PPC Chat Streamcap – The Definitive Guide to the Search Query Report

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “The Definitive Guide to the Search Query Report.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Do you find that you add more ad group level or campaign level negative keywords based off the search query reports? Why?

  • We add more campaign level negatives to our clients accounts. We run these reports on a weekly basis to ensure we have all negatives added since there are always new searches. – Kristina Hughes (@KhughesCosta)
  • More campaign level, but not by a huge margin. A decent mix of both. And when we are doing adgroups by match type, we use negatives in adgroups for other match types. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
    •  I agree. Ad group level negatives are for structure. SQR’s reveal terms we don’t want at all –> global negatives. – Martin Rottgerding (@bloomarty)
  • Almost always at campaign level – or account via lists, to be precise. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Campaign Level Negatives to Account Negative Keyword Lists. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • A bit of both, but I’d say it skews more toward Campaign. I try to use Neg KW lists too whenever possible! – Crystal O’Neill (@CrystalA)
  • AdGroup level. Our Campaigns are so spread out and segmented we only do a few high level Campaign negative terms. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • More campaign level, but definitely depends on the type of products we’re hawking. – Logan Durant (@THELoganDurant)
  • Campaign level mostly but would like to get to more refined adgroup negatives when there are more hours in the day. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • Ad group level. I am always optimizing what ad group I want a query to show up in. – Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
  • Definitely more campaign level. Adgroup level negatives tend to be used more for fencing & so additions are less reactive. – Cassie Allinger (@CassieAllinger)
  • Campaign level. We narrow everything down to basically one top-performing ad group per campaign. – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
  • Campaign level I add more negatives, but ad group level is really where you add negatives to go from good to great! I tend to add many search partner negatives at the ad group level. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Yup, usually campaign level. Most negs from any source are usually campaign, very few exceptions. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • Depends. I look for anything to exclude and add to the highest level applicable. Usually campaign though. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Actually…I do cross reference a ton at the adgroup level for ad serving control. – Heather Cooan
  • AdGroup level negatives seem like they are 90% covering for the lies google tells us on how they will match keywords to queries. – Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
  • Ad Group level – for granularity (and maintaining account structure). – Tamsin Mehew (@TamsinMehew)
  • I think you have to distinguish between terms you don’t want at all (campaign and terms you want to cover somewhere else (adgroup). – Martin Rottgerding
    • Agreed. So tricky determining not just the terms, but the match type, which I’m sure is an upcoming question. – Brian Gaspar
  • They serve different purposes so it’s a bit of both when adding -tive KWs. – Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
  • With a hierarchial structure and no pure broads, I think adgroup negatives usually result from the structure, not the SQR later. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Adgroup level. Need to be make sure top level ads don’t show for specific product adgroups in same campaign. – Rod (@rodsblog)

Q2: Aside from finding negative keywords, what is your most beneficial use of the search query report?

  • Finding new converting terms to give you more adgroup and keyword ideas. Also a great source for seo content – blogs, q&a, resources, etc. – Mark Kennedy
  • Trends. – Cassie Allinger
  • Cutt unqualified clicks & saving money. Bar Rescue’s Jon Tapper said the way to be profitable is to cut costs. – Brian Gaspar
  • Additional terms, geo-modifers, local knowledge/slang, etc to add as phrase or exact match terms. – Nicole Mintiens
  • New opportunities, identifying search volumes and new themes. – Andrew Baker
  • New queries and word combinations to target. – Michelle Morgan
  • 1) Making sure queries trigger the right ads 2) ideas for more ad groups and campaign 3) new landing page ideas. – Matt Umbro
  • Finding low volumes of keywords that might hit Low Search Volume filter, but through creative Keyword Matching, can be targeted. – James Svoboda
  • Finding queries that can be split out into new ad groups & topical news queries. – Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)
  • Cross-channel insight. Most “search query reports” refer to paid raw queries. I also check social, natural, & internal search. – Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
  • Also helps to determine calls to actions and better landing page ideas. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Finding new KWs. Strategizing on new campaigns to create. Taking business away from the companies’ competitors. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • Finding new terms to add to the account that are converting. – Kristina Hughes
  • Finding positive keywords and seeing what language is popular, for use in ad copy. – Tamsin Mehew
  • Better understanding of your customers vocabulary used to describe your product/service. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Seeing very weird queries originating from the search partner network! – Matt Umbro
  • Also when running a SQR on PLA campaigns you can identify product searches that are converting. – Andrew Baker
  • Additional exact match keywords to add & ideas for ad copy text. – Blair Kerrison (@blairkerrison)
  • Also great for helping determine search intent behind terms. Match type changes needed. – Crystal O’Neill
  • Product/Service segments that the audience is interested in that often go un-noticed. Can use on Landing Pages! – James Svoboda
  • Stacking bids by match type, digging up new positives, on display audience insights especially on remarketing campaigns! – Heather Cooan
  • ID’ing low-cost, conversion-friendly keywords. – Eric Bryant
  • Basically just finding new keywords for finer targeted adgroups or bidding. Ads, vocabulary & landing pages all come later IMO. – Martin Rottgerding
  • +60% of kws never have impressions over many years. If they are not even showing up in SQR get rid of the dead weight. – Chris Haleua

Q3: How have the phrase and exact close variants performed in your campaigns (or not performed)?

