AdWords Search Query Reporting Fail!
Where, oh where have my negative search terms gone?
One of my most successful tools for highly-focused paid search campaigns has been their comprehensive, insightful reporting tools. My favorite report, by far, was the Search Query Report. A blessing in disguise, the SQR showed me search terms that displayed my ads, and these search terms were both terms I was bidding on as well as the terms I wasn’t specifically bidding on. This has always been one of my favorite means of finding keywords that I wasn’t specifically bidding on, because adding those terms to my ad groups as broad, phrase or exact match types allowed me to focus more tightly and potentially pay less for those qualified searches.
The Google AdWords team has since migrated the SQR to the Keywords tab. You can select a specific keyword, or the entire list to see all search terms that triggered your ad and received a click. That’s the keyword here: received a click.
My favorite perk of the now-defunct SQR was the fact that it also showed search terms that did not result in a click through to my landing page. The new search query tool doesn’t do this, it only shows you the terms that you’re not bidding on which did result in a click-through to the landing page. Why was this feature removed?
Maybe Google removed the ability to see which search terms triggered your ads, but did not result in a click-through because they saw it as junk data that nobody really needed. I don’t know. I do know that I found it a great benefit to locate those search terms which triggered an ad but not a click-through because it showed me which terms to add to my ever-growing list of negative keywords.
You can directly lower total impressions by adding irrelevant search terms to your negative keywords list. This focuses your ad groups more tightly. You can expect the same amount of click-throughs overall, and now a lower amount of overall impressions. Same clicks + lower impressions = higher click-through-rate. Last I heard, your bid amounts can be lower if your CTR is higher, one of the many factors that determines how much you pay for a given term.
Google removed this really useful feature from their reporting either because they really thought it was junk data, or because they know it made the process of increasing your CTR much easier by literally giving you the keywords to add to your negative search terms list. I like Google and all, but I wouldn’t put it past them to remove the feature specifically to keep CTR’s lower and our costs higher.
To date I haven’t been able to locate a tool that pulls negative terms so effectively. My paid search strategy is really missing out as a result. Bring it back, AdWords!
from → Paid Search