Being Found on Google, Google Ads, Google Nonprofit Ad Grant, keywords, online advertising, paid search, pull marketing, Search Engine Optimization, search terms, SEM, SEO, target audiences

Google Ads: Search Terms Vs. Keywords

As a Google Ads/Paid SEO expert, I’ve known for years that there often is a sizeable difference between the keywords with which you provide Google Ads vs. the actual search terms for which Google serves your ads up to a searcher employing their search engine. So what’s the difference and why does it matter?

Google Ads Keywords

In the world of Google Ads, as stated above, keywords are the “search phrases” you assign to the various ad groups you set up within a Google Ads campaign. Keywords must be provided within your Google Ads account at the ad group level vs. campaign level. Often, a campaign may have three distinct campaigns. For example, let’s say your organization offers online music classes, and you want to run an ad campaign to promote that. Within your ad campaign, you might set up two distinct ad groups or more, such as one for voice/singing classes and one for instrument classes. For each of those two ad groups you’d provide Google with a separate set of search phrases, known as “keywords” for which you want your ads to be served up to searchers who are using their search engine. You likely want the ads in the voice/singing classes ads served up for “private singing lessons,” “singing instructor near me,” and “where to take singing classes.” For the instrument classes, you might want to have the ads in that ad group served up for “piano lessons” or “guitar classes.” And, of course, you could get even more granular with your ad groups and create ones for specific instruments and only include keywords related to that type of instrument.

How Do I Know What Keywords To Use With My Google Ads Ad Groups?

As you start adding keywords to any Google Ads ad group, Google will start providing recommendations for other keywords to include. But, you can also use Google Ads’ keyword planner tool to identify appropriate keywords. As you enter keywords into your Google Ads Account related to the ad group in-question, try to walk in your target audiences shoes. Think about the people you hope and want to either buy your products or services, or at least create awareness of your organization among, and what terms they’d likely be using to identify an organization that offers the products, services, and solutions you do related to the ad group in-question. Remember, keywords can be one word or several words, but the longer and more descriptive they are, the fewer the opportunities there will be to have your ads served up for what’s known as “long-tail” keywords. Plus, Google likely will note in your account that the keyword has low search volume and is not eligible for use.

So, What Is a Search Term In Google Ads?

Within the Auction Insights section of Google Ads results reporting, you can view a “search term” report for any timeframe that you set. See report example below that shows where in Google Ads to access the report. This shows you the actual search terms that a searcher put into Google, and that subsequently, Google served up the ads in the ad group in question for.

Sometimes, despite your providing search phrase ideas to Google via the keywords you set up with ad groups, Google takes too much of a leap or too many liberties as far as the search terms for which it serves up your ads to its search-engine users. The aforementioned scenario is a key reason I wrote this post because it’s something that I’ve found myself having to explain to a handful of clients recently. And, it pertains to both for-profit organizations as well as non-profit clients whose Google Ads campaigns are run under a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant account.

How To Increase The Probability Your Google Ads Are Served Up For The Right Search Phrases

I’ve always made it a practice to review Google Ads search term reports regularly as part of monitoring how clients’ Google Ads campaigns are faring. Why? Because those reports show me what terms Google has actually served my clients’ ads up for during a particular timeframe. I make and take the time to scroll thru the terms that are generating the most impressions and clicks, and then, simply make any search terms for which Google Ads has served up the ads that I don’t believe are appropriate “negative.” Plus, reviewing the report often makes me think of similar search terms I should make negative. See example negative keyword list below and where to go to in Google Ads account to add negative keywords.

Concerned Your Google Ads Are Being Served Up To The Wrong Searchers?

Reach out to our team of Boston SEO experts today for advice and help. We’re glad to initially meet with you on a complimentary basis!

Acceptance of Circumstances, accountability, Being Found on Google, Blog, Blogging, competitive advantage, landing pages, Marketing Planning, online advertising, organic SEO, paid search, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, social media, strategic planning, website

Why You Should Set And Adhere To Organic-SEO Deadlines The Way You Would Advertising Campaign Ones

This may be one of our shortest, but most important blog posts. As a digital marketing agency who specializes in SEO services, we often see organizations back-burnering execution of business-critical initial or ongoing SEO tactics. We use the phrase “business-critical” because, for many organizations, neglecting implementing one-off and ongoing SEO best tactics means that they are missing out on what tends to be one of the highest sources of traffic to any website, i.e., search-engine traffic.

And, for many organizations with which we work, search-engine traffic “converts” better than any other source of website traffic, including paid search advertising (Google and Bing Ads), direct traffic (traffic from individuals who have bookmarked your site or type it directly into their browser), organic (unpaid social media posts), paid social media (Instagram and Facebook ads, etc.), and referral traffic (traffic stemming from links found on external sites, known as “backlinks.”)

Examples Of How Organizations Put Off Important SEO Work

Below are two examples of how/where/why SEO work stalls. Note that these aren’t the only reasons SEO work gets delayed, but these are the reasons/situations we witness most often in our work helping organizations rank better on Google or in other search engines. Delays could be due client capacity and staffing or just not prioritizing work properly.

One-Time/One-Off/Initial Organic Work

  • Not reviewing or using keyword research with which we provide our clients as part of an engagement to complete initial SEO tactics/deliverables. Often when our firm is first engaged to employ one-time/one-off SEO best tactics, our second step or first step (depending on whether we conduct an SEO audit rankings) is to provide our customers with lists of the highest-volume keywords (search terms) individuals are using to find an organization that offers the products, services, and solutions that the client does. As part of this research we employ a tool called “Answer The Public” to identify relevant questions that target audiences have. Before we can use those keywords and questions to implement other SEO best practices, we need our customers to provide feedback on which terms and questions feel appropriate and authentic to their business. But, unfortunately, often those reviews are stalled or delayed, which means other SEO work (that is dependent on the aforementioned work) can’t move forward.

Ongoing Organic SEO Work

  • Not making time to post to one or several Google My Business Profile(s) the way organizations post to social media platforms.
  • Not asking customers for reviews. Read about the importance of Google reviews to ranking well locally.
  • Not using the keyword research and Answer-The-Public question lists mentioned in the section above to inform and write new blog posts or new questions to be housed in an FAQ, and ultimately, posting that new content to the organization’s website.

Organic SEO Tactics Often Achieve More Than Advertising Campaigns

Per the beginning of our blog post and the header above, organic SEO tactics often deliver better results than any kind of online/digital and/or print or other form of advertising. So, we encourage those who keep putting off implementing initial SEO best practices and ongoing/monthly ones to reconsider their marketing and advertising priorities. We recommend the following:

  • Set a deadline for implementing initial/one-off SEO best practices. These include, but are not limited to:
    • making sure important keywords/search phrases used by your target audiences are incorporated in page content and in behind-the-scenes meta page/post title tags
    • embedding your Google My Business Profile on the contact page of your website
    • placing in the footer of your website a statement that indicates to Google the geography where your organization is located as well as the geography you serve
  • Schedule two 1/2 days a month where you will:
    • Write and post a new blog post using keyword research and questions research
    • Post updates to your Google My Business Profile — these updates could provide an intro. that links back to a blog post on your site
    • If you’re short on time, consider the following tactics related to how not to let your SEO slide.

Reach Out To Our Team Of Boston SEO Experts Today

Want to better understand the above? Whether you want to get a better handle on why delaying SEO tactics impacts marketing and business success, and/or on how to implement organic SEO tactics, reach out today to schedule a complimentary discussion with one of our SEO experts!