The major advantage of paid search over organic search is the instant capability to choose and modify keywords.  Google Adwords provides the ability to control pay per click budgets by optimizing bids at the campaign, adgroup, and keyword level.  Along with adjusting bids throughout the campaign, a report of keywords that triggered ads is available.  This report is known as the searched term report, and it can be found under the keywords tab at both the campaign and adgroup level.

This report is highly beneficial for your campaign because you are able to see a list of keywords that visitors searched for that triggered your ads.  Below are practices that should be employed to reduce unnecessary spending, find keyword opportunities, and organize your campaign’s keywords for optimal traffic and conversions.



Within the searched term report, you will see the actual searches by your customers that triggered your ad and led to a click.  Regular maintenance on the searched term report on the campaigns allows you to control your ad costs.  Learn how your customers are finding your ads and improve your campaign by adding relevant and converting keywords to your ad groups or omitting irrelevant and poor performing keywords to the negative list.

Add Keywords That Converted

Keep keywords that are relevant to your campaign, ones that converted, and have high click through rates.  By adding these keywords to your campaign, you will:

  1. Have more control over keyword bids
  2. Increase your keywords, adgroup and overall campaign CTR
  3. Increase Clicks and Conversions
  4. Change the type of search match
  5. Increase relevant traffic


As there are keywords that can improve your campaign, there are keywords that can drain your budget and hurt your campaign with unwanted clicks and impressions.  Control your costs by going through the searched term report and adding keywords to the negative keyword list that are:

  1. Not relevant
  2. Have low click through rates
  3. High costs,
  4. Low Quality Score
  5. No conversions


Remove Keywords That Have Low CTR

Broad Match

The searched term report is an important tool to monitor with keywords set on broad match within your campaign.  With broad match selected, ads will be triggered with relevant matches of the active keywords in the campaigns.  Broad match can be helpful bringing in relevant searches for the keywords you chosen, but it could also include unwanted keywords. Check through the report to regularly take advantage of new keyword opportunities and remove poor performing keywords.



Keep your negative keyword lists organized by adding keywords to the campaign level rather than to each ad group unless it’s absolutely necessary.  Doing so will reduce unnecessary redundancies of negative keywords in multiple adgroups.  Take advantage of the negative keyword lists available in Shared Library in Adwords to build and manage lists and add them to all of your campaigns.


Duplicate Adgroup Impressions

Avoid the same keyword triggering multiple adgroups by checking the searched term report to view which keywords are triggering which adgroups.   A keyword triggering more than one adgroup is an indicator there are duplicate keywords in your campaign competing for each other.  Evaluate which keyword is the better performer (converting the most, better quality score,, better CTR, etc) and pause the poor performing keyword of the two.  This will help drive the CTR of the better performing keyword up and reduce your costs.

Bing's Negative Keyword Conflict Report

Google, unfortunately, does not provide an easy built in report to quickly highlight these negative keyword conflict issues in Adwords.  Exporting the searched term report to Excel is time consuming and tedious, but will get the job done.  Those experienced with Excel can create a pivot table to determine what keywords are triggering what ad group and determine the counts.  Bing, on the other hand, does offer a negative keyword conflict report.  It can be uploaded to your account and you will be informed of keyword conflict issues.