  • Eh, here and there. Sometimes well, others not. I’ve had a couple exact-close variants be nightmares though. – Michelle Morgan
  • Still excluding. – Heather Cooan
  • Very mixed results, but nothing drastic either way. Sometimes Google is way off, sometimes helpful. – Robert Brady
  • Not. Typically do not use them as I can always control keyword matching and performance better than G can. – James Svoboda
  • Haven’t seen anything awful. But haven’t seen an increase in volume either. – Richard Fergie
  • Seen impressions come down, but clicks have remained level while conversion rates have gone up. Hit or miss though. – Brian Gaspar
  • Not, too, too bad, but not great either. However, my sample size has been small as I am not using them everywhere. – Mark Kennedy
  • The all encompassing answer: It depends. Lots of variation but typically higher CTR & lower cpc on exact but little/no traffic. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Somewhat pleasantly surprised…however, I do segment my ad groups and match types so finely there isn’t much room for variance. – Matt Umbro
    • Have you seen an incremental lift in convs? – Crystal O’Neill
      • No, little bit higher CPA, but still acceptable. You? – Matt Umbro
        • Haven’t tested it much – leery of if the lift is incremental or taking away from broad/MBM for example. – Crystal O’Neill
  • Have not evaluated the ‘merits’ of close match types in our account yet, but haven’t noticed anything unusual. – Dennis Petretti
  • Depends on content, title tags, and other landing page factors. Exact match can perform well if you do good landing page work. – Jesse Semchuck
  • The NP and NM really haven’t done…. anything. We chicken little’d again. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Seems to be working fine in campaigns where it’s active. Haven’t seen anything glaringly awful. – Logan Durant
  • Quality score is everything on exact match. – Jesse Semchuck
  • My SQR shows the largest no. of conversions from last mo. was Broad Match (branded terms). Oh wait a minute. I might have misspoke. If kwd I’ve chosen for ad group is “the fat cat inn” but kwd that is converting is “fat cat inn”, which match type is this? – Eric Bryant
  • Clarification: Variation across verticals/industries. – Nicole Mintiens
  • So far nothing conclusive – a mixed bag. – Andrew Baker
  • Seen cost/conv generally higher than exact match, comparable to broad match. – Tamsin Mehew
  • We saw near exact 3% and near phrase 4% of all clicks, so no force to ne reckoned with. Similar metrics to their siblings. – Chris Gutknecht (@ChrisGutknecht)

Q4: Do you make use of the matched query report in Google Analytics? What additional value do you find in this report?

  • ENGAGEMENT – I wrote that big as it add big context the value your search query. SQR + MSQR + VLOOKUP + Coffee = Insight – Andrew Baker
  • Not as much as I should. I lean on the adwords SQR more. – Mark Kennedy
  • Yes we run these weekly for our clients in finding potential new PPC keywords. – Kristina Hughes
  • This is controversial for me, I can’t get cost data so I never use this report. I can see rev in other GA reports. – Heather Cooan
  • Yep.Gives you some great ideas for keyword expansion and also you can compare user engagement for similar keywords on SEO & PPC. – Rod
  • Yes. Good insights into keyword matching patterns between bidded keywords and searched queries. – James Svoboda

Q5: How does your analysis of PLA/Google Shopping search query reports differ from a non PLA/Google Shopping search query report?

  • Really something that has to be done at the AdGroup level due to how you are AdGrouping by audience. – Brian Gaspar
  • I’m more liberal in excluding queries as even the broadest terms can trigger PLAs. – Matt Umbro
    • Yes, many negatives to add when they’re new. – Dennis Petretti
    • Same here. Since you have to look at campaign level terms from the interface, context is often missing. – Martin Rottgerding
  • PLA SQRs are much messier. But there’s more gold to be found since there can be completely new terms in there. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Identify specific product search queries that you can consider building new AGs. I’ve seen some bizarre search queries though. – Andrew Baker
  • After expanding negatives for PLA groups, I use PLA SQR to expand KW in core search campaigns where alignment control is tighter. – Chris Haleua
  • Main goal here is to gain control of the auto target with negs and find gold to build out additional campaigns. – Heather Cooan
  • Exclude low-value, broader queries that are racking up clicks & cost. Definitely see lots more short-tail queries w/ PLAs. – Logan Durant


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• Alma Smith (@Alma_Smith)
• Andrew Baker (@AndrewBaker72)
• Blair Kerrison (@blairkerrison)
• Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
• Cassie Allinger (@CassieAllinger)
• Chris Gutknecht (@ChrisGutknecht)
• Chris Haleua (@chrishaleua)
• Crystal O’Neill (@CrystalA)
• Dennis Petretti (@Denetti)
• Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
• Kristina Hughes (@KhughesCosta)
• Logan Durant (@THELoganDurant)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Martin Rottgerding (@bloomarty)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
• Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Rod (@rodsblog)
• Tamsin Mehew (@TamsinMehew)

The iStreamCapturer

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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