Google AdWords Keywords

Understanding the Search terms report

The "Keyword" column tells you which one of your keywords matched someone’s search term and triggered your ad. This information can help you see your keywords “in action” by showing you how they are matching to actual searches.

You can use the data in the "Keyword" column to improve your keyword list. For example, let’s say you sell tulips. When you look at your Search terms report, you see that your broad match keyword flowers triggers your ad to show when people search for red roses and purple orchids - flowers you don’t sell. So, you decide to refine your keyword list to focus on terms and phrases more specific to the products you do offer: tulips.

To enable the "Keyword" column, click the Columns drop-down menu and choose "Modify columns." In the "Select metrics" section, click Attributes. Then, click the Add link next to "Keyword" and click Apply.

Understanding the "Match type" column

The "Match type" column in your search terms report 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 to better hone in on the right customers.

How search term match type is determined

To help you understand how the search term match type is determined, we'll use the following example:

Ad group Keyword
Ad group A Exact match keyword [purple flowers]
Ad group B Phrase match keyword "purple flowers"
Ad group C Broad match keyword purple flowers

Keeping these ad groups and keywords in mind, we'll use the following table to show you how different search terms that triggered your ads on Google are related to your keywords. Note that when the search term match type is a close variation, this includes misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, or accents.

It's important to keep in mind that a search term match type listed in your report might not be the same as the match type you’ve selected for the keyword that triggered the ads. This is because keywords with broader match types can still match search terms in narrower ways. For example, if someone searched for purple flowers, and your broad match keyword purple flowers triggered your ad, the search terms match type would be exact match, even though in your ad group, purple flowers is broad match.

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