Definition: Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting is the process of targeting marketing activities at specific sets of useful words. For example, if you have a car website you may use Google Ads to target the keyword “Audi” and then your ads will target all search results which include the word “Audi”.

There are many types of advertising platform where you can directly target keywords (such as Google Ads) by inputting the keywords you want your ads (or content) to appear by. However, the term keyword targeting also encompasses indirectly targeting keywords by making relevant content. For example, by writing an article titled “The Best Cheeses in Britain” your article is targeting the keyword “Best Cheese in Britain” and will likely be picked up by Google’s search algorithm for this keyword.

Both direct and indirect keyword targeting benefit from keyword research – meaning finding keywords that you should target. Criteria for keyword research often includes:

  • How useful a keyword is to your brand or business
  • How much competition there already is for a keyword (the lower the competition, the better)
  • How much volume there is for a keyword (the more a keyword is used, the more potential your targeted content has)
  • How much it costs to target a keyword (or conversely – how much you will be paid for having content around a certain keyword).


Top Tip

Paid Search platforms have different rules, but there are generally “modifiers” you can apply to your Keyword Targeting. This means that you could enter just “Audi” for example and still get people who search “Audi A6” or even “Owdi” (depending on the setup of the network). If you entered [Audi] however you would only get people who made that exact search.


7 Things To Know About Keyword Targeting

  1. A “keyword” is what is used to target a set of “search terms”. E.g. the keyword “Best Cheese” covers searches for “Best Cheese Shop”, “Best Cheese in the World” & maybe even “Best Cheesecake”
  2. Keywords based around money are among the most expensive. For example Insurance, Loans, Mortgage, Credit, Donate, or Trading.
  3. Look in Google Search Console for search terms that a page ranks highly for then target them in Google Ads. Having the top organic & paid result together works better than either alone.
  4. Negatively targeting keywords is as important as positively targeting them. For example, Airlines want ads to appear on pages with the word “aeroplane” on them but not the word “crash”.
  5. Google Trends is a simple & free way to find out how popular a keyword is in Google search. It is also a useful tool to compare the popularity of multiple ways of saying the same thing.
  6. A keyword is a badly named piece of marketing jargon, as a “keyword” can contain multiple words. However, “Keyterm” has not taken off as its replacement and is rarely used.
  7. The Keyword Planner in Google Ads is a useful way to research which keywords to use for your Google Ads (or any type of content really).



Keyword Targeting Definition

Glossary Index