4 Keyword Filters to Run in Every Search Account

Anyone who manages paid search campaigns knows how important efficiency is. Hours can easily fly by when you are optimizing accounts and looking for opportunities to improve performance.

One thing I do in all of the accounts I manage is add filters at the keyword level to help me save time identifying problem and opportunity areas. Below are the 4 filters I create in every account and how I use them to improve campaign performance.

1. Below first page bid

While increasing bids above the first page minimums may not be an option for all advertisers, depending on budgets and purpose of the keywords, this filter is great for identifying keywords with opportunity to improve.

  • If the keyword is converting well and within your CPL or ROAS goals, increasing the bid will help with your competitiveness and could yield additional conversions.

Adwords Filters Bid

2. Zero impressions

I often hear or read suggestions to remove keywords that are not driving any impressions. While I understand large accounts can be messy and hard to manage, just because a keyword hasn’t driven impressions, doesn’t mean you should count it out. Perhaps those keywords haven’t been given a fair shot. Instead of deleting the keyword, I first try to increase bids by 200-400%. This may seem extreme, but in my experience, I have seen these same keywords drive great results in my accounts. (20% lift in clicks, 12% lift in conversions, and average position improvement of 55%)

Adwords Filter Impressions

3. High Cost, No Conversions

Depending on your budget, the “high” cost value will vary. Running this filter is an excellent way to identify spend wasters in your campaigns.

  • If your keywords has a high CTR but no conversions, this could mean your ads or landing pages need some work, as the users clicking through are not converting.
  • If your current bids are much higher than the Avg. CPC, perhaps decreasing your bid will help you control costs, especially if it is important for you to keep that keyword active.
  • If the keyword is broad match, adding more robust negatives will help you control the cost. Depending on your campaign structure, tightening the match type might also help control spend.

Adwords Filter No Conversion
4. High CPL or ROAS below target

Depending on your account goals (lead generation or e-commerce sales) this filter will vary. For the lead generation accounts I manage, most have a target cost per lead that keeps them profitable. This is the number I use in my filter.

Adwords Filter CPL

For the e-commerce accounts I manage, we have return on ad spend goals to keep them profitable. This is the number I use in my filter.

Adwords Filter ROAS
Running these filters helps identify converting keywords that might be hindering you from hitting your goals.

  • Analyze the conversion rate and number of conversions – If there is a low number of conversions and low conversion rate. Consider pausing the keyword. The cost to get a limited number of conversions may not be worth it, so funneling spend from that keyword to other converting keywords, may be the answer.
    • Also consider adjusting ad copy or the landing page, to ensure the low conversion rate is not due to customers expecting one thing and finding another when they click through to your page.
  • Review the Max CPC against the Avg. CPC. If your bid is higher than the Avg. CPC, try bidding down – Saving cost on each click can help lower the overall cost per lead or sale.
  • Review search queries on these keywords to see if additional negatives can be added to help control the overall cost.

Below first page bid, zero impressions, high cost with no conversions, and high CPL or low ROAS are just 4 of the many ways keyword data can be filtered for optimization. I have found that they can easily help identify top opportunities and top offenders in an account. Help yourself save time for optimization by running these and other filters in all of your accounts!

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