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The purpose of this analysis is to decrease your account CPA & improve your CVR by analyzing your search terms report. Sure, we could improve our quality score, test landing pages and do a hundred other things as well but I’m assuming you’ve already done the majority of this and are looking for other options. We could also just eliminate certain keywords but in this case, the keywords firing are pretty significant to our overall conversions so we’re diving deep to reduce spend. Let’s get into it!

Step 1. Download your keywords report and take a look at the match types you’re utilizing. If you have all exact matches, there’s no need to continue reading. Nicely done.

Step 2. Now, assuming you have Broad Match Modified and Phrase Match keywords, let’s take a look at the search terms report. You’re going to need a lot of data so make sure you pull a large enough time period to have statistical significance (I typically strive for 6 – 12 months). When I’m downloading a report like this, I like to include the keyword attribute, conversions, cost/conversion, clicks, impressions, average CPC & cost. Once you have your dates set, download it and open it in a Google Docs/Excel sheet.


Step 3. Sort it by alphabetical order and manually review these search terms. I don’t take a look at individual search term per say but what I do look for are large quantities of similar words within my report. I typically look for words like “Best”, “Are”, “For” etc. or any other word that appears to be fairly common throughout the report. From there create a list of all these recurring words so you can reference them in the next step.

Step 4. Copy your search terms, conversions, clicks and cost. Paste them in a new tab and organize like so:[image_with_animation alignment=”” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”]

Step 5. And this is where the fun begins! Select your search terms column. From there you’ll need to go to:

  • Data -> Filter -> Filter By Condition -> Select “Text Contains” -> Insert phrase you’re interested in and hit ok.
  • Example

Sheets will then sort your search terms, conversions, clicks and cost based on the cells that contain the term you’re looking for; in my case, “best”.

Step 6. Total up your search terms conversions, clicks & cost. This has to be done manually as if you sum your columns with a formula, it will pull the total data in each column. I’m not an expert with sheets so typically I just highlight the columns I want and check the sum in the bottom right hand corner. If you have a better solution, let me know!

What I like to do at this point is create a summary chart to keep track of how searches with this term perform compared to my account averages. I sort it based on my search terms conversions, clicks & total spend to then calculate my CPA. See below:

Great. So now we have our base metrics for how search terms related to “best” are performing.

Step 7. Once I’ve done this, I create another summary section that includes all of my potential suspect search terms information including it’s CVR. This allows me to analyze everything in a centralized place and easily determine the fate of specific words within my search terms report.

I then create a threshold (usually 25% above the account average CPA) when picking whether or not words stay. If it’s below the threshold, it stays. If it’s above, I add a phrase match negative to the account. By adding phrase match negatives to particular words, you not only eliminate wasted ad spend, but you reduce your CPA on your already converting keywords and improve your CVR.