working with low search volume keywords in google adwords

If you have used Google Adwords for any amount of time, you would have noticed that some of your keywords have a status of low search volume. This is a status that is assigned by the adwords platform to keywords that have no search history or very little search history in Google. It also means that the keyword is currently in an inactive state and the ads are not being shown to users for that keyword.

So, when you find that you have one or more low volume keywords in your campaign, what can you do about it and/or what should you do about it? It is important to understand what causes this low search volume state and what the implications are, before you attempt a solution or decide on one. It is possible that the reason is unique to your campaign.

so, what causes low search volume for a keyword?

There are several different reasons that might cause the keyword to be designated as a low search volume keyword. All of the reasons are related to your selection of the keyword, and some of which may be specific to your keyword. The most common causes are:

  • New Product or Service: If you marketing a new product or service by name then it is very unlikely that anybody knows about yet. That means nobody is searching for it yet by name.
  • No Interest or Too Obscure: The interest for the keyword has waned and nobody is searching for those products or services any more.
  • Too Specific: You keyword is too specific and the probability of users using those exact set of words are very rare.
  • Seasonal Keywords: Some queries are very much seasonal and happens only once or twice a year.
  • Exact Match Type: Your keyword is too long and the match type is exact, which means the queries that match your keyword exactly is slim.

what happens to low search volume keywords?

When a keyword is designated as a low search volume keyword, it is automatically taken out of the ad bidding process and is inactive. It is as if it has been paused temporarily by the system. If the traffic for the keyword picks up at later time then the keyword is activated again automatically.

does it affect the quality score?

One of the common questions that users have when they see a lot of such keywords, is whether it affects the quality score negatively or if it has any negative impact on the overall campaign itself. Actually, there is nothing to suggest that it affects the overall campaign in any way, apart from taking up space in your table or interface.

However, there is a couple of things you can check to make sure that the keyword is effective.  Check the quality score of the keyword itself, if it is too low then it is very unlikely that it will improve dramatically without you taking steps to fix issues. Also, check the conversion rate of the keyword which will tell you if the keyword is converting well and bringing you revenue even when the searches are limited.

The only factor that directly affects the quality of the overall campaign is the click thru rate or CTR.

what to do about low search volume keywords?

You have several options when it comes to dealing with such keywords. What you choose to do will be specific to your campaign and your goal.

  • Delete keywords: You can always delete the low search volume keywords and focus on your other keywords that are performing better. This allows you to keep your keyword list short and maintainable. This is also useful if you perceive that the traffic for that particular keyword is not going to get any better.
  • Pause keywords: If you are unsure if or not the traffic is going to pick up at a later time, you can always go ahead and pause it. But this is usually a mute option, because the fact that it is in a low search volume state means that the system has automatically paused it temporarily.
  • Modify keywords: Another option is to modify such keywords with the intention of increasing the searches that match for them. You can reduce the words in the keyword or change the words in the keyword or anything else you can think of.
  • