Better Search Query Reports…Finally!

This week, Google announced that they were revamping their search query reports. It’s about time. I don’t know about you, but I was getting awfully sick of seeing that “6,783 Other Unique Queries” field every time I run a report.

It looks like Google finally realized that these enhanced reports are essential to their business model. Smart PPC managers were already using these search query reports, along with detailed keyword filters in Google Analytics. Adding a little more information to the mix will only improve AdWords ROI results and convince advertisers to pump more money into online ads. Advertisers get better results, Google gets more money. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

If you haven’t tried one out already, run one of these reports for yourself and see the difference in accuracy. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results. With this greater detail, you can see what keywords are working and expand on the themes in your keyword lists. If you see that a certain keyword is driving a lot of junk traffic, you can always add in negatives or switch around your match types. I highly recommend that anyone running a serious AdWords account should run a search query report at least once a month and thoroughly analyze the results.

But here’s the best part – you don’t even have to run a report to see the results! The detailed search query report appears within the new interface that Google recently rolled out. Under your “Campaigns” tab, choose “Keywords.” Then, select a date range and choose the “See Search Terms” button. A report will instantly appear with the keywords that triggered your ads without all of that report waiting time.

Yahoo and MSN (not to mention all the third-tier engines) should pay attention to this. Better information and reporting makes it more appealing for PPC managers to optimize accounts. More info equals better ROI results equals more money for the search engines. If anyone is going to beat Google at their own game, they need to learn this valuable lesson.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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