How Many Keywords Should an AdWords Account Start With?

Question: Is it better to have fewer keywords when you’re starting with AdWords, or more?

My answer: It’s generally better to start with a few and get the hang of AdWords. Start with one keyword, exact match, and learn how to split test ads for that keyword, get used to running reports on it, and then expand into phrase match and broad match in two additional ad groups. Run a search query report after a couple of weeks, and start adding promising-looking keywords to additional ad groups. Also look for negatives to stop bad traffic in its tracks.
In  my experience, keyword lists are easy to build out – after all, most of the keyword tools on the market are designed for just that purpose – but they’re much harder to prune if you start by throwing everything but the kitchen sink into your ad groups.


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