New AdWords Reporting – Crucial Keyword Tool

Google announced this week it has a new reporting tool in the AdWords toolbox. The new AdWords Search Query Performance report displays search queries typed into Google and the ads that were presented for each query. From this, an AdWords marketer can find out all sorts of good info like impressions, clicks, and CTR.

Google touts its new tool as valuable because it will help give “insight into how users find and react to your ads” and will help in the following four areas:

  1. Select the correct match type
  2. Add new keywords
  3. Identify and delete existing keywords
  4. See how effectively your keywords are targeted based on actual user queries triggering your ads to be clicked on

As a user of a similar online marketing analytics tool I would like to add my two cents. Using this type of report in a disciplined manner can help you distill and refine your PPC campaigns. Each morning, when I come into work I spend a few minutes looking at yesterday’s performance for my clients. After reviewing conversions, revenue and unique visitors I look at the terms users have been searching on that caused my ad to be presented.

From this list I can easily see potential negative keywords. As an example, I added an ad group for exit signs one day and the next day saw search queries for “lighted exited signs”. Since I only sell plastic engraved exit signs I put the negative keyword “lighted” into the ad group. I also thought through other iterations of “lighted” and tossed in –illuminated and –lit. In addition, I changed my creative to read “plastic engraved exit signs…”

Another day I saw “Lithonia exit signs”. Since I have absolutely no idea what that means I popped the term into Google image search and saw an image of a lighted exit sign. I now have yet another negative in that little “exit signs” ad group.

Besides being useful as a negative keyword generator, the search query performance report can prompt ideas for new ad groups. One morning I saw the search query “my product kits”. How on earth had I missed that beautiful keyword?! My campaign is full of ad groups for “my product software/systems/makers” but I had not contemplated “kits” I immediately created a new ad group with all possible iterations.

This is a quick routine. I jot down a few keyword ideas and have time set aside later in the day/week for making changes to the campaigns. This way, the report gets run daily (easier to plow through the info) and any big red flags can get taken care of immediately. Maybe a recurring event in Outlook could be created and those keyword ideas could be added daily to the event notes. When it’s time to work on the project all those ideas will be in one place (very “David Allen” of me to suggest this)

The new Search Query Performance Report has its flaws (my results included 1860 useful queries and 5958 “other unique queries” which were not at all useful) but overall it brings more transparency than AdWords marketers have had in the past. It feels like a step in the right direction.

Let me know if you have additional thoughts on how this report could benefit a PPC campaign.