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30 AdWords Tips in 30 Days - Day #1 - See Actual Search Terms

In February, I posted an article on Spring Cleaning your AdWords Account.  Now that Spring is officially upon us, I wanted to share 30 AdWords Tips in 30 Days.  The Tips will range from introductory/beginner, to a little more advanced - hopefully something for all advertisers.


Tip #1 - See What Queries are Triggering your Ads with the Search Terms Report

If you're using Phrase, Broad, and/or Broad Match Modifier(BMM) as Match Types, chances are, your Keywords are showing for Queries (actual Search Terms that searchers are typing in) that you're not explicity bidding on.  Google provides you with a report, inside of your AdWords Account, that shows you most of these Queries (aka Search Terms) called the Search Terms Report.


To see the Search Terms Report:

1.  Log into your AdWords Account

2.  Click on the Keywords Tab* (main tab navigation)

3.  Click on the Details button (right beneath performance graph)

4.  Under Search Terms, click All or Selected**


*you can either view for all your Campaigns/Ad Groups, or use the navigation to enter into one Campaign/AdGroup and just see data from that Campaign/Ad Group


**you can view all Keyword data, or select certain Keywords by clicking on the check box next to the Keywords to see data associated with selected Keywords


Search Terms.jpg


Why Search Terms are Important

Search Terms are important for two main reasons - 


1.  You may find that you're matching into Queries that are not relevant to you.  If so, consider adding these as Negative Keywords.  Adding these as Negative Keywords will help you spend your budget more efficiently, and this could improve your CTRs, which may positively impact Quality Scores.


2.  If you see you're matching into Queries that are relevant to your business and perform well for you, consider directly bidding on these Keywords by adding to them to your Account.  Adding Keywords directly to your Account vs matching into them via Phrase, Broad, or BMM, will help give you more control over when/how/what Ad Copy serve with these Keywords, and it could result in more efficient Actual CPCs for these Keywords.

about Brian Valentini

Chicago-based husband and father who likes sports, traveling, and laughing. Excited about the field of Digital Marketing, especially Paid Search. Work-life = Vice President/Director of Search Marketing at DigitasLBi, a global digital marketing and technology agency.

April 2014

Great Idea 30 days 30 tips @vkore91 . Love it

Neha Gupta Top Contributor
April 2014

I really like this idea 30 days 30 tips Smiley Happy Looking foward to all 30 tips Smiley Happy




April 2014

Thanks, Nik & Neha - I thought it'd be good reminders for all kinds of advertisers - hopefully it's useful!

Ian Martin A
April 2014

Many thanks Smiley Happy 

barbara e
April 2014

I can't figure out for the life of me how to change the keywords, some of which really don't apply to my shop.

April 2014

@barbara - If you see Keywords that do not apply, I suggest you add them as Negative Keywords. I included a link below for adding Negative Keywords.  Hopefully this helps!


Add Negative Keywords -

Nandkumar C
April 2014

Hey Buddy Thanks for really helpful tips which working for me.


Mustafa H
May 2014

realy it is leasson of sucsess day by day, 


May 2014

How do you deal with the ever increasing share of "Others" in search query report? 

May 2014

@SearchRocks -- "Others" always presents a challenge, but I try to focus on the Search Terms that I do have and then add Negatives/Positives from there.