Search Terms Report – How It Works & What To Look For

As Google themselves say ‘Use the Search Terms Report to see how your ads have performed when triggered by actual searches within the Search Network. The Search Terms Report is a list of search terms that people have used which has resulted in your ad being shown and then clicked.’

Often, we hear the question, ‘Why do the Search Terms Report results not match the keywords in my account?’ Well the answer to that is that the search terms that are listed depend on your keyword matching options, so therefore there may be a bit of a difference between the search term results and your keyword list.

Those of you with a good PPC background will be familiar with the Google Ads Search Terms Report.However, if you don’t have any involvement in the day to day management of your account and someone else does it for you, it’s worth becoming familiar with the report.


Why Is The Search Terms Report Useful?

Search terms show insights into what customers are actually looking for and you can use this to identify new keywords as well as potential negative keywords. This is important to know because if your ad is being triggered by a search term that is irrelevant to your ad, this shows that you should be adding this to your negative keyword list. This is valuable in helping you to stop wasting your time and more importantly, money. It also helps you determine which match types are working well for certain keywords and searches. By doing so you can more easily refine your match types.

There are multiple match types and different ways you can use them to your advantage in PPC. Exact match is the only match type that ensures you are not triggering different variations of the keywords you are bidding on. Using the ‘Match Type’ column you are able to see how closely the search terms that triggered your ads on Google are related to the actual keywords in your account. You can refine match types for all your keywords by seeing which match types are working well for which keywords and searches. This is so that only the right searches show your ad. You can utilise the ‘Keyword’ column to see which keywords matched someone’s search term that triggered your ad. Then you can use the data in this column to improve your keyword list.

As you export and look into your Search Terms Report the most useful way to filter it first is by ‘Added/Excluded.’ This will save you a lot of your valuable time as you decide which category is more useful at the time. Remember that ‘Added’ are search terms that match a keyword which already exists in your account and ‘Excluded’ are search terms you’ve already excluded and should exist in your negative keywords too. In my opinion, there are keyword conflicts that need to be resolved by removing a keyword.

The search terms labelled ‘None’ are the ones you need to focus your attention on because these are the ones that aren’t already keywords in your account or ones you’ve excluded. They will include new search terms that Google has matched you to. This would be where you work your magic and look heavily at the relevance of the queries to decide which keywords are relevant to the account, and which ones are not.

By going through this process you can focus on your own account and search term clean up. It’s a great place to look for new keywords that would benefit from having their own ad group and the customised ad copy to boot!

The Search Terms Report should be a regular part of maintaining your account to get a real sense of the quality of traffic being driven to your site from all that beautiful effort you’ve (or whoever else has) put into your ads.

Whether you’re in the driving seat of your own PPC or someone else is running the show, communicate or work together to get the best understanding of the search terms you want related to you and your business or product.

Sit down with your report, review and analyse then determine the next steps you’re going to take that will be beneficial to you.


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