Most marketers have a lot on their plates. With client calls, internal team meetings, not to mention the work itself, there’s a limit to how much you can accomplishment in one day. How do you know what keywords are converting and which ones are wasting time and budget? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to leverage simple tools like Excel out there to help you get faster insights into your keyword data. With a few tools, some reports, and a little digging, you can turn your all your keywords into winners.


Start with What you Have

Before you go crazy and start bidding on dozens of new keywords, take a step back and review what you already have. Take a look at the last few months’ worth of keyword data and see how many of your keywords are converting. Depending on your campaign goals, you may want to look at keywords with the highest conversion rate for search, or highest ROAS (return on ad spend) for shopping. Throw your keywords into an excel file and sort them by conversion rate. Review your keywords’ average position and search impression share to get an idea of how you currently stand. Increase bids for keywords with a high conversion rate, and decrease or pause keywords with a low conversion rate.


Review your Search Terms

Regularly reviewing your search terms can provide you with insights into how your customers are searching for your product or service. If you notice a certain phrase or search term that shows up frequently, you may decide to start bidding on these new terms or exclude them. Branded campaigns tend to show search terms for competitors, for example. With this data, you can either exclude competitors from your branded campaign, or look to create a competitor (conquest) campaign of your own.

Before you start reviewing any search term data though, be sure to add keywords to your columns so you can see what keyword triggered the related search. Download your search terms and start sorting your data by what’s important to you: Conversion Rate, ROAS, or conversions are some metrics to start with. Then apply some filters so you can digest your data in smaller portions, maybe at the campaign level. Now you can review your search terms to see what your customers are looking for and update your campaigns as necessary.

There are plenty of lengthy blogs out there for PPCers looking for some excel tips. Check out the blog by PPC Hero here!


Competitive Insights

It’s always a good idea to have your finger on the pulse of your industry. Who are the big players? Who are your direct competitors? Are you bidding on similar search terms? Knowing what the competition is up to can help guide your optimization efforts. There are plenty of tools out there for marketers to get some initial insights: SEMRush and SpyFu are two of the more frequently used platforms.

SEMRush gives you up to five free reports before you’re required to sign up. SpyFu has a similar offer. The free reports you get from either service are somewhat gated, but you can still get some initial feedback on keywords. Start off by searching for your keywords in SEMrush and see who the top advertisers are, or type in your competitors URL and see what data is available. You may decide that signing up for SEMrush is a great tool for your team, and look to leverage their tool for other accounts, too.


Managing hundreds (or thousands) of keywords can seem daunting at first, but with a few tools and some practice you can conquer any account. Check out our blog for more PPC tips!