How to Use Keywords to be Successful

What are Keywords?

Keywords are words or phrases that correlate to the topic and item being searched online.

How Does Google Use Keywords?

Keywords are used by Google to return relevant information to their search users. These play a major role in businesses targeting their exact target market through the use of Google Ads.

When a users types in a specific search phrase into Google, it uses specific algorithms to provide the most relevant information.

Different Types of Keywords

Long Tail Keywords

These Keywords tend to be lengthy and specific. Long Tail Keywords have about 3 or more words strung together in a search phrase.

Examples of Long Tail Keywords

  • Red Nike Running Shoe
  • Woman’s Black Leather High Heel
  • Outdoor Hunting Equipment
  • Affordable Digital Marketing Degrees in Michigan
  • Topics in Programmatic Display Advertising


These keywords will really focus on the audience they are trying to gain attention from. Being specific helps rule out irrelevant search results. This is beneficial for the business and the customers. The customers are provided with the accurate and relevant information they are searching for. While the businesses tends to have great conversion rates and purchases to the the specificity.


A challenge with using Long Tail keywords is excluding broad search matches. Therefore, it will provide very specific results on certain items.

If a store was having a shoe sale and they wanted to advertise all of their Nike Shoes, using a long tail keyword phrase such as, “Men’s Red Nike Running Shoes”, may hurt their advertising and sales for all of their Nike shoes since other searches for Nike shoes would not appear. If they are also selling Woman’s Nike shoes, but are only using the key word phrase, “Men’s Red Nike Running Shoes”, consumers searching for other shoes would not be directed to their ad and website.

Short Tail Keywords

These Keywords are small phrases, usually 1 or 2 words. It can make searches provide broad results since it does not specifically narrow down on one topic.

Examples of Short Tail Keywords

  • High Heels
  • Nike Shoes
  • Pole
  • Blog
  • Keywords
  • Watches


Short Tail Keywords help businesses advertise to a wide audience. If a jewelry store is trying to optimize its watch sale, it can target the Keyword “Watches”.


There can also be a downfall to Short Tail Keywords. They can be too vague, and cover too broad of a category. If Cabela’s is advertising their Fishing Poles, and they use the keyword “Pole”, they may have non-relevant searches appear.  People searching for a Flag Pole, would also appear at Cabela’s Ad.

How businesses can choose how keywords are pulled for searches.

Broad Match– This Match type will allow you to reach the largest audience as quickly possible. It will pull all related searches. An issue with broad match is that ads could be firing for irrelevant searches. To make a keyword broad match simply type the word or phrase into Google Ad, such as:

Nike Shoes

To make a Broad Match Modifier you ad + Symbols in front of the word. When using Broad Match Modifier the phrase and their variations have to appear in the search results. It must include 2 modifier terms in actual phrase used. To make a keyword broad match modifier simply type the word or phrase into Google Ad, such as:

+Nike +Shoes

Exact Match-These are the opposite of Broad Match. The search must match exactly. To make a keyword an exact match enter the phrase in brackets, such as:

[Nike Shoes]

Phrase Match– This is the middle man between Keyword types. It is broader than exact, and narrower than broad. You do not have to rely on exact matches, and you pull more relevant searches. It finds results using a  string of words. To make a keyword a phrase match enter the phrase in Quotations, such as:

“Nike Shoes”

Tools available to help with Keywords.

Check out my blog post featured on the U of M Dearborn’s AMA Website. 

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