Shawn McKenzie
By Shawn McKenzie | SEM | March 13, 2017

Search Term Report, An Overview

You have signed up for Google AdWords, set up a campaign and its associated keywords. Congratulations are in order; you’re finally marketing digitally.  The next step is to realize your first try is rarely the best, so how do you know if your keywords are what people searching for your product or service use?  To figure that out, we must look at the Search Term Report which shows how your ads performed when triggered by searches in the Search Network. 

It’s a list of search terms people used before seeing and clicking on your ad.  Depending on your keyword matching options, the terms displayed might be different than your keyword list.  If a search term is successful, it’s a good idea to add it as a keyword to the campaign and is a useful tool to see how people see your business and could potentially expand your market reach.  The opposite is also true; maybe a keyword you think fits great actually triggers people searching for something else entirely.  The search term report can help you spot those irrelevant searches and, by adding them to your negative keywords, prevent them from showing. 

For example, let’s say we are selling wine glasses and have the keyword ‘glasses’ in our campaign.  The search term report might tell us that our ad is showing for people who are looking for eye glasses.  The keyword is useful for both products, but the modifier should be looked at so you’re not trying to sell wine glasses to people who need reading glasses.

It’s important to keep in mind that the search term report will only show terms that were used by people at least 8 hours ago, and have either received clicks in the past 30 days or were searched for by a significant number of people.  All other search terms are lumped in the ‘other search terms’ row.  How to generate the search term report can be found here.  The search term report is just one tool in the tool box for optimizing your ad spend. Next time we will be discussing Quality Score. 



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