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Keywords: Types, Examples, How it works, and How to Use it Effectively

4 Mins read

If you are a blogger or a content marketer, I am sure this is not your first or hundredth time hearing the term “Keyword” and it won’t be the last either, you have come across so much content that tells you to optimize your content with keywords.

The word “Keyword” is a term that most of us have come across at least once in our lives. It’s a word that we hear most often in the context of advertising, but there are many other uses for it as well.

In this article, we will discuss what Keywords are, how they work and how you can use them effectively.

What Are Keywords?

Google defines Keywords as words or phrases that are used to match your Google ads with the term people searching for.

A keyword is also a word or phrase that you use to describe something or someone. For example, if I were to say “I like cats” then “cats” would be my keyword because it describes what I like. The same goes with your ads – the keywords you choose should describe what your product or service does. If you sell t-shirts, then your keywords might be “t-shirt” or “t-shirts”; if you sell jewelry then your keywords might include “jewelry” and so on.

How Does It Work?

When users search for something on Google or any other search engine (e.g., Bing), they will see results organized according to relevance: those that match their search query best will appear first on results pages – which means users will click through the first results on SERP before others below.

Keywords are the most important part of your ad and can make or break your campaign. They are what makes a search engine pick up your ad, and if you don’t have relevant keywords, you will lose money!

Company/Industry termsUsers’ or Buyer’s Keywords (search query)
Car/Autos dealers

Pre-owned cars

Used cars

Aviation agencies


Low fares

Cheap flights

Banks/ financial institutions

Zero transfer feeFintech

Free transfer
Online bank

Organic ingredients

Natural ingredients

Your keywords should;

  • Be Specific
  • Consider the terminologies a customer will be using
  • Group by themes

Read also: Google ads structure: how to set it up effectively

Keyword Tips

  1. Think like a customer
  • Imagine what customers are searching for
  • Think of the specific word for each category
  • Use your persona exercise
  1. Organize by theme
  • Group keywords by theme
  • For instance, Men’s boots = men’s rain boots, men’s work boots, and so on
  1. Be specific
  • General keywords will yield irrelevant matches
  • More is better with specific keywords
  • 5 – 20 keywords per ad group

Brainstorming keyword ideas

  • What is your customer thinking?
  • What are they looking for?
  • How would they search for it?

Keyword Tools Suggestion

You should also use Google keyword planner to generate keyword ideas.

Options for targeting with keywords

4 main types of keyword options and how to write them

  1. Broad match
  2. “Phrase match”
  3. [Exact match]
  4. – Negative match

1. Broad match

Ads may show on searches that are related to your keyword, which can include searches that don’t contain the keyword terms. This helps you attract more visitors to your website, spend less time building keyword lists, and focus your spending on keywords that work. Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned so that you don’t have to specify another match type (like exact match, phrase match, or a negative match type).

  • The default for all keywords
  • Matches words that are closely related, such as synonyms
  • Captures the largest volume
  • Often yield irrelevant clicks

2. Phrase match “”

Ads may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. The meaning of the keyword can be implied, and user searches can be a more specific form of the meaning. With phrase match, you can reach more searches than with exact match and fewer searches than with broad match, only showing your ads on the searches that include your product or service.

  • Restrict targeting beyond a broad match
  • Triggers on searches that are similar in meaning
  • The keyword is taken into account
  • Uses quotation marks to apply the phrase “Banks”

3. Exact match [ ]

Ads may show on searches that have the same meaning or same intent as the keyword. Of the 4 keyword matching options, exact match gives you the most control over who views your ad but reaches fewer searches than both phrase and broad match.

  • Uses the square bracket symbol to apply the keyword [ ]
  • The search query must be nearly the same
  • Still display for very close variations
  • Controls your spending and maximizes your effort.

4. Negative match –

You can use negative keywords to exclude your ads from showing on searches with that term. For example, if you’re a hat company that doesn’t sell baseball hats, you could add a negative keyword for baseball hats.

  • Uses the minus (–) symbol to apply the modifier – words
  • Prevents ads from displaying when a search contains that term
  • Excellent way of filtering out irrelevant traffic


Ads will show on searches for

Ads won’t show on searches for

Broad match:


Sporting hats.

Drawing of baseball hats.Baseball caps.Designing a baseball hat.Wearing a baseball hat.Difference between baseball and volleyball

Purple hats

Blue bats.

Low carbohydrate diet plan Carbohydrate-free food.

Low carbohydrate diet.Low-calorie recipe.Carbohydrate vs. protein. Balanced diet.

FintechFinancial institution.

Online banks.Online transfer.Virtual accounts.Virtual wallets.Decentralize finance.Blockchain.How to design fintech.

Local banks.

Traditional bank

Phrase match:

“baseball hats”

Hats for baseball.

Buy a designer baseball hat.Blue baseball hat.Baseball hats with elastic

Who makes hats for baseball.

Baseball cleats and blue hats

“Tennis shoe”Tennis for shoes.

Buy tennis shoes in saleRed tennis shoeComfortable tennis shoe sneakers.Where to buy tennis shoes

Tennis pad and training shoe.

Can you wear running shoes for tennis?

Exact match:

[Baseball hats]

Baseball hat.

Hats for baseball.Hats baseball.

Team baseball hats.

Hats for game.Tennis hats

[Shoe for men]Shoe men.

Men shoeMen shoesShoes for a man.Best shoes for men.

Shoe for boys.

Men tennis shoe

Negative match:

Baseball – hats – Shirt – bats

Baseball cleats.

Discount baseballs.Baseball.

Baseball bats for sale

Baseball hatsBaseball shirtBaseball bats.

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There's this unexplainable joy I get whenever I write, knowing fully well that my copy will transform people's life and destiny. This rare feeling elates me and encourages me to write more value-packed pieces. I think a divine being has possessed me to write, that is why I write, Therefore, I will advise every of my piece should be regarded as a divine message.
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Google ads structure: how to set it up effectively