If you have ever conducted keyword research for a Google AdWords search campaign, then you know the process can be daunting. Go to adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner and start searching for relevant keywords for your business.  Within seconds you’ll literally have hundreds of pages of keywords that Google has determined are related to your products or services.

That’s a lot keywords to comb through!

In addition to the sheer volume of keyword possibilities there is another problem.  How do you know which keywords are better than others?  Google’s keyword planner tool provides search volume, estimated cost per click and competition, but there is no column that grades the keyword opportunities.  Sorry, it’s up to you to figure that out on your own.

To grade your keywords, you need to first list the criteria that make keywords better advertising opportunities.  In this article, I’ll present 3 basic criteria that every keyword must meet before you add it to your AdWords campaign.



Criteria #1. Searched In Google

This first criteria should be obvious.  If the keywords you’re targeting are not searched in Google, then you’re not going to generate any leads or sales from your ad campaign.  There’s no harm in adding keywords that are not searched, but you shouldn’t expect to get anything from them.

OK, moving on we’ll assume we’re now only considering keywords that have search volume.


Criteria #2. Searched By Your Prospects

Next, we need to make sure the keyword is in fact searched by your ideal prospect.  For example, can you imagine situations where your prospect would turn to Google to search this particular keyword?  Or is it more likely that other people besides your ideal prospect would be searching?

This is not a perfect science and it requires you to put yourself in the shoes of your prospect.  Play devil’s advocate and try to think about all the other people that might be searching for your keyword.  Also, review the current ads in Google.com for your keyword to see if those ads are targeting your prospect.  If they are, then that’s a good sign.


Criteria #3. Searched To Make a Buying Decision

Finally, consider whether the keyword is more likely searched in order to make a buying decision or to do more research.  Your keywords can easily pass the first 2 criteria, but many will fail this last test.

Let’s look an example for a chiropractor.  Consider these two keyword opportunities:

  1. back pain
  2. San Francisco chiropractor

Both are searched in Google. Check… Both are searched by a chiropractor’s ideal prospect. Check… But one of them does not pass this 3rd criteria.  Can you guess which one?

It’s “back pain.”  The “back pain” keyword has no intent to make a buying decision.  It’s more of a research keyword.  However, just about everyone that types in “San Francisco chiropractor” is looking to make a buying decision.  See the difference?

Again, this is not a perfect science and it requires you to put yourself in the searcher’s shoes.  Think about all the different reasons why someone would search for the keyword you’re considering and prioritize the keywords that are more likely searched by prospects looking to make buying decisions.  This will ensure you’re targeting keywords in your AdWords campaign that are more likely to drive sales.


Need More Google AdWords Help?

Register for our upcoming LIVE training, How to Create a Profitable Google AdWords Campaign (Thursday, September 24 at 12pm – 1:30pm Eastern time).

Click here to learn more and register

When you attend this 90-minute online workshop, I’ll show you:

  • How To Pick “Bullseye” Keywords That Attract Customers (Not Tire-Kickers)
  • Top 5 Costly Google AdWords Mistakes to Avoid
  • How To Get More Clicks (and Cheaper Clicks) Than Your Competitors
  • How Much Should You Be Spend? Bidding & Budget Guidelines
  • 3 Ways To Track Offline Sales from Google AdWords
  • How to Creating Landing Pages That Sell (8 Critical Ingredients)
  • And much more…

Click here to learn more and register