It is important to check your Google Adwords campaigns on a regular basis to ensure they are running at optimum efficiency. Adwords is an expensive platform, highly competitive, and definitely not the place to set it and forget it.
The Search Terms report shows the actual terms people are typing into Google to find your Ads. The search terms view will allow you to do 2 very important things to keep your Adwords account fine tuned:
If you never run a keyword diagnosis, there is a good chance that you'll have keywords that aren't triggering Ads for reasons you are unaware of, and you'll be missing out on those potential impressions, clicks and conversions. A keyword diagnosis can tell you:
Sort your keywords by impression and look for keywords with significant impressions (over a couple hundred) and a CTR of less than 2%. Consider pausing those keywords unless they have an unusually high conversion rate. Low CTR keywords can hurt your campaign's overall quality score and make it more expensive to run. Alternately you can try to improve the CTR of the keywords by writing better Ads, or breaking large Adgroups into smaller, more targeted ones.
Poorly written Ads, or Ads that have low relevance to the keywords that trigger them can lead to CTR problems at both the keyword and Ad level. Check Ad CTR and write new Ads for the lower performing ones. Ad CTR can change over time based on the competition, so this should be checked regularly.
Take a quick peek at some of your ads with Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool. It can give you an idea about how you look vs. the competition, and also tell you if your extensions are up and running.
I usually pause any keyword with a QS of two or less, and keep an eye on those with a QS of three. Low keyword quality score will bring down overall campaign quality score and make the campaign more expensive to run. Adjusting the related Ad or breaking larger Adgroups into smaller, more targeted Adgroups is one way to improve keyword QS.
If average keyword position is too low you won't get significant clicks for that keyword. Usually top positions, say an average of between 1.8 and 2.8 usually perform best. An average lower than 3 can result in missed opportunities, and higher than 1.5 can mean you are paying mean you are paying too much per click in some situations. For instance if you have a rule in place to always increase your bid if it is lower than position 1, and your competitor does too, you could both be driving up the cost unnecessarily. Position 1 keywords also tend to draw accidental clicks by click-happy searchers, so alternating between position 1,2 and even 3 can lead to higher CTR overall.
The ultimate goal of your campaign should be to get conversions, not just clicks. It is possible to have a keyword that has a great quality score and CTR, but does not convert. In those cases it is best to pause the keyword and focus on higher converters. Alternatively you can look at landing page improvements that might lead to a higher conversion rate.
Viewing sessions recorded by a tool like Mouseflow can be invaluable in pinpointing landing page problems or highlighting areas that could use some improvement. Looking at a session or two from a keyword with a low conversion rate often leads to an insight that solves the problem and gets that keyword converting.
TP Designs is a Google Partner certified in Adwords Search.