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A Guide To Google Ads Search Terms Report

Difficulty: Beginner

Need to find out which search terms are triggering your Google Ads? When you're using Google Ads and you want to optimise your campaign and ensure your ads are receiving relevant traffic, you need to become familiar with the Search Terms Report.

What is a Search Terms Report?

The Search Terms Report allows you to see how well your ad is performing when triggered by searches that occur within the Search Network.

In other words, you’ll be able to see what words people type into search engines that cause your ad to appear. Surprisingly, you’ll frequently find that people don’t use the Search Terms Report. This is a rookie and critical Google Ads mistake!

How Do You Find The Search Terms Report?

1. Sign in to your Google Ads account
2. Click the “Campaigns” tab
3. Click the “Keywords” tab
4. Click the “Search Terms” button tab
5. Download the report by clicking on the downward facing arrow icon

Here, you will find a list of search terms which have resulted in impressions and clicks. It’s important to note that the displayed search terms are ones which were used by people in the last eight hours, and have received clicks within the past 30 days, or were searched by a large number of people. You will find the results of data that does not meet this criteria in the ‘Other Search Terms’ row.

What can you do with the Search Terms Report?

Your Search Terms Report data is extremely valuable to your Google Ads account.

The Search Terms Report can help you:

  • Group The Best Search Terms: Once you have downloaded your search term report, you can put the impressions column into descending order. This will show you what your best search terms are. With this, you can find the search terms that are relevant to your business, and create individual AdGroups for each high performing search term. Make sure you only put one search term into each ad group!
  • Find Negative Keywords: Within your Google Ads campaign, you’ll not only want to know what keywords to use but also what ones you want to exclude. These are known as negative keywords. Fortunately, the Search Terms Report is a great way to find negative keywords. Looking through your Search Term Reports will give you an insight into what terms people are using to find your website, and what ones you can add to your negative keyword list. Adding these words and phrases to the negative keyword list will drastically improve your Click-Through Rate and Quality Score.

You will also need to ensure the Keywords column is enabled.

To do this:

  • Click the “Columns” drop-down menu
  • Select “Modify columns”
  • Within the “Select metrics” section, click “Attributes”
  • Click “Add link” next to “Keyword”
  • Click “Apply”

You can also use the data from the Search Term Report to see your Match Type. This column of data tells you how closely the terms that triggered your ad are related to your actual keywords. This helps you to refine what keywords you’re using. Note that a Search Term Match Type is “Close Variation”, which includes misspellings, plurals, acronyms, abbreviations, accents, and stemmings.

Following these steps will allow you to access your Search Term Report, analyse your data, and refine your keyword list.


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