When you haven’t got enough time to manage your Google Ad campaigns still do this!

Yes, it is true that running successful Google Ads campaigns does take time and energy. But what if your busy with other aspects of the business and hiring a PPC agency to manage it for you is not an option?

If you only have limited time, then the least I would always recommend looking at your search terms.

What is a search term?

A search term is the actual text that a person has typed into the Google search bar. This search text (search term) triggers the keyword your bidding on and then displays your ad.

An example to help improve ad quality  

Let’s say you’re a Surrey-based hairdressing salon and you are biding on the keyword “hairdressers in Surrey”. A person (let's call her Sue) also based in Surrey is looking for a new hairdresser. Sue visits Google, types into the search bar “women’s hairdresser in Surrey”. Your ad pops up, she clicks, she calls, and you get the business – job done.

Well almost...

If you look at the keywords, then you will see that “hairdressers in Surrey” got you the phone call (conversion). But, there is a bit more information that you could use. For example, in your ads and the landing page if you look at the search term that converted instead.

Sue used the term “women’s” in her search. What if 90% of your phone calls came from a search term that included “women’s”? You could then add this to your adverts and or landing pages to become even more relevant to women like Sue searching for your type of business.

An example to reduce wasted spend  

We’ll stay with your make-believe hair salon in Surrey, but this time Jane is a hairdresser searching. Imagine now Jane typed in “hairdresser suppliers in Surrey” and your ad shows but you’re not a supplier. What’s more, Jane doesn’t read the ad and clicks on it and costs you let’s say £2.00. Lands on your website and realises that you’re not the business she is looking for and leaves.

She still clicked. You got charged. You didn’t get the business. Now times that by let’s say 20 times per week and over a year… That’s a lot of wasted advertising budget.

Looking at search terms this way helps you not only create better ads and website landing pages but also save money too.

If you have not looked at search terms before they are in the search terms report tab.

Where can you find the Search Terms report tab?

At the time of writing, you can find the search terms report by first going to the keywords section of your Google Ads campaigns. Along the top of your right-hand screen there are four tabs:

  • Search Keywords
  • Negative Keywords
  • Search Terms
  • Auction Insights     

Select search terms and a list of all the searches that people typed into the Google search bar will list.  

Now you have located the correct report understanding what to look for is important.

Ok, so you have a search terms report - now what?

I look at this on a weekly basis, but you may only have time once a month which should be the minimum. Make sure you set your time range – for this example let’s say 30 days.

My client’s data is private so I shall use my demo account as an example. As your aware Pledge Consultancy provides PPC Management and I bid on a variety of keywords around that service.

Yet, as you will see from the screenshot below, I was not aware that there is a PPC toilet paper company. It only generated 1 click before I spotted it and cost £1.78 but costs could have soon mounted up if I did not check.


This is the basic overview of search terms. I hope it encourages you to learn more as it can help with your pay per click performance. Especially when you're short on time!

Speaking of time.

Struggling fitting Google Ads management into your schedule, consider my PPC Management service?

I offer a free PPC audit of your existing account and its super easy to get started. Drop me a line or complete a form and I will be in touch.

Stacey Pledge

About Stacey Pledge

I'm a PPC Specialist helping clients across the UK, Europe and the US get the best from their pay-per-click campaigns and reach their business goals.

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