The search query report was introduced in Google Adwords last summer. The report shows performance data for the actual search queries that triggered your ads. You can easily run the report in your Google Adwords account by simply going to the reports tab, and selecting Search Query Performance Report.

If you’ve run a search query report in Google Adwords you very well may be aware that there are some problems with the report. For example, a good majority of search query examples may say, “168 other unique queries”. This basically means that these search queries show stats for low search and click volume. They can be labeled as one off search queries that won’t likely be used again. I realize this can be very frustrating, however, the search query report can reveal new keywords that you don’t have in your account. Below are two major reasons why you should be running the search query performance report in all of your Adwords accounts:

Major Reason #1: New Keyword Ideas

The search query report will give you a list of actual search queries that customers are typing in the search bar to trigger your ad. It’s good to know this information especially if you find some keywords that aren’t currently in your account. The search queries that the report shows were triggered by your broad match keywords (more than likely). By adding these newly found keywords into your account clicks will now be triggered through this particular keyword rather than a general broad match keyword that originally triggered your ad. This can help you identify more clearly and precisely which keywords are generating the most traffic/conversions rather than having all of your data lumped into just a few broad matched keywords. And this will help with your ranking as you bid directly on these terms.

For example, if I sold dog food, and I had the keyword for ‘dog food’ broad match in my account, my ads could be triggered by a plethora of other keywords that are not in my account because of the nature of broad match. By running a search query report you may find that people are typing in ‘natural dog food’ or ‘organic dog food’. Then you can add these keywords into their own ad groups with targeted ad text specifically for these keywords to help increase quality traffic and conversions.

Major Reason #2: Negative Keyword Ideas

Using this method can also help discover new negative keywords for your account. If you don’t offer natural or organic dog food, then you should add “natrual” and “organic” to your negative keyword list. This is a great way to qualify your traffic, decrease spend and increase conversions.

For example, I have a client who sells cake toppers for weddings, birthdays and other celebratory events. We only have about 10-15 cake toppers and most are very general, and not themed. By running a search query report, I found that many people were typing in keywords like, Spider Man cake toppers or funny cake toppers and receiving my ad. Well, we don’t carry Spider Man cake toppers nor are any of our cake toppers considered funny. Therefore, I added these keywords as negatives in my cake topper ad group and have already seen a decline in spend and a better ROI on these keywords.