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Using The Search Query Report To Optimize Your Account

The Search Query Report is the most important report in AdWords that you can use to effectively optimize your account because it allows you to hunt for both positive and negative keywords. It is the equivalent of the Matched Search Query report in Google Analytics. Not only does it provide highly actionable data on keywords that you are bidding on, it is also a powerful keyword research tool that you can use to spot keyword gems that you may have missed during your keyword research. The matched search queries report lets you see the keywords you’re bidding on that triggered your ad to appear. However, note that the match types you have defined will usually determine how closely your keywords will match the search query.

Essentially, the search query report allows you to identify the specific search terms that your prospects are using to search for your products and services, which ones are leading to conversions and which ones are simply costing you money with little or no returns. In this report, you get to really learn your customers’ language and understand what types of terminologies lead to high click through rate, and what types of keywords are likely to generate clicks and conversions. You can find out what which variation of the keywords are generating clicks, conversions, high click through rates, high cost per conversion, etc.

In AdWords, it is important to understand the difference between keywords and search queries. Keywords are the bid terms in your ad group, and the search query is what the user actually typed into the search query box that triggered your ad to appear. That search query triggered an ad impression based on a keyword that you bid on, and as a result, your ad was triggered to be displayed. The searcher then clicked on the ad and they came to your web site as a visitor.

The key here is that the search query is not necessarily the same as the keyword that you bid on. In fact, there might be some large variations between the keywords and the search queries that caused that corresponding ad to be shown. You might recall that there are three main match types in AdWords: Broad, Phrase, and Exact. Just like the name implies, Broad match is meant to cast a wide net to match search queries of keywords. As a result, you might see search queries that have none of the same words as your broad-matched keywords that you bid on in your AdWords account. This is particularly important to bear in mind as you analyze this report.

When the searcher typed in the search query and pressed enter, it triggered an impression of your ad that was based on a keyword that you bid on. The searcher viewed your ad, and found it relevant enough to his or her search query, enough to click through to your Website. When analyzing this report, we need to understand exactly why your ad was triggered to appear, so that we can understand its relevance to the search query.

As you may be aware, negative keywords are just as, if not more important than your positive keywords. You can use the search query report to identify keywords that will never lead to clicks so that you can add them as negative keywords in your AdWords account.

For example, if you sell computers, you may find that a relevant keyword such as “computer desktops” is not generating any conversions for your account. This is because it is too broad and likely to be used by someone who is not actively seeking to buy computer desktops, so you’ll want to add the exact match keyword i.e. [computer desktops] as a negative keyword. This will ensure that you’re using your budget on people that are most likely to buy your products.

By looking at the amount of revenue generated by each of these searched terms that triggered our ad to appear, we can use this report to refine our negative keyword list to ensure that our ad is not showing up for search queries that are simply costing us clicks with very little revenue to show for them.

On the other hand, if we are able to identify search terms that generating high conversions, we may want to increase our bids for those keywords to ensure that we get as much of that traffic as possible. We may also want to refine our ads and landing pages so that they speak directly to people who search on those keywords.

In order to better understand this relevance, we need to look at the match type to see whether it was broad, phrase or exact match. The match type is very important to understand, because there might be large variations between the search term and the keywords you’re bidding on, that caused your ad to be shown. Understanding the match type helps us to understand why our ad was served.

On the other hand, once you find high converting keywords, you’ll want to move into its own ad group and write ad text that is very relevant to variations of that keyword. Having that type of relevancy will increase CTR, increase quality score, increase conversions and drive down cost per conversion.

It is important to note however, that the search query report will only show you keywords that led to at least one click. So you shouldn’t rely solely on this report to generate positive and negative keywords, but it is definitely a good place to start.

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