Search query reports. You love to hate ‘em and you hate to love ‘em. Let’s be honest, as search marketers we’ve got bigger fish to fry, right? After all, we’ve got data to analyze, quick pivots to make, bid optimizations to run through. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all other aspects of search marketing and meeting client demands that it just feels easier to set it and forget it. Search query reports (SQR’s) are important for three reasons: Protecting the brand, controlling cost, and driving the most relevant traffic possible. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to assume we’re talking about SQR’s looking at search terms that haven’t already been added or excluded in your account. I know everyone does their reports a little differently, my weapon of choice can be found here, a really helpful process outlined by Mike Fleming.
Search Query Reports Protect the Brand
Have you taken a dive into the search terms that triggered your ads lately? Chances are, if you’re doing it on a regular basis, you find some pretty interesting search terms. Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes they are creative and provide a new perspective on your product or service. Yet, unfortunately, sometimes they are embarrassing and NSFW. This is one of the biggest reasons why it’s so important to be doing routine SQR’s on our accounts. If we’re not careful we could be serving ads on search terms that the client would have conniption over if they knew that they had been associated with and spent their dollars on. The last thing we want to do is have the client ask us one day to see a SQR on one of their campaigns and then have to explain why we spent X amount of money on an embarrassing term.
Do you have any accounts that seem to be constantly limited by budget? Whether it’s because the vertical is highly competitive and terms are expensive, or you’re working with a small business that has to make every dollar count, it’s part of being a search marketer. Regardless of budget or size, we can’t afford to be wasting dollars on terms that are not relevant to our campaigns. Just think about all the trash that gets broad in from broad match. Remember that time you put in a bunch of new broad match keywords and all of a sudden your spend blew through the roof? No, just me? Anyway, the point is, by excluding traffic that has nothing to do with our product or service, or is better served by matching to another campaign, we’re making every dollar count. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned.
Driving Relevant Traffic
This might actually be the most important reason to have a routine in place for your SQR’s. Driving relevant traffic can’t be stressed enough. By fencing in search terms, whether it be adding good keywords that we didn’t think about but the consumer uses and converts on, or excluding terms that never convert because ultimately they have nothing to do with what we’re offering, we’re ultimately providing a better experience for the searcher. This results in higher click through rates, higher conversion rates, and better quality score. This can in turn help control costs by reducing CPC’s. It’s no secret, Google rewards those who offer the most relevant ads and provide the best possible user experience. It starts with the type of traffic we’re driving.
Don’t fall into the trap of setting it and forgetting it. It’s not glamorous and it isn’t always fun. Yet, it’s just as important as many of our other routines and responsibilities. It could save you from potential headaches down the road. Who knows, it could also help you tap into some good quality keywords that you never even thought of.