How to use Google AdWords Search Terms Report to improve ROI

Whether you’re an advertiser, marketing expert, or owner of a business, the value of Google to your marketing strategies cannot be ignored for a second. The search engine giant is the world’s most visited website by a considerable distance, processing over 5.6 billion searches every day, and will be one of the leading contributors to your site’s incoming traffic. Therefore, finding ways to optimise your visibility is essential at all times and the use of the search terms report feature should be considered an integral feature.

Anyone with intermediate to expert experience of using PPC ads should be familiar with Google Ads’ search terms report feature and boast a basic understanding of its concepts. However, whether you’re a complete novice or a professional, learning to make the most of the tool is vital. Here’s all you need to know.

AdWords Search Terms Google Ads 600

Search terms are the actual searches entered into Google from people who click on your ads. Google match up search terms entered into Google, with the keywords within your Google Ads account.

Search term reports are an analytical tool that provide statistical data about the search terms that consumers are putting into the search engine. This information allows you to study what users are looking for before amending your keyword ad placements accordingly. A search term report will list various metrics including the impressions displayed along with the clicks gained from each ad and keyword.

To fully understand Google AdWords STRs, it’s important to look at the way Google works. Google describes search terms as: “the exact word or set of words a customer enters when searching on or Search Partner Network sites.” When a customer completes a search, the Google algorithm instantly presents a list of websites that are closely linked to the content of the search. For example, then, if they search “used cars in Liverpool”, Google will show a list of dealerships (as well as other relevant websites) ranked by their authority as per Google. 

Access Search Terms Report From within Google Ads

Difference between Search Terms & Keywords

What’s the difference between a search term and a keyword? A search term is the exact word or set of words that a customer enters when searching on or one of our Search Network sites. A keyword is the word or set of words that AdWords advertisers create for a given ad group to target your ads to customers.

View Search Terms Report 2

Organic vs Paid Search Terms

However, there are two ways to appear in the prominent listing. Organic SEO is created over time by having an authoritative site that is blessed with inbound links, relevant content, and has mastered other marketing strategies. The other solution is to appear through paid advertising. 

AdWords is an advertising platform that allows you to promote your website, display ads, and showcase content by paying Google for the added visibility. This can be done by paying for the clicks received (PPC) or impressions. Keywords are defined as  “the word or set of words that AdWords advertisers create for a given ad group to target your ads to customers” They can be attributed to text adverts and other content. 

How to use the Search Terms Report

You can use the search terms report to see how your ads performed when triggered by actual searches within the Search Network. Identify new search terms with high potential, and add them to your keyword list. Look for search terms that aren’t as relevant to your business, and add them as negative keywords. This can help you avoid spending money showing your ad to people who aren’t interested in it.

add keywords from Search Terms Report

The Four Types Of Search Term Matches

There are four different match types that you should be aware of when using Google AdWords. They are:

  • Exact Match: If your keyword was red shoes, the customer searched for red shoes too.
  • Exact Match (Close Variant)): If your keyword was red shoes, the customer will have searched for red shos or another close variant, which will usually be a misspelling.
  • Phrase Match: If your keyword was red shoes, the customer will have searched for something like women’s red shoes. Their search term includes your keyword or keywords, but isn’t an exact match as it includes additional details.
  • Broad Match: If your keyword was red shoes, the customer may have searched for shoes or evening shoes. The search is closely related your search term even if it’s not an exact match.

The great thing about the search terms report within Google AdWords is that you can check all of the terms that were searched before the users clicked your advertisement. This added insight into the consumer journey can pay dividends as you aim to

The Benefits Of Using Google AdWords STRs

The use of Google AdWords search term reports isn’t only there so that you can tick another box on the marketing agenda. The rewards gained from implementing this method can work wonders for your future campaigns, bringing a range of different positive aspects. 

Here are just five reasons to incorporate STRs right away:

