Building a Keyword Discovery Machine in Adwords


Building a key word discovery machine inside Adwords was a popular tactic at the SES in New York 2012, Cooper Pickett (@CooperPickett) a consultant with Integra Strategic Technologies, wrote an article on the setup. What is cool is that it’s a way for you to discover the long tails that are worth going after, meaning it’s a money phrase with good conversions. On the SEO side of the house its worth creating pages to rank organically.

If you’re in a competitive market, and you have a decent budget to work with, this creative way of generating keyword discovery machine is awesome.

My contribution to this awesome tool is how to use it effectively to mine this keyword building gold mine.

In a perfect pixel world we are looking for keywords with good click through rates and conversions. However, I will share some thoughts on modifying it for industries that do not track conversions online.

So let’s get to the meat of this.

For starters I’m assuming that you have a kick ass ad in place.

I won’t go through the setup in this article, below is a diagram and a quick description:


  1. Create an Exact Match Campaign – insert exact match kw
  2. Create a Phrase Match Campaign – Copy Exact match campaign, insert kw as phrase match, create a negative kw list as exact.
  3. Create a Broad Match Campaign – Copy Phrase match campaign, insert kw as Broad match,  “  “   “  “ as phrase match.

A more thorough setup, can be found here.(

The structure of it all with ad campaigns and groups in trio with phrase match excepted from broad match and exact match excepted from phrase match makes up the engine. This allows Google to consort your keywords with others it believes to be relevant, and this allows you to draw on Google’s wealth of query pairing data in a controlled manner. Now it’s time to mine the data in the broad and phrase campaign for the newly found keywords.

First Scenario – eCommerce Websites

We’re looking for keywords that have high clicks with good “Click Thru Rates”. Anything above 6% is good and a good conversion with a low cost per acquisition is ideal. The cost per acquisition will vary from product to product depending on the industry. Once you’ve identify keywords with these KPI’s, skip down to the Raw Search Querysteps.

Second Scenario – Businesses Based

Business that are a service based rely on online traffic, but conversions take place offline. As we scan the broad/phrase match campaigns we look for the top keywords with higher clicks than usual. Since there isn’t any conversion to bother with, we mainly focus on clicks with high click thru rate.

In some cases, you may not see any new keywords but there are still clicks for a general term in the broad campaigns. If so, will want to look at the raw search query for that term. This section shows the actual queries that were typed into the search field. With enough data these are worth looking at to bid for. You’ll discover a new raw search query, and should be looking for high number of clicks with decent click thru rates. Historically, most exact match keywords have better click through rates and conversions than broad/phrase match. Oops, we’re getting ahead of ourselves, here are the actual steps to view your newly found long tail.

 Raw Search Query

–          Select the keyword/s that you want to see then click on the “See search terms” you will see a pop down box, click on “Selected”.

You will then be able to see this:

By looking at this example you can see the actual query is “car alarms” with 32 clicks and 12% click thru rate at the exact match. So this data was quite helpful in recognizing what was being searched and numbers of clicks (the more the better), with decent click thru rates.  For ecommerce sites you may have conversions tracked, so this will be another KPI for you to weigh.

We would add this keyword to my exact match campaign. Also, add to the phrase campaign with broad excepted (negative kw list).

So all you do now is rinse, lather, and repeat. If you find that there are not any other keywords coming in then its time to expand your keyword sets. Here are some great references to check out on how to do this.

–          Using Keywords Effectively

–          Google Keyword Adword Tool

–          Keyword Spy

–          UberSuggest

Key Takeaway

-Building this keyword machine requires high search volume with large enough budgets to play with.

-You can set this up in conjunction with other campaigns.

-Monitor your broad and phrase campaigns weekly for any changes.


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