In the world of paid search, there is a wealth of data right at your fingertips. From campaigns to ad groups to keywords to ads, paid advertisers can analyze at so many different levels of granularity. While each of these ways to view the data has worth in its own way, search query data is the most unique, and arguably the most valuable. Search queries are the one true look into the mind of your audience. While clicks and conversions are the what, search queries are the why. Here are three ways to use your search query reports to your full advantage.
- Pinpointing negative keywords
When I first started my career in paid search, downloading a search query report simply meant finding keywords to exclude due to their irrelevance or high spend and low conversions. While this is certainly not the only thing that search query reports are valuable for, it certainly has its place in any account optimization. Depending on the size of the account sweeping through this data weekly, biweekly or monthly is an easy step to take to manage spend and funnel out major outliers.
- Revamping your account structure
When starting a paid search campaign from scratch, keyword research centers on building off the advertisers idea of how their audience will find them. And while your assumptions may pay off and help you launch successful campaigns, they are still just that, assumptions. If after several months your account is still not living up to expectations, diving into search queries could work wonders for your performance. By consolidating your keyword list to only queries that converted, you can focus your efforts on only optimizing the best of the best. You will be able to focus more on the optimal bids, times of day or days of week for your account rather than keeping up with hundreds of lack luster keywords.
- Discovering meaningful trend insights
While account restructures can be immensely helpful, it is not always the right time to do one. Your account might be too new or you may have done an overhaul of the account just recently. In the interim, using your search queries to discover trends in your data can help maintain or improve the health of your account. Examples of trends include:
- User intent/stage of the decision journey: Aligning your paid search goals with the most relevant part of the consumer decision making journey will ensure that you are focusing on searches that lead to conversions. For example, if your goal is a purchase, you may want to consider limiting searches for top of the funnel product research.
- Unexpected wins: You may notice search trends that don’t seem on the surface like they would lead to conversions. However, by looking at months of query data, you may notice that queries not directly related to your product or service convert well.
- Finding deceptively relevant terms: On the other hand, you may discover queries that on the surface seem to be very relevant to your business but may mean something different in the eyes of your audience. For example, a term that accurately describe the service you provide might unknowingly be the brand name of another company. Not only is your audience less likely to have your brand in mind while searching, your cost per click is likely higher due to the direct competition.
- Drilling down to the most relevant part of a query: While certain terms might have a poor conversion rate in its pure form, you can find more specific variations of that term to keep or exclude to refine the account. For example, by excluding queries with your competitors name and the term login, you are removing their current customers while still targeting people that know their brand but have not yet committed.