Google's Search Terms Report changes
Google's removing some data crucial to your campaign's optimisation.
Here's how we got around it...
Last month all Google Ads managers woke up to a notification from Google, a notification that none of us wanted to see! The search giant has decided to update the search terms report to only show searches that have been “significantly searched” by a number of users, and as a result, we will be seeing fewer terms.
Why is this happening? Google has released statements to say that this change to the search term report is to maintain Google’s privacy standards and strengthen their protection of your user data.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, after looking at multiple accounts and comparing their clicks to their search term reports across a few different industries, we found that only 80% of searches were being reported on the Google Ads interface.
At first, we all had very mixed emotions. Okay, I’ll admit, we were all pretty damn angry about this. Unreported or hidden search terms will impact the way we optimise campaigns and keywords for overall performance. Most importantly it will have a big impact on managing the campaign spend.
This problem has two similar but separate consequences.
1. We won’t know all the search terms the campaigns are converting on, and therefore can’t use them as keywords to improve performance.
2. We won’t know all the search terms that might be a waste of budget due to poor performance. Without this information, we can’t select the best negative keywords for the campaign.
What do we do?
The Google Ads change is fairly dramatic and will impact ALL Google Ads accounts. We had to quickly found a solution. After banging our heads together, we turned straight to Google Analytics (another source of truth) for the performance data!
What we found was that Analytics on average held more search query data than Google Ads.
This means we can use a combination of Google Analytics data and Google Ads data together and while it won’t be as good as what we had, it will be better than what we now have on Google Ads alone!
For the advanced user, you can also check the report yourself in Google Analytics – if you find search queries with no click data, that’s the hidden information!
This means that it’s more important than ever to connect Google ads to Google Analytics – especially when optimising keywords – in addition to seeing user behaviour tied back to keywords. Here at Direct Clicks, it’s always been a rule of thumb to connect Google Ads to Google Analytics and boy aren’t we glad that we have this in place!
Our regular applications of coffee and sushi have paid off, and as a result, Eva has transformed into a force to be reckoned with. Her campaign management skills have reached Godzilla-like proportions, and frankly, we’re a little scared. While her clients are very happy, we are just too afraid to ask her about the towers of empty coffee cups and thousands of little soy sauce fishes.
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Direct Clicks is one of Australia’s top digital agencies, providing a range of services including Google advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), website design & development, social media marketing & advertising and much more to help businesses grow online.