Google Ads Search Terms Report: Complete Guide

google ads search terms report

One of the main reports that can be helpful for your Google Ads search campaigns is the Search Terms Report. You can utilize this report to see the actual search queries that are triggering your advertisements.

You can watch the video below to learn more about using the Search Terms Report in Google Ads, or watch it directly on YouTube. In addition, the corresponding article below will give you more insights.

Google Ads Search Terms Report


What is the Search Terms Report?

The search terms report will show the search queries that people are typing into Google to trigger your Google search ads. You can see the full terms that people type in and the targeted keywords that matched each search term. In addition, you can see statistics for each term over a certain period of time.

Where is the Search Terms Report?

1. Open your Google Ads account and click on a search campaign.
2. Click on the ‘Keywords’ tab on the left-hand side of the screen.
3. Click on the ‘Search Terms’ tab on the top, which will be next to the ‘Negative Keywords’ tab
4. Adjust the dates to see search terms for different portions of the year.

Search Terms Report

how to use google ads search terms report
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Google Ads Announces Less Data Will Show in Search Terms Report

As of September 2020, Google Ads has announced that it will show less data for insignificant searches. The official statement, which can be found here, says the following:

“We are updating the search terms report to only include terms that were searched by a significant number of users. As a result you may see fewer terms in your report going forward.”

I made a short video with my thoughts on the topic and how it impacts advertisers. You can watch it on YouTube as well.

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How to Use the Search Terms Report

You want to use the Google Ads Search Terms Report to find the top search queries that are used when your advertisements are showing. The data you can find will be very helpful, and it is a report that advertisers should view on a weekly basis. I listed 3 best practices below when using the search terms report.

1. Add Negative Keywords

If you find terms that are not converting or that are unrelated to your products and services, you can exclude them altogether. You can click on the box next to the search term and then click the ‘Add as negative keyword’ link at the top.

add as negative keyword
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You can add the negative keyword to the Ad Group level, Campaign level, or add it directly to your Negative Keyword List.

add search term as negative keyword
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2. Find New Keywords to Target

You can organize your campaigns and ensure you are sending traffic to the best landing pages. You can find specific terms that might be better suited to be in their own Ad Group. I would recommend looking at each search query and organize them by landing page.

If I find a search term that I feel I can optimize by putting it in a different Ad Group, I will exclude it from the existing Ad Group, add it to a new one, and make sure the ads are sending traffic to the best landing page.

find new search terms to target
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3. View Data For Your Search Terms

One great strategy is to look at your top-performing and worst-performing search terms. The more data you get about each term, the better you can optimize for the terms and keywords that are driving conversions. In addition, it can be helpful for finding negative keyword ideas.

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find your best search terms
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4. Download the Search Terms Report

You can download your search terms as an Excel .csv file, .pdf file, download for Google Sheets, email the report, and schedule it. If you want to make sure you are viewing the report on a weekly basis, you can schedule emails so you see it on the same day each week, directly into your email account.

download search terms from the report
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In Summary

The Google AdWords search terms report is one of the most useful pieces of data after you run your campaign. If you have an ongoing campaign, you can look at the report on a weekly basis and use it to drive more conversions at a lower cost. When you are targeting keywords, it can be very useful to see the search queries that people type in before they see your ads.

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