How to Find Your Best Keywords for Facebook Ads

Wondering how to find the best keywords for your Facebook Ads?  Would you like to reach your perfect audience and save more money in your advertising efforts?

Facebook targeting is a bit of an art form and there are a lot of choices in keywords.  So how do you do your research and how do you know what keywords to test?

In this article, I’m going to share with you the 3 places for keyword research, what the differences are in the keywords, and how to test your keywords the right way.

3 Places for Facebook Ads Keyword Research

I look for targeting information in 3 places when I do my research.

  1. Your Facebook Insights on your Page
  2. Audience Insights in the Facebook Ads area
  3. Suggested Keywords (in Detailed Targeting)

When you create a Facebook Ad, your targeting and demographics are added at the Ad Set level.

Facebook Ad Targeting


Start with your basic demographics with your best Location, Age, and Gender. You can focus on your customer base but also look at who responds to your Facebook Page.  Find that information in your Insights under the People area.

Facebook Ads Demographic Insights

In this case I would focus on 35-55 year old women in the US.

The next area for research is in Audience Insights.  Find this in the navigation in the Ads area. You may have to expand the menu to see all the tools.

Audience Insights Facebook


When you get there, you will see a popup on who you want to view and select Everyone on Facebook so your research is based on everyone’s interests.

Facebook Audience Insights Everyone


Then you can put in a keyword into the Interests section to do further research on what other keywords might be related (as well as other demographics of that keyword).

Facebook Audience Insights Interests


When you add in the keyword, select Page Likes to see what other types of Pages people like who are interested in that keyword.  So now you’ll have some keywords you may not have thought of otherwise.

Facebook Ad Keyword Research


Also look at the other sections of the Audience Insights to see what other interesting demographic information you can find about the people who have this keyword in their profile.

Facebook Audience Insight research

You can do research on other Pages’ demographics as long as the Page is large enough to be able to be plugged into the Interests section.  Notice in this example, I have Mari Smith plugged in as an example.  I can find out what other Pages her fans like, what their demographics are, and where they are located.

There is no “magic number” of fans the Page has to have before you can use them as a keyword.  Sometimes I see small Pages able to be used as a keyword, other times the Page has to have 50,000 Fans or more.

The other way to do keyword research is to just see what types of suggested keywords come up when you type in a keyword in the interests section of your Facebook Ad Audience area.

If you start typing a word, you can find some suggestions, or you can Browse the categories specifically.

Browse Detailed Targeting


Demographics: Education, job titles, household and lifestyle details.

Interests:  Activities, Pages they have liked and closely related topics.

Behaviors:  Reach people based on purchase behaviors or intents, device usage and more.

More Categories:  Odd options like “Fast Food” and “Nail Care”

These categories also show up in the Suggestions section if you type in a keyword.


Facebook Ad Keyword suggestions

If you want to see more possible Interests and keywords, I put together a Complete List of Terms for Facebook’s Ads.

Differences in the Facebook Keywords

Keywords in the Interests section are based on Pages people have liked or things people have put in their profile.  Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t tell us exactly how it determines those interests. But if you mouse over the keyword, you sometimes get a little better understanding of what it is based on as well as find out how many people are grouped in that keyword.

More information on Facebook Keywords

Job Titles and Employers are great ways to target your ad if your perfect customer can be grouped that way.

You can also target the Fans of another Page if the page is able to be targeted.  Notice that I can target the fans of Social Media Examiner because it comes up in the list of possible targets.  But not all Pages can be targeted.  It’s hit and miss for targeting the Fans of a Page and often depends on the size of the Fan base.  Just start typing the name of the Page and if it comes up in the list, you can target those Fans.

Behaviors is a great way to target because the people have done something like “purchased organic food”.

Behaviors come from 3rd party data collected by companies like Axiom who specialize in collecting consumer data.  That data is then matched to Facebook users anonymously to be able to build the audience that has those characteristics.

How to Test your Keywords the Right Way

Testing is one area that many people don’t do right when it comes to Facebook Ads.  To find the best keywords for Facebook ads, you need to create a campaign plan that will split test to find out which keywords give you the better results.

I group the keywords into very similar segments – job titles together, behaviors together, and similar interests together.

Split test Facebook Ads

Ideally, you would test each keyword individually but that makes for a very large test budget and isn’t always practical.

Once you know which keywords are performing better, you can then continue your testing with different images or text.


Hope that helps explain more about how to find the best keywords for Facebook Ads.  Let me know any methods you use in the comments below.

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