Search Term reports on Google Ads

With Google Ads, you put keywords into your account that you want to trigger your Ads, so the person searching those keywords can find your company and hopefully become a customer.

What many Google advertisers still aren’t paying enough attention to, are the ACTUAL keywords they are appearing for!

You see, depending on the ‘match types’ you use within your Google Ads account, you will also be seen to varying degrees on keywords that are not in your account. This can be both good and bad.

This is where Search Term Reports come into play. Here you can find the actual keywords people used before clicking on your Ad.

Let’s say you own a business selling high-end hot tubs, the ones with jets, speakers for your music and a place to put your glass of prosecco whilst you relax in the comfort of your back garden!

Now, it’s likely you have the word ‘hot tubs’ as a keyword in your account, but if you have it added as a phrase, modified broad or broad match, then you can also appear when a person searches ‘inflatable hot tub’.

You can see where I’m going with this. You do not want to be spending money, paying for clicks from someone looking for a cheap, inflatable hot tub, when you sell luxury high-end hot tubs.

Sure, you might make the rare sale, but you could spend that budget SO much more effectively on other keywords.

The term ‘inflatable’ should therefore be added as a ‘negative’ keyword so your budget can be better distributed to other, higher converting keywords.

Put another way, adding negative keywords allows you to avoid your Ad showing for irrelevant searches and paying for irrelevant clicks.

As a result, you get more customers for the same level of click spend.

When you add negative keywords into your account, be sure to just add the offending keyword. Not the whole search.

So, don’t add ‘inflatable hot tub’ as a negative, just add the word ‘inflatable’.

You might be thinking, “OK, but what if this advertiser sells inflatable accessories for hot tubs, how does that work if they won’t show for searches containing the word inflatable?” – Good question.

Negative keywords can be added at Account level, Campaign level or Ad Group level.

If you have the structure of your Google Ads account setup correctly, it’s very unlikely you would have your accessories keywords in the same Campaign as your main hot tub keywords… and you certainly shouldn’t have them in the same Ad Group.

You therefore avoid any issue with adding the word inflatable as a negative, if you apply it to the specific Campaign or Ad Group containing your hot tub specific keywords.

The great thing about Search Term Reports is the ability to highlight search terms that you should ADD to your account as well.

When you have full conversion tracking in place, you will be able to see the value of every single keyword. This means if your Ads appeared for a search term you didn’t have in your account and it converted, you can find that keyword and go-ahead and add it in.

In our hot tub example, you may have appeared for ‘hot tub with built in speakers’ – now you can get it added, write an Ad all about your hot tub with speakers range and send that traffic directly to the relevant model(s).

Now you have an even higher chance of converting an audience looking specifically for these types of hut tubs. Highlighting an area of opportunity, you were previously unaware of!

When you are looking through your Search Term Reports, it’s important to look through it very carefully, if you haven’t done this in a while, the report is likely to be pretty substantial.

To make it easier on yourself, you can look at the Search Term Reports at a Campaign or Ad Group level, so if you are short on time, do that.

I would suggest starting with your Campaign or Ad Group achieving the most clicks then working your way down.

To find the Search Term Report, simply click on ‘Keywords’ in the sub menu when at Account, Campaign or Ad Group level then go to the ‘Search Terms’ tab at the top and voila!

When you find words to add as negative keywords, just go to the ‘Negative Keywords’ tab next to it and add the offending word in there. Just be mindful of what Campaign or Ad Group you are choosing to add it to, as per our ‘inflatable’ example.

If you find keywords to add, then place these in an Ad Group in the relevant Campaign or create a new Campaign if necessary.

This may seem like quite tedious work but it is all part of the optimisation process and can save you a fortune in wasted spend, whilst highlighting new areas of opportunity.

Have a look in your Google Ads account and see what you can find!

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