Another weekly task that our team performs is the auditing of search terms. Ads triggered by search terms that aren’t relevant to your campaign goals should be identified and eliminated. Additionally, consider adding search terms that are performing well.
What are search terms? These are the actual words that are entered into a search bar. Google will show some of these words (called search terms) that people actually entered in order for the ads to appear. But wait, I chose the keywords so why is it different? What words you show up for is a whole another topic of “keyword match type”. The important item here is you might show up for words in your search terms report that you don’t want to show up for. You need to make those negative keywords. If you like the keywords you show up for, you can add those as well with whatever keyword match type you would like. A more in-depth explanation of search terms can be found here. You need to audit your search terms weekly no matter to make sure you catch both the good and bad.
Use this step-by-step to audit search terms.
First, go into your Google Ads program. For this example, we will be looking at search campaigns. So go to Campaigns >>> Search Campaigns >>> Ad Groups.
1. Pull up Ad Groups.
2. Look into each ad group starting with the first. Set the date range for the last seven days.
Clicking on an individual ad will give you the list of the keywords associated with that ad. From here click on Search Terms.
Inside of Search Terms, you’ll view how people actually searched for the particular keyword (that you chose) in the last seven days. From here you can review search terms and decide if there are terms you want to keep or exclude. Here the search term (A) includes the words conferences which is something I want to exclude because the client does not do conferences. I’m going to add this to my negative keyword list (B).
Add as a negative keyword (A) and select a list to add it to (B). We work off lists here because some keywords apply across all campaigns, all ad groups. By using keyword lists, negative keywords can be added and applied across all campaigns, all ad groups. Lists help to save time since you don’t have to add negative keywords manually to each campaign.
In this example, I’m going to get rid of the word conferences. Put quotations around the word conferences to indicate a phrase match which means anything before or after will be excluded as well. Click Save.
That is it for search terms. It can be a very boring task, but you must go through every single ad group that you have and go through the search terms. This is a weekly task that has to be done, in order to get rid of the negative keywords. There’s constantly new searches being done. This task can make or break you in an Google Ads campaign.