How to select Google Ads Keywords?

We discuss how you can select Google Ads keywords for your SaaS with insights and examples from Google ads experts and SaaS founders.

How to select Google Ads Keywords?
Note: SaaSwrites is a curated growth marketing hub and resource built to help SaaS founders grow their products. We sincerely thank all our experts for their constant value addition to this world.
Updated on : 06/01/2022

What Keyword Match Type Is Preferred?

Situation #1: Search is Identical to a Keyword Type

  1. Exact Match
  1. Phrase Match
  1. Broad Match
but what about when searches aren't identical?

Situation #2: Search is NOT Identical to a Keyword Type

Ad Rank x Relevance Signals = Keyword Selected
What are ad rank & relevance signals?
Let's define them before breaking down match type selection. Knowing this separates good PPC managers from great ones

Ad Rank

  • Bid amount
  • Ad quality
—>eCTR/ad relevance/lp experience
  • Competitiveness of auction
  • Context of search
  • Location
  • Device
  • Time of day
  • Nature of query
  • Extensions
  • Threshold —>Reserve price
This is why manual bidding can be hard.

Relevance Signals

  • Meaning of the search term
  • Meaning of all keywords in an Ad group
  • Landing pages within an Ad group
Google admitted:
  1. All keywords in an ad group will be used in an auction.
  1. Landing pages are scanned for search relevancy.
Breakdown how keywords are selected now for a search WITHOUT identical keyword <> search query.

Eligible Keywords: 1+ Broad Match

  • Only relevant keyword(s) from the most relevant ad group will be considered.
  • Ad rank will be used to decide which keyword is selected.
notion image

Eligible Keywords: 1 Broad + 1 Phrase/Exact

  • If exact/phrase match keywords are deemed more relevant = they will be selected.
  • If exact/phrase match keywords are deemed similar/less relevant = comes down to ad rank for each keyword.
notion image

Best Practices

  • Group keywords into relevant themes (Ad groups).
  • If using broad match keywords : —> test bidding changes to tCPA if manual.

Written by


Ricky is the founder of SaaSwrites. A SaaS founder himself, Ricky found it difficult to grow and market his product after building it. While networking on Twitter with founders, he realized there was a big gap in a platform that can truly help SaaS founders and makers with Marketing. He started SaaSwrites to bring the best marketing and growth resources. Ricky is an expert in SaaS Marketing offering SaaS channel strategy consulting services to SaaS companies. He also writes about SaaS marketing tools that help people with marketing. Ricky is also the founder of a B2B SaaS product - Beejek (a digital receipt platform for retail stores) Say Hi to Ricky @rickywrites on Twitter.