For those who haven’t already noticed, we recently introduced the Search Query Performance report in the AdWords Report Center. This new report shows performance data for the search queries that triggered your ads that were clicked on to show. More importantly, this data can be used to gain a better understanding of how users are finding your ads and how they react to them.

Since the new report includes both search queries and the corresponding performance data, the report is commonly used to fine tune existing keyword lists. Specifically, you can use this report to identify both new keywords and negative keywords that you'd like to add to your account to better specify when you'd like your ad to appear.

Here’s a quick example:
Say you’re an online florist and you're working on adding some more keywords to your Anniversary campaign. Not a bad idea, since your campaign currently contains one ad group with the following keywords:

'anniversary flowers'
'wedding anniversary flowers'

Rather than simply guessing which new keywords to add, you decide to first find out what users (a.k.a. potential customers) are searching on when they find and click on your anniversary-related ads today. To do so, you run a Search Query Performance report. Here's what your report looks like:

(Click the screen shot for a full-size image.)

Based on the data above, your ads are showing when users search on 'anniversary flowers,' but they're also appearing on these queries:

anniversary bouquet
anniversary gifts
anniversary centerpieces

The Search Query Match Type status for these queries is "broad." This means that keywords in your account that are similar to these queries are enabling your ads to be shown. Since 'anniversary bouquet' and 'anniversary gifts' are highly relevant to your product offering, you might consider adding them as keywords to this campaign. This will ensure that your ads will always show on these queries. Take it a step further, and create two new ad groups with ad text specific to gifts and bouquets.

If you don’t want your ads showing on queries like 'anniversary centerpieces' because you sell bouquets and not arrangements, you might consider adding 'centerpieces' as a negative match keyword. However, keep in mind that users may find your ad relevant even if the query they used to find and click on your ad didn't correspond exactly to the product(s) advertised. For example, in the report above, you'll see that users who found your ad using the search query 'anniversary centerpieces' clicked on your ad and also converted on your website.

Finding new keywords and new negative keywords is just one way use this new report. You could also use it to:
  • Delete existing keywords and replace them with better targeted keywords
  • Create more tightly knit ad groups based on common groups of search queries
  • Ensure you've selected the correct match type (i.e. broad, phrase, exact, or negative) for existing keywords
Lastly, it’s important to keep the following points in mind when analyzing a Search Query Performance report:
  • The report only includes queries for ads that were shown and clicked on
  • The report includes search network data only
  • Search query performance data is available from May 2, 2007 and onward
  • Search queries are different from keywords, so data from this report will most likely not match up to a Keyword Performance report or your Campaign Summary page
Instructions on how to run a Search Query Performance report can be found here. For more information on the new report, check out the AdWords Help Center.