Google Ads keyword analysis in 4 quick steps

Google Ads keyword analysis

Reaching high-quality customers at a lower advertising cost? Sign me up! A deep dive into your keyword analysis lays down the foundation. If you do this well, you get two things in return. On the one hand, such an analysis offers you insights into what people, and more specifically your potential customers, are looking for.

On the other hand, keyword research ensures that you spot new search terms or developing trends in the market. When these two things come together, they create ✨magic✨. In other words: quality customers and lower advertising costs. Who wouldn’t want that? 😉

Today, we’ll take you through the four steps of a Google Ads keyword analysis, or keyword research.

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads is Google’s paid advertising platform that allows you to create ads and reach your target audiences. On this platform you set up the right keywords, create your ads and follow up on them. With Google Ads you advertise mainly to people who are actually looking for your products or services. This makes it much more effective and efficient than advertising through traditional channels.

What is a keyword analysis?

In your keyword research you deliberately look for the words and terms your potential customers type into the Google search bar. First you determine your target group and then you decide on your different content pillars, which are essentially umbrella keywords. Then you fill these content pillars with long-tail keywords. And in the final step, you determine which keywords you will advertise on.

Step 1: Understand your customer

Who is your target group? This is an important first step. You must of course know who you’re creating content and advertisements for. Here, a buyer persona comes in handy. It provides you with insights into your target audience, which makes it easier to find suitable keywords. You get much more precise search terms and topics. It also gives you a head start in finding other keywords more easily.

Are your buyer personas not on point just yet? Read our blog Using Customer Personas to Increase Brand Engagement, download the free template, and get started today!

Step 2: Determine your content pillars

In the second step of your research, you ask yourself: “What are my keywords?” First, you think about the content pillars for your website. A content pillar is often one of the products or services you offer. Pick 5 to 10 pillars and from there check which other topics might be relevant.            

For example:

👉 inbound marketing

👉 email marketing

Step 3: Fill your content pillars

The content pillars are established, now it’s time to fill them with more solid search terms. This step is still about keywords or search terms that you think your target audience is searching for. The emphasis here is on ‘think’. In the next step, you will actually check and review this list. But for now, we’re just collecting as many keywords as possible.

Google related searches

Looking for inspiration? Enter your keywords in Google and take a look at ‘People also ask’ or related searches. The Google Ads Keyword Planner also gives you a bunch of suggestions, but we’ll get more into that in the next step.

For example:

👉 inbound marketing strategy

👉 email marketing trends 2021

Step 4: Research your keywords

Okay, it’s time for the real deal. 😉 Now you’re going to check if those keywords you just determined are in fact viable by assessing their keyword volume and cost. You do this with various free or paid tools. The most popular one is Google’s Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

Our petit-chou, our sweetheart, our favourite. Be Bold ❤️ the Keyword Planner. It’s a tool that – in our eyes – has everything you need. On top of that, it is completely free!

Go to your Google Ads account, click on Tools and settings in the top-right corner and select the Keyword Planner under the Planning section. Then click on Discover new keywords.

Now you have two options: based on keywords or based on a website. Here, you also select the language and region for your keywords.

1.    Start with keywords

Keyword Planner - start with keywords

Starting out with your keywords is useful when you already know on which terms you would want to advertise, and when you went through all the steps above.

Besides new suggestions for keywords, Google gives you forecasts for the number of searches, the competition, and the cost to rank on the top and bottom of the first page.

2.    Start with a website

Keyword Planner - start with website

Here you paste the link to a website. Google scans that website or webpage and, based on that, suggests keywords that match your content. Again, you get the forecast, the competition, and the cost to rank at the top and bottom of the first page.

Make sure to also scan your competitors’ websites to find content and keywords you might not have thought about yet.

As the name Keyword Planner suggests, it immediately puts your keywords into a clear plan. This is one of the major advantages of the Keyword Planner. Go through the list of suggested keywords and tick the ones you want to save in an ad group. You can go ahead and view your plan, and Google calculates how many clicks you could achieve with what budget. It shows you the possibilities, and it allows you to optimise your budget accordingly.

Quick sidenote, a Google Ads account is completely free, but to create one, you must add your information first. No worries, as long as you don’t run any campaigns, this won’t cost you anything.   

Paid tools with free version

Besides the Google Ads Keyword Planner, there are plenty of other tools you can use in addition. However, unless you get the premium (paid) version, they’re not really that interesting on their own. They’re just a bit too limited. Keep in mind that often such tools have their own specialty – which is great – but it usually means they’re not as in-depth as the Google Tools themselves.

A few of those additional tools are, for example:


Unpopular opinion: these tools give you a free version, but you’ll have to whip out your credit card quite quickly. And in many cases, it’s not super interesting to pay full price, since the Google Tools already give you everything you need anyway. 💁

Google Search Console

With the free Google Search Console, you can identify what keyword visitors used to discover your website organically. It’s a great tool to find out which terms people use, which countries they come from, and so on. Essentially, you’re also able find these results in your Google Analytics. Our two cents? Google Search Console is nice to have, but certainly not a must.

Bonus: Google Trends

Curious about the ideal moment to advertise your service or product? Then Google Trends might be interesting for you. Google Trends provides insights into what people google and when they do so. For example, ‘winter sports’ peaks in March, but is hardly ever searched for during the Summer. Makes a lot of sense of course, but who knows, maybe your product or service also has its yearly top moments.

The disadvantage of Google Trends is that it’s only interesting when you already know your keyword and it has enough search volume. It also depends on your situation. If you only target the Belgian market, Google Trends is not that relevant for you.

On the other side, for blogs and social media, Google Trends can be very handy. It helps you to capitalize on the topics that are trending at this exact moment (yes, right NOW).

In short: a keyword analysis is a must before you dive into Google Ads. By the way, Google Ads is not as scary as everyone thinks. You just have to get to know the platform and then improve and optimise. But, yes, it does take some time.

Still having questions about the Keyword Planner? Or do you want to put Be Bold in charge of your Google Ads? Book your free call with one of our experts.