In my opinion, the Google Adwords Search Term Report is the most important reporting section of Google Adwords barring all others. It is the report that allows you to see exactly what people have typed in to Google that has triggered your advertisement to appear and for a visitor to click through to your website.
Whilst your keywords are the words that you think you are targeting with Google Adwords to bring people to your website, the Search Term Report shows you the real words that they used to find your website.
Why are they different?
Well, it will all comes down to your keyword matching options. If you are using broad match (not advised) or modified broad match (very much more useful) you will generate clicks through related keywords. The Search Term Report allows you to see which keywords and you can then decide if you would like to add these new keywords, or perhaps even more powerfully, add them to the ‘negative keywords’ list if you don’t want to be spending money for that type of visitor.
By way of an example, if you are looking to generate conveyancing quotations from your website you might have a modified broad match search like this one:
This will mean that your advertisement will be triggered whenever the word conveyancing and solicitor are “googled” in the same search.
Therefore, if someone types in “How do I sue a conveyancing solicitor” or “conveyancing solicitor jobs”, your advertisement will be triggered. If they click on your advertisement you will be charged even though the visitor is not your target lead.
On checking your Search Term Report you would see this and could quickly add ‘jobs’ and ‘sue’ to your negative keywords list so that your advertisements are not triggered whenever anyone includes the word ‘sue’ or ‘jobs’ in their search for a conveyancing solicitor.
You can see why the Adwords Search Term Report becomes such an important thing to check. So, the next question, how often should you check it?
How often should you check your Search Term report?
If you are setting up a new campaign, my advice is to check it every single day. In the early days of an Adwords Campaign you will be keen to start generating visitors to your website, so you are likely to be using a lot of modified broad match search terms to discover what keywords are out there. Checking your Search Term Report every day will allow you to quickly add new keywords that are good as phrase match search terms (“in quotes”) and also to grow your list of negative keywords so that you don’t waste your budget on irrelevant keywords.
Once you have been running your Adwords campaign for a number of weeks or months and the visitor numbers are much more stable, then I recommend at least a weekly review of the Search Term Report.
I hope you can see why I consider the Search Term Report to be the most important part of a Google Adwords campaign. When did you last check yours?
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