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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
The Matched Search Queries report, located in the AdWords reports, underneath the Advertising section, has some of the most requested and actionable data in all of Google Analytics. This used to be a dimension very deep in the AdWords reports, but now in the new version, it has been promoted to its own spot in left-hand navigation. Let's talk terminology for a second, because subtleties make a big difference in this report. In AdWords you have the Keywords, which are your bid terms, and then you have the search query, which is what the user actually typed into the search bar. That search query triggered an ad impression based on a keyword that you bid on, and as a result, your ad was triggered to be displayed.
The searcher then clicked on the ad and they came to your web site as a visitor. The key here is that the search query is not necessarily the same as the keyword that you bid on. In fact, there might be some large variations between the keywords and the search queries that cause that corresponding ad to be shown. You might recall that there are three main match types in AdWords: Broad, Phrase, and Exact. Just like the name implies, Broad match is meant to cast a wide net to match search queries of keywords. As a result, you might see search queries that have none of the same words as your broad-matched keywords that you bid on in your AdWords account. In Google Analytics, you can see both the search query and the keyword that caused the ad to show if we use the secondary dimension of keyword while we are in this Matched Search Query report.
Let's go take a look at that. Here we see the Matched Search Queries and what people actually typed in. And as a secondary dimension, we can come here down to AdWords and we can add the keyword that contains the bid term. This can give us a great perspective for comparing and contrasting the terms and the keywords that brought these visitors to your site. Here in this case, we can see that both google shopping and google store were searches that triggered ads that included the bid term of google store. So on left, I see google shopping and google store were Matched Search Queries. Both of those were for the keyword that was bid on, google store.
In this case, it was an exact match. google store was the Matched Search Query and google store is the keyword. But up here we had google shopping, which was considered to be close enough to google store to trigger the ad. Okay, so we see the same keyword here but different Matched Search Query. Was the result the same? Not even close. They both had a similar number of visitors two thousand something, but look at the revenue. One got 1500 while the other got zero. So why is that? Well, let's think from the searcher's point of view. People who are searching on the word "google store" might actually be looking for the google store, which sells Google merchandise like T-shirts and pens and things.
But if someone types in google shopping, it's very possible what they are actually looking for is the google shopping comparison engine, what used to be known as Froogle, so they can buy other things from other stores. So in that case they are looking to buy a new flatscreen TV, not actually a T-shirt with the word Google written across the front of it, and the just want to use Google as the search engine. These completely different motivations and intentions can lead to completely different amounts of revenue for our Google store, and we need to understand those subtle differences between those exact queries typed in, so we can understand how to bid for those.
This data is absolutely critical for informing your entire AdWords strategy. For example, if a search is not relevant, I may want to use those as negative keywords, so that our ad won't be triggered for the searches. If the search that I see is relevant but just not performing well, I may want to create an entirely separate ad group and ads. If it's performing very well and I have a search that's just pure gold for me, I may want to increase my bid to make sure I get as much of that traffic as possible. I may also create landing pages and ads that speak directly to that valuable searcher. Seeing the search queries can be beneficial in two ways: for creating the negative keyword lists for generating new keyword ideas and adjusting my bids and landing pages to match those.
As you can see, this report is extremely actionable and insightful. If you spend any money in AdWords, I can nearly guarantee that there is money to be made or saved by spending some time analyzing this data.
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