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Grow Your Audience: How Search Query Reports Can Help Grow Your Search Programs

By:   Date posted: February 21, 2012

Whether running search campaigns for your own small business or working on search marketing for an agency, you are always working to ensure that you or the advertiser is getting the most out of search. Although you may feel like you fully built out your search campaigns and ad groups because of your familiarity with the product lines, you are forgetting the most important factor in search marketing – the consumer.

Consumer search methods are not the same, and even though you may feel you have the best keywords running, you may be missing opportunities by not taking keyword-matching search queries not currently in your program into consideration. Luckily, Google AdWords and MSN adCenter have worked to ensure that you can find those incremental conversions or activity that you can use to further expand your program. By using search query reports, you can discover and create new match types and keywords that were not previously in your account.

Here are three ways that search query reports can help and how to use them effectively:

Increasing activity – If your search program is solely a traffic account where you want to drive the most traffic to your website, using search query reports in their simplest form can help you find relevant queries that you create into keywords to drive more impressions and increase the click through rate (CTR) to your site.

Incremental conversions – Most search programs are set up with goals on the campaign or keyword level. Whether they are well-performing or slightly leveraged keywords, you may want to explore the top 10 to 25 top converting keywords to find incremental search queries that are not currently in your program. By adding the top converting queries as keywords into your program, you are only adding more potentially high converting keywords that will add to the growth of your search program.

Optimization – When tapping into your search query reports, you can also find out what search queries consumers are typing in that you do NOT want to match to and show an ad for. For instance, if you sell new cars and trucks but do not sell used cars, you may want to eliminate the search of used cars as an ad target to avoid displaying an ad that is specifically targeting potential new car buyers. In doing this on a consistent basis, you can ensure that you are not driving up keyword impressions on the wrong keywords, which can potentially lower your cost-per-clicks and increase click through rates.

Tap into your reporting tools on the paid channels or contact your search engine representatives to view what customers are searching for and matching within your program. In the short term, you can find quick wins in growing the activity or conversions within your search program, but when you complete this “search and find” on a regular basis, you can continue to grow your program over the long run. With advertisers continuing to look for quick wins and long-term growth, having your keywords fully built out to support search queries that are not in your program will ensure that you can find incremental conversions or activity, lower cost per clicks and increase click through rates.

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Justin Gillespie is a Search Account Manager for Performics, where his background includes over three years in operational efficiencies and keyword and bid optimization in the Local Search arena, which he is currently using to help effectively manage enterprise level clients. To interact with Gillespie, follow him on Twitter @JustinGillespie.

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