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How Many Keywords

Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

I guess I'm asking about the length of string here, but here goes...


What have people found to be the most effective approach to keyword list numbers?


I've inherited accounts for management over the past couple of years which have been very (very!) different.


One account had ad groups for single keywords - lots of them. It even had separate ad groups fir each keyword with a different match type - seemed like overkill to me...


Another had thousands - literally (26k or so) in the account with hundreds in each ad group - includsing lots of duplicates in different match types.


Some people are clearly using automated systems - such as Keyword Rockstar - and I have looked at these..... I'm not convinced.


In my experience most of my clients hit their budgets witht heir core keywords, so looking for the elusive long tail keyword which is going to cost next to nothing and generate forutnes seems akin to the Holy Grail - but I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.


As far as I can see fronm the reading and the reaserch I've done online arounbd this issue - there doesn't seem to be a "best practice" and my interactions with Google have given me differing advice.


I'd like to hear about other's experiences...




3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How Many Keywords

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi stickleback,


I think through your experience you have already identified that there is no certain rule or practice with regards to how many keywords you include within a campaign but there are still factors that most advertisers can agree on.


The first is to keep keywords tightly themed within ad groups, this can only be possible providing your keyword list within each group isn't too long so the accounts you have seen including hundreds of keywords aren't necessarily going the right way about it. You also need to have a manageable amount otherwise the whole monitoring and optimisation process can become too overwhelming; you might want to introduce keywords in stages as you identify which perform and which don't. 


Remember that it's more an issue of quality rather than quantity, it's much better to have three or four converting keywords than over a hundred which are narrowing your return on investment. Keep checking the statistics on keywords and decide which action you need to take in order to achieve your marketing goals, if you find that a particular search term is bringing in conversions then focus on finding additional keywords based around that term and monitor whether they can have the same positive impact. If you include many keywords at once then there is the likelihood you will exhaust your budget very fast even if it means that each keyword only gets one click, there is no way to determine the true peformance potential of keywords under these conditions as you have to give each one a chance to run and acquire statistics.


I personally suggest to start small and then expand as you go along, perform research based on keyword history and performance.

ScottyD, AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: How Many Keywords

Google Employee
# 3
Google Employee

Hi Stickleback, 


That's a really good question. There's no correct answer to this, but ScottyD has given you a really good start. I'd only add that roughly 15-45ish keywords per ad group tends to keep your keywords a manageble length and allows you to run some decent analysis on the keywords you have selected. But as ScottyD says, it is much better to have a small number of keywords that are working well for you, rather than lots of keywords that do not work so well.


Hope this helps!