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?
Search terms are a section of your Google ads that shows the actual words that are entered into a search bar. This allows you to see some of the creative ways that people search. Google does not show you every search though and limits what you do and don’t see. Another report that your ad agency should look at that is closely related to search terms is “consumer interest insights“. This report pulls the last 56 days of your search term report to give you search categories and subcategories. Google ads are moving more and more away from exact keywords as you can see with Google Performance Max Campaigns. This leads to the keyword match types that are available and why search terms are important.
Keyword Match Types
Your Google ads agency chose the keywords so why are the words I show up for different? First and foremost, Google is a runaway train with what you show up for. There are keyword match types that help control this but search terms are just another layer of defense. As time has gone on with Google ads it has become looser and looser on what Google decides to show your ad for.
Broad Match– Searches related to your terms
Phrase Match – Searches that include the meaning of your keywords
Exact Match – Searches that are the same meaning as your keywords.
This has changed so much over the years and has evolved over the years. The name of the keyword match type is used to mean that you could “exact” searches and “phrase” the order of the keywords mattered and finally “broad” which has always been broad. They have even eliminated what arguably was the best keyword match of “modified broad” where certain keywords needed to be in the search for you to show up. You might be tempted to suggest to your Google ads agency that they use “exact match” only. This is where it used to be that you only show us if the words in the search results match exactly what you have searched for.
While this seems logical, 15% -20% of daily searches are brand new keyword phrases and have never been used before.
If you were to choose “exact match” you are severely limiting the ability to show up for different ways that someone might search. This is also why Google ads have moved to different keyword match types to better serve how people search.
User Intent with Keywords
We wouldn’t be doing our job as a Google ads agency if we didn’t mention the “intention” of keywords with search terms. As you can imagine from above adding one word before or after a keyword can change the whole dynamic of what that word means. This is watching search terms that can give you unique and different ways that someone can or will search. You might think, well didn’t my ads agency do keyword research and already know this? The fact there are so many new searches being done is also why the keyword planner tool does not always list all the keyword phrases available or that have been done. Keywords are a never-ending battle of management.
Adding Keywords Phrases
If we like the keywords we are showing up for, we will add those as well with whatever keyword match type we feel is best. You learn all kinds of insights on this. It is also an excellent place to look for ideas on SEO and writing relevant keywords. You will sometimes see full search phrases in form of questions. Of course, adding these is not the best idea when it comes to keywords but it’s excellent for SEO!
We have talked all about what you show up for and why that is but not how to control this. In the search terms reports your ad agency can ad “negative keywords” so that you no longer show up for terms. They can pick specific terms, using the same keyword match types above of broad, phrase, and exact. We most often use phrase match. Looking at the example here to the right you can see how it can be confusing what you can and won’t show up for.
Outside of choosing the actual negative keywords, you can also build a negative keywords list. A list can be great to keep your keywords organized by related themes such as “competitors” vs “brand terms” and so forth.
This is why your google ad agency should be watching your search terms and have become very important as a weekly task. Your ad agency needs to make the keywords that do not make sense as negative keywords so that you don’t show up for them anymore. If you are struggling with your google ads and need extra help come to see we continue to be Google partners year after year and can help you get the most out of your Google ads.