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Keywords Vs. Search Terms

Pareto PPC

March 3, 2022

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Google ads are one of the oldest forms of online advertising around. Knowing how to set up and run your Google ads successfully is just half of the battle for the top spot in search results. Using the right keywords and search terms is another part of that battle and can help you soar to the top rankings or land in the world of forgotten about ads on page 2. Search terms and keywords for Google Ads are the same, right? Isn’t a keyword just a short version of a search term? Nope– not at all. Search terms and keywords are different, especially when setting up Google Ads. Let’s break down the difference and why you need to use both, and how to find them if something is missing from your report.

Keywords are what you set up to target your most relevant customers. These are the words you want to use in paid and organic search campaigns. These keywords are central to your business. If you’re a boutique clothing store, you might use keywords like “women’s clothing” or “accessories.” Keywords can define your overall strategy, and using the right keywords is critical to a successful search campaign, either paid or organic. 

Search terms are what a user types in the search box. Although these terms are still related to your keywords, these might be misspelled, include other words, or be out of order. Most of the time, if it’s a misspelled word, Google will automatically correct it:

So a user might use a search term like “clothing for women,” “women’s accessories,” or “women clothing” to search for a store. Keywords are only a representation of what you as a business owner or marketer want. Search terms are the reality of what your audience is searching for. Using search terms will help improve quality scores and find new ideas for keywords to increase reach with the target market.

It’s essential that when you’re putting together a strategy for your campaign, you research the keyword you want to use. Look at the variety of queries that surround the keywords you want to use and see how that will affect the keywords and key terms you use. There are a lot of variations that can be related to your keywords, so it’s impossible to know everyone, but finding the most relevant ones is a great starting point. Not only will you get more targeted traffic from using missing search terms and better bidding efficiency, but you might also see an increase in conversions. Using search terms will help filter out unwanted traffic.

To help with your search terms, you want to review your search term report. Once you have your list, look at what you spend per term, then you can add them as exact match keywords or negatives, which will stop you from showing up in those search results. For instance, if your boutique clothing store doesn’t sell swimwear, you might add “women’s swimwear” to your negative list, so you don’t spend your money on that search term.

Finding the right keywords and search terms can be a time-consuming task. Plus, you have to monitor reports and make sure you are using the right words. If you want to take some of the stress of paid and organic search campaigns off your plate, Pareto PPC is here for you! PPC is literally in our name, so we know what needs to be done to ensure your campaign is set up for success. Reach out to us today if you want to chat!

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