When reviewing the performance of your ads, it can be difficult to ascertain and pinpoint the exact reason that your campaign may be underperforming. Prior to making any adjustments and optimizations, it is useful to locate the data and review the search history and intent of your ideal customers before looking to optimize certain common metrics. Thankfully, Google has a great solution to this, called the search terms report. If you have tried to reduce your CPC, or even raise your conversions, and nothing seems to be working, it may be that your keywords and searches need to be first looked at and prioritized. In this article, we will look at what the search terms report does, how to access it, and the benefits of using a search terms report.
What is a search terms report
When asking yourself “What report can help you identify opportunities to improve your keywords and ads?” The clear first answer would be to look at the search terms report. A search terms report assists in the identification of opportunities for both your keywords and your ads. Using the search term report, you are able to see how certain ads and ad campaigns performed when there was a search trigger within the network. This means that when populating a search terms report, it gives you the keywords that people are using when looking for relevant products and services for your business via your ad campaign. You may find out that the keywords you are using are not entered by the user, and can make changes accordingly.
The search terms report is a list of search terms that a significant number of people have used, and that resulted in your ad being shown. Depending on your keyword matching options, the search terms listed might be different from your keyword list.About the search terms report
How to generate a search terms report
In order to access your search terms report, and generate a specific one for your campaign, you can follow these exact steps:
- First, sign in to your Google Ads account as normal. If you are not the PPC manager or expert on this project, have them enter their credentials.
- Navigate to “All Campaigns” in the navigational panel. This can be found on the left-hand side of the screen. Once you have reached that area, click on “Keywords” in the page menu.
- Click on “Search terms”. This will be the most important step, and can be found under the “Keywords” sub-menu.
Once you have clicked on “Search terms”, you will generate a report and have further options. You will notice an amount of data on the terms, such as the significant number of people that have triggered clicks and impressions. Furthermore, you are able to download this report and select the format. This can then be analyzed and sorted to make changes, or to construct an entirely new campaign. You are able to modify this report further to view the entire terms that were triggered for the whole account, or even to further break it down into ad groups and campaigns. This can be accessed through the “Dimensions” option. Remember that while you are able to view the terms, you are not able to make any changes via this report directly to your ads.
A search term, or search query, is the word or phrase someone enters into a search engine to search for on the internet. These can be single words or names, like [Yoast], or a combination of words, such as [buy robot vacuum cleaner], or even complete questions, like [how do I train my puppy?].SEO basics: What is a search term?
What are the benefits of a search term report
When used correctly, there are multiple benefits to generating a search term report. The best thing to do is to take some time to interpret the data, as it provides deep insight into what your potential buyers are looking for. Below are the top 4 reasons using a search term report can drastically improve your campaign.
- Negative keywords
Other than the clear benefit of seeing which keywords are used most frequently to associate with your ads, this report can be used to brainstorm negative keywords. Using this data to place keywords in your ad campaign which you do not want to bid for in your CPC auction is called implementing “negative” keywords. You may notice an impactful reduction in your campaign spending.
- Match type
Using the “match type” column, you can view how closely the terms of queries are related to the keywords you have implemented in your account. By using this column, you can further refine your keywords to make them more effective, increasing clicks, impressions, and reducing cost.
- Keyword column
Match type helps refine your current keywords, and negative keywords help to remove unwanted searches and customers that have a low interest in your product. To add new keywords, the “keyword” column of the search terms report will give you the most benefit. This column shows which of your keywords matched a query’s search term and triggered your specific ad. This is like seeing your keywords “in action” and matching them to actual searches, improving search intent.
- Added/excluded filter
When first looking at your report, there can be an overwhelming amount of data. One of the most important filters to run is the “Added/Excluded” option. Using this filter will not only save you time, but can give you the most relevant statistics. Terms under this classification which are “added” have an exact match with a keyword that already exists within your ad account. “Excluded” terms are keyword conflicts that should be added to your negative keyword list.
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