Performance Max Search Terms Insights

Performance Max Search Terms Insights

How to Analyse Performance Max Search Terms Insights for PPC Success

Performance Max campaigns have become a popular choice for PPC advertisers due to their automation and ability to leverage Google’s vast network. However, a key challenge has been the limited visibility into search queries triggering your ads. Thankfully, Google introduced “campaign_search_term_insight” reports in February 2023, offering a game-changer for optimising these campaigns.

Here we will dive into how to analyse Performance Max search terms insights to achieve PPC success. We’ll cover accessing the data, key analysis techniques, and actionable steps to improve your campaigns.

Accessing the Performance Max Search Term Data

There are three ways to access Performance Max search term insights:

  • Directly in Google Ads: Navigate to the “Insights” section on your Performance Max campaign page. This offers a basic overview of search terms, impressions, and clicks.
  • Google Ads API: For advanced users, the API allows programmatic access to the data for further analysis.
  • Google Ads Scripts: Leverage scripts to automate data extraction and organise it into a user-friendly format like a spreadsheet.

Using scripts can be particularly efficient, saving you time and effort in wrangling data.

Analysing Your Search Term Insights

Once you have your search query data, it’s time to unlock its potential. Here are key analysis strategies:

  • Identify Irrelevant Search Terms: Performance Max campaigns can sometimes trigger your ads for irrelevant searches. Look for terms with high impressions but low clicks or conversions. These indicate a disconnect between user intent and your ad message. You can then exclude these terms to improve campaign relevance.

For example, if you sell running shoes, a search term like “buy cheap socks” is likely irrelevant. You can exclude this term to prevent wasted ad spend.

  • Find High-Performing Search Terms: Identify search terms with high conversion rates or a strong positive ROI. These are goldmines! Analyse what makes these terms successful and consider incorporating similar keywords or themes into your ad copy and landing pages.

Let’s say the search term “best running shoes for marathons” has a high conversion rate. You can use this insight to create ad copy specifically targeting marathon runners and highlight features relevant to their needs.

  • Optimise for Search Term Opportunities: Review search categories to discover related keywords that are already generating positive results. This can spark ideas for expanding your keyword strategy or creating new ad groups.

For instance, if the search category “women’s running shoes” shows strong performance, consider adding specific brand names or shoe types within this category to capture more relevant searches.

  • Analyse Performance by Impression Share: Sort the data by impressions to identify high-impression, low-click terms. These might indicate poor relevance in the ad copy or landing page. Consider improving your ad headlines and descriptions to better resonate with these search queries.

Imagine the term “comfortable running shoes” has high impressions but low clicks. This suggests your ad copy might not be effectively communicating comfort as a key benefit. Refine your ad copy to highlight comfort features and entice users to click.

  • Leverage Search Term Insights for Audience Targeting: While Performance Max campaigns primarily focus on automated audience targeting, search term data can offer valuable insights. Look for recurring themes or user demographics within high-performing search terms. This information can be used to refine your audience targeting within Google Ads for Search Network campaigns or Display Network campaigns running alongside your Performance Max efforts.

For example, if many high-converting search terms include the phrase “beginner running tips,” you could create a custom audience on Google Ads targeting users interested in “running for beginners.”

Performance Max Search Terms Insights Analysis

Taking Actionable Steps

Now that you’ve analysed your Performance Max search term insights, here’s how to implement your findings:

  • Exclude Irrelevant Search Terms: Go to the “Keywords” tab within your campaign and utilise the “Search terms” report. Identify irrelevant terms and choose the option to “Exclude” them.
  • Optimise Ad Copy and Landing Pages: Refine your ad headlines and descriptions to better match high-performing search terms. Ensure your landing pages clearly address the user intent behind relevant search queries.
  • Expand Your Keyword Strategy: Based on your analysis, consider adding new keyword themes or expanding existing ones to capture a wider range of relevant searches.
  • Refine Audience Targeting: Leverage insights from high-performing search terms to refine your audience targeting strategies for Search Network or Display Network campaigns.
  • Monitor and Refine Continuously: Regularly analyse your search term data and make adjustments as needed. Performance Max campaigns are dynamic, so staying on top of search trends and user intent is crucial.

Additional Tips for Performance Max Success

Here are some bonus tips to further enhance your Performance Max campaign optimisation:

  • Utilise Negative Keyword Lists: In addition to excluding irrelevant search terms within the campaign itself, consider creating separate negative keyword lists at the account level. This allows you to apply these exclusions across all your campaigns, saving time and ensuring consistent targeting.
  • Combine Search Term Insights with Other Performance Data: Don’t analyse search terms in isolation. Look for correlations with other performance metrics like conversion rates, cost-per-acquisition (CPA), and click-through rates (CTR). This holistic approach helps identify areas for improvement and optimise your campaign budget allocation.
  • Leverage Google Ads Asset Groups: Performance Max campaigns utilise asset groups for headlines, descriptions, and visuals. Analyse which asset combinations perform best for specific search terms. This allows you to tailor your ad creative to better resonate with different user queries.
  • A/B Test Different Ad Variations: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ad copy variations and asset combinations within your Performance Max campaign. A/B testing allows you to see which versions perform best for specific search terms and user segments.
  • Stay Updated on Google Ads Features: Google Ads is constantly evolving, so stay informed about new features and functionalities related to Performance Max campaigns. This ensures you’re leveraging the latest advancements to optimise your campaigns.


By effectively analysing Performance Max search term insights, you can unlock a wealth of information to improve campaign relevance, identify high-performing keywords, and refine your overall targeting strategy. By following the steps outlined above and staying on top of the latest trends, you can propel your Performance Max campaigns towards greater success and achieve your PPC goals.

Remember, PPC is an ongoing process of optimisation and refinement. By embracing a data-driven approach and continuously analysing your Performance Max search term insights, you can ensure your campaigns are reaching the right audience at the right time with the most relevant message. This will ultimately lead to increased conversions and a higher return on investment (ROI) for your business.

For more information on Performance Max Search Terms contact Click Return.