Are Your Google Ads Working, or Wasting You Money?

Are Your Google Ads Working, or Wasting You Money?

“Search Terms” Show You What Customers Are Really Searching For

Are Your Google Ads Working, or Wasting You Money?

Google Search Ads are fueled by your chosen list of keywords. Everyone knows that. Reports for a veterinary client show that “emergency vets” resulted in 128 clicks, and “animal hospital” received 27 clicks. But those keywords aren’t the actual search terms users typed into their browser.

To see what customers searched for, visit the “Search Terms” tab. There, you can see the hundreds of actual search terms that resulted in clicks. Examples for my veterinary client include:

  • ok google i need that 24 hour animal clinic in fairfax
  • 24 hour vet in hebron kentucky
  • 24 hour pet hospital
  • animal hospital cincinnati ohio
  • local animal hospital

When your Search Terms match up with the goals of your ad campaign, your Google Ads are working for you.

“Negative Keywords” Align Your Keywords to Your Business Goals

If your Search Terms seem off-the-wall and random, you’re wasting advertising budget on useless clicks. To fix this problem, build a Negative Keywords list. Google will exclude these keywords from your paid search. Over time, your Search Terms will grow more focused on your business goals. I have an extensive Negative Keywords list for my veterinary client, with terms such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Cannabis
  • Cheapest
  • Chicago
  • Declawing
  • Equine
  • Tennessee

This Negative Keyword list was built from actual Search Terms that resulted in useless clicks. In the beginning, I added new Negative Keywords weekly. Now, our keywords are extremely targeted, and only occasionally do we receive errant clicks.

Sometimes, Google Gets Confused By Industry Terms

For instance, “Professional Speaker” can refer to either a person who gives speeches or high-end audiovisual equipment. Google users are actively searching for both, and without more context, Google doesn’t know which results to return. Here’s a screenshot showing the confusion:

Are Your Google Ads Working, or Wasting You Money?

Without vigilant attention to Negative Keywords, both AV companies and keynote speakers can waste a lot of money on errant clicks. Many industries suffer from these double meanings– another example is that “Sprinkler System” can refer to both fire sprinklers and irrigation.

If your Google Ads need an audit for effectiveness, send an email to

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