  • Identify new search terms with high potential through the use of tracking what other terms users have been searching for, and add them to your keyword list
  • Add search terms that aren’t as relevant as you first predicted and add them to the negative keywords list to ensure that your time and budget isn’t wasted on them any longer.
  • Start looking at the long-tail keywords by using structured expansion and broad match generation. This is one aspect where lots of marketing experts continue to fall short.
  • Build new landing pages based on the finding of your search term reports to further establish the positive user engagement and generate better ROIs.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of your audience and their consumer behaviours, which can help influence everything from branding to customer relations.
  • Increase qualified Traffic by expanding keyword list.The search terms report can highlight new search terms that can become keywords with separate bids.
  • Reduce Costs by blocking irrelevant searches. Irrelevant searches can be used as negative keywords to block ads showing.
  • Increase CTR and quality Score. CTR is the primary component of Quality Score. Negative keywords block irrelevant searches which increases click through rate. Search terms that are more informational than transactional intent can also be blocked to increase CTR.
  • Improve bidding accuracy with a comprehensive keyword list that matches  the actual search terms entered into Google.
  • Identify optimum keyword match type combinations can be identified from the search terms report. 
  • Search terms of less relevance to your business can be made negative keywords reduce wasted spend and increase CTR.
  • Identify relevant search terms with high potential for expanding keyword list
  • The use of AdWords search term reporting can essentially help streamline the company’s digital marketing endeavours while also influencing virtually every aspect of the customer experiences – as long as you take note of the quantifiable data. Given that the platform is free to use and accessible to any marketing team using AdWords, it would be very foolish to ignore it any longer.
  • can take care of those matters as part of your overall marketing strategy to guarantee optimised results that will be delivered in the fastest possible time. So, if the DIY option isn’t suited, give our friendly team a call today to find out what we can achieve for your business.
Standard Reports Access Search Terms A

How To Set Up A Search Term Report & Order Keywords In Google Ads

Appreciating the benefits of using the search term report feature is one thing, but actually launching and analysing a report in the Google Ads platform is another challenge altogether. Follow the simple pathway below, and you won’t go far wrong: 

Navigate your way to the search report tool by clicking the Keywords tab from inside the Google Ads portal. Then select Details → Search Terms → All. The search terms used in the ad will now appear in the left column. 

Navigate to Columns → Customise Columns → Attributes. 

Click Add (located next to the Keyword link) and select Apply. You will now see the keyword that has been programmed appear in the top right corner of the page.

Select the links for Impressions, Select Clicks, or Cost to order the search term reports depending on those metrics.

Select Add As Keyword to add a keyword or Add As Negative Keyword to exclude it from the list. The latter can be used at ad group or campaign level.

Add Columns Search Terms Report C

How Often Should STRs Be Checked?

While search term reports update in real time, you do not want to distract yourself from the primary functions of your job or marketing strategies. Conducting a search report once every 2-4 weeks depending on the size of your business and amount of traffic will usually suffice, although smaller operations and keyword ad campaigns may benefit from extending the date range, which can be done at the top right of the screen. 

The most important thing is to get the opening phase right. This means setting up the right keywords and then checking the STRs throughout the first few days as this will quickly indicate how the strategy is performing and whether any changes could be required.

Search Terms Predefined Reports B

Search terms report for Types of Search Targeting

  • Text ads for Google search use Keywords targeting to show your adverts to relevant search terms entered into Google matching your product or services offering.
  • Dynamic Search Ads for Google Search targeting uses website content such as page titles and descriptions to match adverts to search terms entered into Google instead of keywords.
  • Product Listing Ads for Google Shopping use product attributes such as the title, description, product category, product types instead traditional keywords for targeting ads to searches entered Google.
  • Remarketing for Search List Audiences (RLSA) uses past website visitor audiences combined with another targeting option. (e.g. keywords, product attributes or page content). RLSA target and bid campaigns can report on search terms entered into Google- but just for past website visitors. This is a good way to get more traffic when a search term is more relevant when combined with a past website visitor audience. These can be made new keywords- or have higher bids for target and bid- instead of bid only.

Manage your keywords based on search terms data

Use your search terms data to make changes to your keywords that can have a positive impact on your performance. Here are some ideas:

  • Add high-performing search terms to your ad group as keywords. Consider adjusting your bids as well, since search terms appearing in the search terms report are already receiving traffic. Therefore, adding those terms as keywords shouldn’t do much unless paired with changes to bids, ad text or both.
  • If a search term isn’t relevant enough to the products or services that you offer, add it as a negative keyword instead. This will help keep your ad from showing to people who are looking for something that you don’t sell. For example, if you sell eyeglasses, and you see that the search term “wine glasses” is triggering your ads, you might want to add “wine” as a negative keyword.
  • Select the correct match type (e.g. broad, phrase, exact or negative) for existing keywords. The “Match type” column (see above) can help you understand how keyword match type is affecting your ad performance.

Still Need Help?

While the concept of using Google AdWords search term reports is fairly easy to understand, getting it right isn’t always easy. There’s a lot of work involved in the early stages while a little ongoing management will be required too. 

Our experts can take care of those matters as part of your overall marketing strategy to guarantee optimised results that will be delivered in the fastest possible time. So, if the DIY option isn’t suited, give our friendly team a call today to find out what we can achieve for your business.

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