If you’ve been using Google AdWords for search advertising and want to take your game to the next level check out Brad Geddes’ book titled Advanced Google AdWords. Here we’ll cover a cool way to have greater visibility into what keywords and search queries are working for you. Let’s start by explaining the difference between a keyword and a search query. A keyword is what you tell Google you want to target (i.e. what you put into Google AdWords interface). For example, at ClickDimensions we target the keyword Microsoft CRM. However, if we don’t target that keyword in the right way we could be paying for clicks where people actually just performed a search on the very generic term CRM. For us, paying for a visitor that is just starting to learn about CRM is probably not a good investment. We want people that are working with Microsoft CRM. So, how do we get this type of insight? Let’s see.

When you create an ad in Google AdWords, you can set the URL that the visitor will actually see as well as the URL that the visitor will actually be clicking. The latter is referred to as the destination URL and you can see it called out in the screen shot below.

If you format your URL like what you see below, Google will actually pass data about the click back to you.


What is happening in the URL above is that you are adding parameters that Google will populate for you. So, if you are using ClickDimensions, this data will come back to you in the entry page field of our Visit entity as shown below…

So, in the Visit above, although the visitor had searched on the generic term ‘CRM’ we can see from the entry page below that the keyword that was actually triggered (i.e. the ‘term’) was ‘microsoft crm email’ (note that %20 represents a space)


So why in the world is Google sending us visitors that only searched on CRM when the keyword we are paying them to target is ‘microsoft crm email’? In this case, the answer is that we had used the broadest keyword match option which was telling Google that we didn’t care whether all three words of the keywords appeared in the search query. As a result of this we changed our match type so that all three words (microsoft + crm + email) had to be in the visitor’s query to trigger our ad.

This opened our eyes to the liberties Google takes in charging for search traffic. To monitor it more closely, we set up a CRM workflow to email details of each Google search visit. Below, you can see the email CRM workflow sent when the visit above was initiated. Having this data as an alert made sure we paid attention to it as we refined our paid search targeting. The email pulls data from the visit record as it is created. We know the visit is from Google search because the parameter Network={ifContent:Content}{ifSearch:Search} in the destination URL causes Google to tell us when the visit came from search (as opposed to their display network). For more information on passing parameters into the destination URLs of Google ads refer to http://support.google.com/adwords/certification/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=156114