Do you find it easier to improve your paid search efficiency versus rapidly growing your PPC account? If so, you’re not alone. Your Search Query Reports and the AdWords Keyword Planner are integral components of a growth-oriented paid search strategy, but they can only take you so far before you start to plateau. Here are 5 out-of-the-box tips to make the most of SQRs, Google Analytics, and even Dynamic Search Ads to find high-performing new PPC keywords.


PPC plateaus are not as beautiful. (Photo via Wikipedia/CC BY)

1. Shopping Search Query Reports

Google Shopping allows you to see how people are actually looking for your products without being limited by keyword selection. The Shopping SQR can display search queries that drove traffic but are not included in regular search campaigns.

2. Broad Match

We typically limit the amount of pure broad match running in an account due to its tendency to match to irrelevant search queries and show untargeted ad copy. However, when used in a controlled setting, it can be a great resource for keyword mining in a growth-focused account.

Try setting up a broad-match only campaign with a conservative budget and conservative bids. Check the SQR regularly for negatives to block irrelevant traffic. In addition, if you spot any new and relevant search queries, add those keywords (in your preferred match types) to your other search campaigns. Don’t forget to add any current negatives or negative lists to this new campaign; just because it’s a new campaign does not mean it makes sense to spend money on queries you already know are not worthwhile.

3. Google Analytics: In-Site Searches

Google Analytics is another great resource for expanding your keyword coverage. For websites that have in-site searches, you can use GA’s Search Terms report under Behavior > Site Search for insight into what visitors are searching for once they make it to your site. Users here are likely further down the purchase funnel and more likely to convert.


4. Google Analytics: Organic Searches

If you’ve exhausted your paid search SQR, why not check out the search queries that drive your organic traffic? Google Analytics allows you to see what people are searching for when they click on your organic listing under Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries. This provides insight into potential gaps in your paid search keyword inventory. Additionally, this facilitates synergy between your paid search and organic channels by allowing you to see if there are opportunities to counter poor organic positioning with paid search ads.


5. Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ads (DSA), in which Google automatically targets relevant search queries based on your website content instead of using defined keywords, provide a great opportunity for keyword research. According to Google, 15% of searches every day have never been searched before, and DSA can give insight into not just how people are searching for your product, but how those search terms perform.

Google tools like Search Query Reports and the Keyword Planner are effective and necessary for finding opportunities to expand your paid search account. But you will grow your account even more when you pair these tools with DSA, controlled broad match, and insights from Google Analytics.