How to Do Keyword Research for Google Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide

Keyword research is essential for creating effective Google Ads campaigns. It involves finding the right keywords that potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours. By targeting these keywords, you can improve your ad’s visibility and attract more clicks. The process may seem daunting, but with a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way to crafting successful ads.

Step by Step Tutorial on Keyword Research for Google Ads

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that keyword research is the foundation of any successful Google Ads campaign. It helps you understand what your audience is looking for and allows you to target your ads effectively.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Define what you want to achieve with your Google Ads campaign.

Setting clear goals will guide your keyword research and help you focus on the most relevant keywords. Are you looking to increase sales, drive traffic to your website, or raise brand awareness? Each goal may require a different set of keywords.

Step 2: Brainstorm Initial Keywords

Think of basic keywords related to your products or services.

Start by jotting down all the terms and phrases that come to mind when you think about what you offer. These will form your initial list of keywords.

Step 3: Use Keyword Research Tools

Utilize tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to expand your list.

Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool that allows you to discover new keywords related to your business and see estimates of the searches they receive and the cost to target them. Other tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs can also provide valuable insights.

Step 4: Analyze Keyword Metrics

Look at search volume, competition, and potential cost per click (CPC) for each keyword.

It’s not just about finding the most popular keywords. You also need to consider how competitive they are and how much they will cost you. Ideally, you want to find high-volume, low-competition keywords that fit within your budget.

Step 5: Group Your Keywords

Organize your keywords into relevant groups for targeted ad campaigns.

Grouping similar keywords together can improve your ad relevance and Quality Score, potentially lowering your CPC. It also makes managing and optimizing your campaigns easier.

Step 6: Refine Your List

Remove any irrelevant or underperforming keywords.

After running your ads for some time, analyze the performance and refine your keyword list. Remove any terms that are not bringing in the desired results to focus your budget on the most effective keywords.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a solid list of keywords to target in your Google Ads campaigns. This will help ensure that your ads are seen by the right audience and that your ad spend is used efficiently.

Tips for Keyword Research for Google Ads

  • Always keep your target audience in mind when selecting keywords.
  • Use long-tail keywords for more specific targeting and potentially lower competition.
  • Consider the user intent behind a keyword—is it informational, transactional, etc.?
  • Regularly review and update your keyword list based on performance data.
  • Utilize negative keywords to exclude irrelevant traffic and focus your ad spend.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing terms that people enter into search engines. In the context of Google Ads, it’s used to determine the most effective keywords to target for your campaigns.

Why is keyword research important for Google Ads?

Keyword research helps you understand what your potential customers are searching for and how to target them effectively with your ads. It can lead to better ad placement, more clicks, and ultimately, more conversions.

How often should I do keyword research for Google Ads?

Keyword research should be an ongoing process. Market trends and search patterns can change, so it’s important to regularly review and update your keyword list.

Can I use the same keywords for SEO and Google Ads?

While there is overlap, the intent behind searches can differ between organic and paid results. It’s important to tailor your keyword strategy to each accordingly.

How do I know if a keyword is too competitive?

Look at the competition metric in your keyword research tool. High competition may indicate that a keyword will be more expensive and harder to rank for in ad placements.


  1. Set Your Goals
  2. Brainstorm Initial Keywords
  3. Use Keyword Research Tools
  4. Analyze Keyword Metrics
  5. Group Your Keywords
  6. Refine Your List


Mastering keyword research for Google Ads is a game-changer for any digital marketing strategy. It allows you to enter the minds of your potential customers, understand their needs, and tailor your ads to meet those needs. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be equipped to create targeted, effective ad campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive results.

Remember, keyword research is not a one-off task. It’s a dynamic process that requires continuous monitoring and tweaking. Stay updated with the latest trends, listen to your audience, and always be ready to adapt your strategy. With dedication and a bit of creativity, your Google Ads campaigns will not only attract clicks but also convert them into loyal customers. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into keyword research and watch your Google Ads soar to new heights!