Have you ever seen a search term in your Google Shopping campaign’s search query report and wondered which product showed up for that specific search?  Or have you ever felt that a certain product would be best suited for a specific search, but you’re not sure how to identify if it’s actually showing ads on that search term? While Google does not have any documentation on this kind of analysis, there’s actually still a way to retrieve search query and item ID data from the AdWords interface. Here are five steps on how you can pull this data and take action on it.

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Help ensure that your Shopping campaign captures the right customers. Image via Pixabay.

Pulling SQR & Item ID Data From AdWords

UPDATE 10/12/2018: In the new Google Ads interface, you can pull this report by doing the following:

Go into Predefined Reports (Dimensions), select Basic > Search Terms. In that report, select your Shopping campaign and add Keyword/Placement as a column.


Item ID data for search queries does exist, but it isn’t readily available or able to be seen in the AdWords interface. The data will only be revealed once you download a report using the following three steps.

  1. Click into the search query report tab within a shopping campaign.
  2. Add “Keyword” as a column and ensure you have all other metrics you want to see as columns. The keyword column will appear blank in the interface.
  3. Download your report.

Once downloaded, your report should populate the keyword column with product group information. If your product group segmentation goes only as specific as the brand level, then you’ll be able to see search terms at the brand level. If your segmentation goes down to item ID, then you’ll see item IDs in the keyword column. This is where having a granular shopping bid structure can be especially helpful.

Your report should look something similar to this screenshot:

Example of Search Terms Matching to Product Groups

Taking Action on Your Data

Now, let’s say you’ve identified that the search “outdoor” has high spend on three different SKUs.  One of the products has a very profitable ROI, while the other two have spent a lot of money but never converted.  It’s possible here that the two poor performing products are technically for the outdoors, but people mostly think of them as indoor products. On the other hand, the one with a great ROI is the true outdoor product. Because of this, you decide you only want to show the better performing SKU to people searching with the word “outdoor.”  You have two options.

  1. Create a new ad group within your current campaign, and in that ad group, place only the SKU you want to show on outdoor searches. Then, add “outdoor” as a negative keyword to the original ad group that still holds your other two products. This will ensure that traffic will get filtered to the product you want.
  2. If “outdoor” searches have extremely high volume, you may want to consider creating a new campaign to filter all of those searches to.

There are three benefits to this strategy.

– This allows you to control your bid directly on these specific searches. A new ad group will still contain other non-outdoor related searches for that product.
– It allows you to manipulate settings like time of day or mobile bid adjustments, which may perform differently for this specific search.
– This set up allows you to get a very quick understanding of how those specific searches are performing when you log into your account. Rather than combing through ad groups, you’ll be able to see it immediately in your campaign view.

Tying search queries to actual item IDs can help you identify which terms are most relevant to customers looking to purchase your products. Based on this, you can control which of your products customers see when they search certain words and take your Shopping campaign optimizations to the next level.