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One of the most valuable reports to monitor when you’re running search campaigns on Google Ads is the search terms report. Simply put, the search terms report offers insight into what queries are triggering your ads and subsequently driving traffic to your website.  

As well as telling you what searches you’re spending money on, the report is also a handy tool for providing some quick wins that will boost your PPC performance. So, I’ve collated my top five below: 

Valuable keywords that are not already included in your campaign 

After your usual keyword research tools, your search terms report is a one-stop-shop for keyword mining. The report allows you to identify keywords that aren’t already included in your account, but that are driving value through close variants. The search terms report is the go-to place for finding those profitable long-tail keywords. 

Invaluable terms that spend budget but do not convert, or when they do, for an unfeasible CPA

As well as using the search terms report to identify valuable keywords, it can also be used to pick out keywords you are bidding on, that are not driving a positive return on investment.

The metrics to look at are:

  • Keywords with a high volume of impressions, but low click-through rates (CTRs)
  • Those with high levels of spend but low, or no conversions

Irrelevant search queries triggering your ads, and ultimately costing you money…

By using the search terms report to identify what searches your ads are showing for, you’re likely to spot some terms completely unrelated to the product or service you offer. If irrelevant searches are triggering your ads, you can add these as negative keywords.

By adding irrelevant terms as negative keywords, you prevent your ad being triggered by people looking for something other than what you offer. You’re more likely to see a higher number of irrelevant queries when utilising the broad match keyword type. Although, Google has recently relaxed the rules on what is considered a ‘close variant’ to an exact match term.

The vocabulary used by your target audience

Every successful campaign starts with keywords. You bid on keywords hoping your target audience will search for those terms. And you do this hoping to trigger your ads; ultimately leading to clicks and conversions.

The search terms report is a great place to find out what words potential customers actually use when searching the web for your product or service, rather than what you assume they might use. You can also identify emerging search trends in your market that you were unaware of to start with, by spotting patterns in your target audience’s search behaviour.

New ideas for creative and on-site content

To improve your CTR and your quality score, the ad being served to your target audience needs to be as relevant to what they are searching for as possible.

Think about the following: What does the user see when they click your ad? Does your landing page incorporate the same keywords? Is the information or product they have searched for immediately available to browse, or will they need to go hunting for it?

By using your search terms report to identify trends in user behaviour, you can use this to inform your ad copy as well as the content on your website. Then, you can tailor this to what the audience is looking for.


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