Google Ads Search Terms Report

Google Ads Search Terms Report COVER
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Dec 2, 2022

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When running a Google Ads campaign, one of the main reports that can be helpful to your endeavours is the Google Ads Search Terms Report. Through this report, you can get a look at the many search queries that are triggering your ads.

Read along as explain how this report works, the difference between terms and keywords, as well as how you can use it to your advantage.

What is the Search Terms Report?

The Google Ads’ Search Terms Report allows you to see all the different search queries that people are typing into their Google search bar to trigger your ads. Not only will this report show you the full terms that people are using, but also the targeted keywords that ended up matching with them.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the way Google Ads interprets search terms, here’s a quick rundown:

Search terms are the exact word or sets of words that customers enter when searching for something on Google or Search Partner Network sites. When a customer completes a search, the Google algorithm instantly presents a list of websites that are closely linked to the content of that search.

For instance, if someone searches “used cars in Brighton”, Google will show a list of dealerships as well as websites that are located in…Brighton! And if you happen to be one of those dealerships and you’re running an ad to attract more customers, then you’re in luck. Why? Simply because chances are you’ll appear for those people.

How to access the Search Terms Report

Before we get into the benefits of using the report, let’s first run you through how you can access it:

  1. First off, sign into your Google Ads account
  2. Then, click on All Campaigns in the navigation panel on the left
  3. Next up, click on Keywords in the page menu
  4. From the list under the Keywords menu, click on Search terms

As we’ve mentioned, in the report, you’ll find data on the search terms that have been used by customers and have triggered impressions and clicks.

Within the report’s page, you get access to other features, including:

Within the report’s page, you get access to other features, including:
  • A columns button: This allows you to alter your search terms report and modify which columns you want to see and which you don’t
  • A download button: This one is pretty obvious. It basically allows you to download the data in your report. You can choose the format that you want the report in once you click on the button
  • Segment button: With this feature, you can segregate the report’s table into time, conversions, device (where the ad was seen/clicked), or networks

The types of Search Term Matches

One of the first things that you’ll notice in your search terms report is the match type. In a broader sense, this refers to how close the term is to your keyword(s). Currently, Google Ads’ search terms report has four times of matches, and they are:

  • Exact match: For example, your keyword is “white shoes”, and the customer searched for “white shoes” as well
  • Exact match (close variant): Still, your keyword is “white shoes”. However, the customer searched for a close variant of “white shoes”. In most cases, these variants are misspellings or variations of your keyword, e.g. “white shoe” or “white shos”
  • Phrase match: If your keyword was “white shoes” and the customer searched for something like “men’s white shoes”, their search term will be flagged as a phrase match. This refers to customers typing in a search term that includes your keyword plus additional details
  • Broad match: If your keyword was “white shoes” and the customer searched for something like “shoes” or “summer shoes”, their search term will be flagged as a broad match

Benefits of the Google Ads Search Terms Report

Benefits of the Google Ads Search Terms Report

You can use the Google Ads search terms report to your advantage in a number of ways. If implemented properly, the data from these reports can do wonders for your future advertising campaigns. See below:

Identifying new search terms

Identifying terms with high potential by tracking what terms users have been searching for is made easier with the Google Ads Search Terms report. Indeed, it gives you access to terms you thought users were searching for as well as ones you didn’t know about.

Once you have a solid list of terms you aren’t familiar with, you can start adding them to your keyword list.

Identifying negative keywords

Another great thing that the Google search terms report can reveal is terms that you thought were relevant but turned out not to be.

For instance, if you have a shoe business in London, you may think that “sportswear London” is relevant. However, upon inspecting the search terms report, you realise that this term isn’t really working for your target audience.

Turns out you’re wasting your time and your paid clicks. The solution? Adding that term to your negative keywords list.

Better understanding your audience

By getting a glimpse of the search behaviours of your audiences, you can better understand their needs. This is quite useful for both present and future endeavours. That’s because it can help you better reach your target audiences using keywords and terms that matter.

Not only that, but you can also implement such data in your SEO efforts as well as improve customer relations. And nothing is really more important than your relationship with your customers as a business.

Create new landing pages

Based on the findings of your search term reports, you can create newer and better landing pages for your ads. After all, understanding what your customers want and need can help you to produce landing pages that seamlessly connect with their respective ads.

Having unique and engaging selling propositions as well as compelling benefits in a landing page is kind of useless if you don’t include properly targeted keywords and terms.


The Google Ads search terms report is one of the most practical pieces of data marketers can use. If you have an ongoing campaign, you can consistently check the report to improve your conversions and lower your costs.

Properly relying on the report can help you to streamline all of your advertising efforts seamlessly. It can also influence each and every aspect of the customer experience.

Given that the platform is free to use and accessible to everyone, we deem it foolish to ignore it.

Let us help with Google Ads

Running Google Ads can be a hassle, especially if you have a business to take care of. Worry not, though, as we’re here to help. Just book a discovery call with us today!

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