Harnessing the Power of Your PPC Search Terms Report

Have you ever wondered how to scrub your Pay Per Click (PPC) account a little further than your negative keywords? Many people do not know but there is a section inside of Google AdWords called the search terms report that can help you refine your keywords.


Related Post: How Your Recruiting Firm Should Approach Competitor Negative Keywords ➢


How To Refine Your Keywords

Inside your AdWords account, go to the “Keywords” section in the grey panel on the left side of your screen. Click on “Keywords” and you will see three navigation sections. The default section highlighted when you click keywords is “Search Keywords” which contains the keywords you put into the system yourself. The next navigation section is “Negative Keywords” and to the right of that is “Search Terms”.

PPC Search Terms ReportPPC Search Terms Report

Click on the “Search Terms” section and you will see “Search Terms” and “Auction Insights.” We’ll focus on “Search Terms” for now and dive a little deeper into “Auction Insights” at another time.

The “Search Terms” section is where most of your keywords and their close variants are shown. When you’re inside the search terms report you will see similar column headers as your “Search Keywords” section. You can add and remove columns as you see fit.

The “Search Terms” section is where Google shows you what kind of help it has provided you regarding searcher intent and searches your pages showed up in that Google deemed relevant to one or more of your keywords. This can sometimes can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you want Google to send you as much traffic as possible, but on the other hand, you don’t necessarily want to pay for traffic that will not amount to a phone call or lead.

Real Life Examples

I wanted to give you an example of an account Parqa Marketing recently took over on the recruiting side. When doing a keyword audit and examining historical search terms we noticed that the company did not realize they were coming up in searches for “recruiting” that they didn’t want.

The company was using Broad Match Modifier (BMM) which is a very common match type. When using BMM you must be careful and really look at your search terms. Some of the terms we saw inside the search terms report such as “top college recruiters” or “college recruiting employment services” were irrelevant to the client.

Another nice feature offered by Google allows you to look at the match types that a search query came up for; broad, phrase, phrase match (close variant), exact match or exact match (close variant). With this report, you can save time by adding a search query as a “keyword” or negatize a query right inside the search terms report. No need to write the query down or make a note to change it later.


Related Post: PPC Match Types For Recruiters ➢


Continuous Monitoring

You should monitor your search terms report often. Some accounts that have lots of traffic and high spend amounts should be looked at daily while accounts that have minimal spending and a low amount of clicks/traffic can be looked at every few weeks. There is no silver bullet in terms of monitoring, make sure to look over the search terms going back a certain time frame to make sure you are catching the terms/searches you want to make negative or avoid.

Just because you think the spend is minimal on some of the keywords you want to make negative, don’t think that it will not have an impact. Over time if you leave bad keywords inside your search terms report without negatizing them, it could spend hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars. For companies on a shoestring budget that is a huge dent in marketing dollars and potential good leads lost.

In closing, make sure you monitor and utilize the search terms report often. This report can save you a lot of money and help you create a refined and effective keyword list.

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Jeremy Delgado

Jeremy Delgado

Sr. Digital Marketing Manager at Parqa Marketing
As Senior Digital Marketing Manager, with over a decade of experience in digital marketing, Jeremy helps companies navigate the digital WebSphere by auditing, analyzing, reporting and creating digital opportunities to help increase awareness, visibility and generate more leads online. Read More
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