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Paid Search Keywords 101

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Not all keywords are made equal. You can bid to as many keywords as you can possibly think of but that won’t guarantee sustainable returns to keep your business growing.

Paid Search

Paid Search helps you stay on top of the Search Engine Results Page whenever someone enters a query. For example, the image below shows the paid results from Skillshare and Code Academy and the remaining organic results for the query ‘online class programming’:

With the Google Ads platform, monitoring multiple campaigns at once has become tremendously easier. However, that doesn’t mean that running low-effort campaigns is the best way to go. Paid search is more than just a numbers game. You need thorough strategies to guide you through reaching out to your desired audience for maximum results.

Google identifies two things that help in identifying and refining the best keywords which include:

  • Audience relevance
  • Search volume

With these things in mind, the strategies are all about balancing their relevance and volume with how much to spend on each.

Keyword Match Types


Ads are shown to queries that are similar to your keywords, including terms that don’t include the exact keyword phrase. This ensures that you attain as wide an interested audience as possible. It also takes into account the user’s recent searches, your landing page content, and other related keywords to provide the most relevant results possible.


This match type is more filtered than broad types but is more flexible than exact types. For example, the phrase match keyword of “programming course” may show up on searches for “short programming courses” or “programming course discount”, and many more along those lines.


This is best for when you want the most control over the reach of your ads. As the name suggests, the exact match type targets the keyword specifically, setting aside similar terms and searches in favor of more specific results.

Google explains the difference between these types through the graphic below.

For a deeper dive on how to make the best use of match types, check out our article here

Quick Tips

Avoid broad keywords since you will face huge competition while taking in a wide audience who are not as keen to subscribe or purchase as much as those who are looking up more specific queries.

Make use of the abundant tools and technologies available for you to ramp up your SEM campaigns. Some of them include:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Ads Editor
  • Semrush
  • HubSpot
  • Spyfu

Make sure to always keep the searcher’s intent in mind when thinking about keywords. Are they in the research stage when they’re searching for a particular query? Are they ready to convert? Change up your copy depending on the stage they’re in.

Besides PPC campaigns, your paid search strategies should be in line with the rest of your marketing campaigns. For example, Google also scores the quality of your ads when showcasing them to your target audience. As such, keep in mind to make your strategies for these things seamless:

  • Paid Search Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Landing page experience
  • Social Media

At Grow Enrollments, we provide services from PPC to CRO, and so much more.

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