Computer on desk to illustrate How to use the AdWords Search Query ReportPPC Ninja Wanna-bee says, “I’ve been running my PPC account for 4 years. I’ve pretty much perfected it. I have a low CPC, a good CTR, and I’m generating leads. It’s been in set it and forget it mode for awhile now. It’s perfect, what more can I do with this thing?”

PPC Hacker responds, “U the man! Outstanding! Set it and forget it!”

Uuuhhmmm… No… not with PPC. Yeah dude, it’s not perfect. Even if you are simply trying to keep up with Google’s changes, there’s room for improvement.

Graph example of AdWords Search Query Report

Regular general maintenance on a PPC account includes:

  • running regular search query reports
  • identifying broad match modify terms to turn into exact match terms
  • identifying terms to negative match
  • adjusting your research campaigns from your lead generation/sales campaigns

Follow These Steps

  1. Run a search query report. In most cases, you can just run it on the whole account. Still, if your campaigns have lot of broad match modify terms, you may need to run the search query report for one campaign at a time.
    Screenshot of Search query report
  2. What search phrases are generating a bunch of impressions but not many clicks or conversions? Sorting by impressions can get you started. You may see a few phrases that float to the top. Even if you identify one term to eliminate 4 or 5 useless clicks or irrelevant impressions, do it. Take that word or phrase and negative match that term.
  3. After you’ve run that check, you’ll notice a bunch of one impression, one click search phrases. If there are searches that have a few clicks and a handful of impressions, does this indicate something relevant to your overall strategy? Try exact matching the term, put it in its own ad group in an exact match campaign, and create an ad around that phrase. Also take that same term and do a negative exact match for that term and put it in your broad match modify campaign.

Wait! What? Broad match campaigns, exact match campaigns… what are you talking about?

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If you have mixed keyword match types in the same ad groups and campaigns, your PPC account needs an overhaul. Call us if you think you need a PPC audit.

The Common Thread

Filtering out searches that you expect would lead to your client leaves you with some new possibilities. Is there a theme? Can you string together twenty-five 1 impression, 1 click search queries? It’s an effort to scroll through a bunch of one off search queries, but remember, you have some time in this set it and forget it account. You may want to alphabetize these to see if you can group things together. Every account can always be improved.

Secret Sauce

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You should be running broad match modify ONLY campaigns to continue your own keyword research. You should also be running exact match ONLY campaigns once you know a term works for leads or sales.

Using the AdWords search query report, you can check the health of your broad match modify terms. Can you leave a broad mach modify term in the account and just deal with a few irrelevant clicks? Yes, of course you can. However, by using the search query report, you may find a hidden gem or some terms that just need to be negative matched.

It’s Organic

Is there something in the PPC data that can improve organic strategy? Recently we discovered a good amount of search for a service that our client provides. It’s not on the forefront for them, and they didn’t even have a decent landing page for this traffic.

Think of it in terms of baseball. A fielder needs to be able to catch. However, the fielder also needs to know how to throw. This client wasn’t giving much credence to the throwing service only the catching service. If people are searching for throwing service, the client certainly won’t turn them away. So get a new landing page up there for throwing.

This one free PPC tool (AdWords search query report) can help refine your PPC campaigns and take your AdWords account into ninja territory. At a bare minimum, run that search query report monthly, or at least every 2-6 months, and watch the change happen.

Supercharge your PPC strategy. Give us a call at (443) 475-0787 or contact us.