you the estimated impressions and clicks for each keyword.

2. Should You Choose General or Specific Keywords?

This depends on the precise goals of your ad campaign. Your strategy should vary based on whether you are targeting high traffic, high conversions, or both.


  • General keywords: clothes.

  • Specific keywords: warm clothes, warm clothes for men…

In the following chart, you can see the advantages and disadvantages of both general and specific keywords.






  • A higher search volume means your ad will reach more people.






  • More difficult to reach potential customers. (general keywords might make your ad appear for searches that aren't always related to your business).

  • Higher bid price. Higher traffic keywords often have more competition for clicks.

Avoid using overly general keywords

Example: “buy”, “sell”, “free”, “sale” etc.







  • Specific targeting allows you to reach the exact customers who are likely to make a purchase

  • Lower bid price. Specific keywords often have less competition for clicks.

  • Because of specificity, you might reach fewer overall people.





Avoid using overly specific keywords because they might not receive consistent impressions.

Example: “Beautiful bikini for people who have an occasional diet”




Tip: You can choose both specific and general keywords and test to find what is the most effective for your campaign. Remember, no matter whether you use general or specific keywords; your keywords should still be relevant to your ad, product and landing page. Relevant keywords will help you reach the right customers with the lowest cost.

Let’s look at a more concrete example: Say you have a store that sells mobile phones – you could choose a general keyword like “mobile phone”. This keyword will help you reach a very general group of people who are interested in mobile phones. You will receive a high amount of traffic, but it will be very general.

Alternatively, you could choose a specific keyword like “iphone 6 plus 32 GB”. This keyword helps you reach customers who are interested in just one specific model of one specific phone brand. You might receive lower traffic but you are targeting users who know exactly what they want.

3. Which Match Type Should You Use?

Match types allow you to control how closely the keyword needs to match a user’s search term in order for your ad to be displayed.
E.g: You choose the keyword “cheap iphone 6”. You can set your ad to show for the exact phrase “cheap iphone 6” (with no added words). Such a strategy is known as “exact match”. Or, you can set your ad to show for search phrases like “cheap iphone 6”, “buy cheap iphone 6”, “iphone 6 good price”. These strategies involve the “broad match” and “phrase match” match types.

You can use four main match types:

  • Broad match: Broad match allows your ads to appear whenever someone searches for that phrase, similar phrases, misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. You can also use a broad match modifier type to slightly limit what terms your broad match keyword will display for.

  • Phrase match: Phrase match allows your ad to display only when someone's search includes the exact phrase of your keyword, or close variations of the exact phrase of your keyword, with additional words before or after. 

  • Exact match: Exact match only allows your ad to display to customers who search for your exact keyword. Exact match helps you find people who know exactly what product they want. However, you may miss out on attracting potential customers who are at an earlier point in the purchasing process. For the best results, use exact match in combination with another ad with more general match types. Read more on exact match.

  • Negative keywords: Negative keywords ensure your ad will not be shown for queries you don’t want.

E.g: If you make your keyword: iphone -China, then every search that contains China will not trigger your ad. Read more on negative keywords.

4. Some essential tips

  • Group similar keywords into themes: Try grouping your keywords into ads based on your products, services, or other categories to show more relevant ads to potential customers. 

E.g: If you run English classes for grade 3 and grade 4, consider creating two separate ads—one ad for grade 3 English classes, and one ad for grade 4 English classes.

  • Limit the number of keywords you use for each ad so you can check your keywords’ statistics more easily. Try to spread your keywords out so there are around 20 keywords for each individual ad.

  • Only use local words in appropriate situations: e.g. you are targeting a location where those words are commonly used.

Now that you have a keyword list, it’s time to create some keyword ads! Learn how to create a search ad. We wish you success!


If you have any problems creating ads, please don’t hesitate to contact us for help via

Hotline (024) 38 838 838 or email