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5/27/09

Google AdWords to Show ALL Search Queries

by Janet Driscoll-Miller
http://www.search-mojo.com
I just received an email from the Inside AdWords blog crew that put a smile on my face and should for all advertisers too - Google AdWords' Search Query Report will now show all search queries instead of rolling many queries up under the line item "other unique queries."

Background: What Is the Search Query Report? For those of you who are not familiar with the Search Query Report in AdWords, let me first introduce you to this phenomenal tool. Located in the reports area of Google AdWords, the Search Query Report provides insights into the actual search queries that users typed to find and click on your ad. While you may enter keywords into Google AdWords, if you use broad or phrase keyword matching types, you don't still know the exact words used in or around that phrase that caused your ad to display. Additionally, if you use broad match, your ad may be showing up on synonyms or misspellings of your keywords. The Search Query Report provides the actual keyword search data.

Why Are Actual Keyword Searches Important to Me? As I mentioned, most advertisers likely do not know all of the exact queries used to display their ads. That can be a problem, because if your broad and phrase match keywords are showing your ad for what may be irrelevant terms, you may get irrelevant clicks. That's just money wasted.

For instance, let's say you sell survey software, and you have "survey software" as a phrase match keyword. Great! But if a searcher queries Google for free survey software, your ad may show, since the query contains your phrase match keyword. Unless you have added the word -free as a negative term, your ad may show for that query - even though you sell your software, it may not be free.

The Search Query Report bears that query information out. Once you've run the report, you can scan it to find great new options for negative keywords, like -free, further refining your campaigns to make them more efficient.

The Old Problem: "Other Unique Queries" Before today, the Search Query Report, while very helpful, had one major obstacle: a line item marked "other unique queries." The report rolled up many (according to them) individual, single-click queries into one line item. I guess the goal there was not to overburden the advertiser with too much data. However, in many cases, the "other unique queries" line item totaled a significant amount of clicks and, thus, ad spend. And if those keywords were not converting? You had no idea what they were to troubleshoot your keywords and negatives.

Yeah, But How Big of a Problem Is It Really? If you're not already running Search Query Reports, even before today's announcement, run one NOW! You'd be amazed at the irrelevant queries that will show your ad - even if you think you've caught them all with negative keywords.

Case Study: Deployable Systems To demonstrate just how powerful the information in the Search Query Report is, I'll share the story of our client, Deployable Systems. They carry rugged, all-terrain shipping cases - the sort of thing you'd pack if you were going to the battlezone in the deserts of Iraq. Tough stuff. They carry one brand called "storm cases".

After running a Search Query Report a while back, we found the term hurricane glass vases came up in the results. WHAT? That has to be about the most opposite thing from a storm case! What happened? Because we were using broad match for the storm case term, Google automatically invoked expanded broad match (which you cannot "opt out" of). This caused AdWords to think that hurricane was synonymous with storm and vases was a misspelling of cases. Obviously, we immediately added -hurricane and -vases as negative keywords!

A New Day: Showing ALL Queries By removing the rolled up line item and replacing with all search queries, Google has provided advertisers with significant insight into how to make their campaigns more cost-efficient. Now you can identify specific keyword combinations that affect AdWords ROI and profitability and address them appropriately as they arise. In some cases, we have clients whose "other unique queries" line may total over $6,000 in advertising spend per month. That's pretty significant, and we believe that one line item may hold the key to even further cost savings when mining negative keywords. Janet Driscoll Miller is the CEO and Lead Search Strategist of Search Mojo a full service search engine marketing firm. Her company offers both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services and Pay Per Click (PPC) Management services to help clients improve search engine rankings.

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