Lauren Williamson

Running a Search Query Report in AdWords

If you are running PPC campaigns in Google AdWords, one report you should be looking at on a regular basis is the Search Terms Report (or Search Query Report). Even though it’s one of most of the important reports, it is often the most overlooked. If you are already using it on a regular basis, good for you! You can skip straight to this awesome series by PPC Hero called “What the Query?!” that lists some of the strangest (and often disturbing) queries they’ve seen while managing campaigns. You will be amazed (or maybe not!) at what people are searching for.

If you aren’t already running this report on a regular basis, keep reading to learn where to find it and how to use it:

First, what is the Search Term Report? It’s a report within Google AdWords that shows you exactly what search terms triggered your ads and how your ads performed based on these terms.

Where do you find it? From the ‘Keywords’ tab, click the ‘Keyword details’ dropdown and select ‘All’. (Note: you can also find this data in the Dimensions section and schedule the report to run regularly.)

search query report


Now that you have the data, how do you use it? First and foremost, use it add negative keywords. Unless you are running all exact match keywords, you will likely have some unrelated terms triggering your ads. Make sure to add all of those terms as negative keywords. You can check the box next to the keyword and click ‘Add as negative keyword’. Make sure to choose the match type you would like for your negative keyword, as well as whether you would like that negative keyword at the ad group or campaign level.

add negative keywords


You can also see what search terms are generating traffic that you may not currently have in your keyword list. By adding these to your keyword list you can manage their bids individually if need be.  Again, make sure to choose the match type you are looking for. Also, use these keyword ideas to optimize your ad text to make sure you are using terms in your ads that are relevant to searchers.

adding keywords in adwords


AdWords also released a new column to this report back in December that lets you see the exact keyword that was matched to the search term. Make sure to add this column to your Search Terms Report to get this information.

add keyword column


Make sure you aren’t paying for clicks that don’t directly relate to what you are promoting! Review this report on a regular basis to make sure you are including important terms in your keyword lists and blocking keywords you don’t want to trigger your ads. Have questions about this report or a different aspect of your PPC campaigns? Contact The Net Impact today to work with a Google AdWords certified member of our marketing team!

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