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Search Engine Marketing

Search Terms Report

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What is the search terms report? 

To better understand the use of this tool, it is important to understand the difference between a search term and a keyword.

Search term: A search term is the exact word or set of words a customer enters when searching on or one of Google’s Search Network sites.

Keyword: A keyword is the word or set of words that Google advertisers create for a given ad group to target your ads to customers.

Using the search terms report helps you to see how your ads performed when triggered by actual searches within the search network

If you want to see how your ads performed when triggered by actual searches within the search network the search terms report is the tool that you are looking for. It helps you identify new search terms with high potential, or see how closely actual searches are related to your selected keywords.  

Why use the search terms report? 

The search terms report will help you identify new search terms with high potential and add them to your keyword list. 

If you are looking for search terms that aren’t as relevant to your business and add them as negative keywords this tool can also be of help. 

And it has the potential to avoid spending money showing your ad to people who aren’t interested in it.

How to use the search terms report

Depending on your keyword matching options, the search terms listed might be different than your keyword list.

The ‘match type’ column tells you how closely the search terms that triggered your ads on Google are related to the actual keywords in your account. By seeing which match types are working well for which keywords and searches, you can refine match types for all your keywords so that only the right searches cause your ad to show. The ‘Keyword’ column tells you which of your keywords matched someone’s search term and triggered your ad. This column does not show by default. 

How to view my search terms report

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click ‘all campaigns’ in the navigation pane on the left, then click ‘keywords’ in the page menu.
  3. Click ‘search terms’ at the top of the page.
  4. You’ll see data on which search terms triggered impressions and clicks.
  5. You can alter your search terms report and modify which columns show by clicking the column icon. This will allow you to add, remove or reorder the columns in your report.
  6. To download the data in a report, click the 3-dot icon and select ‘download’.

Bear in mind that you’ll only see search terms that were used by people at least eight hours ago and have either received clicks in the past 30 days or were searched for by a significant number of people. Any search terms that did not meet these criteria will be summed up in the ‘other search terms’ row.

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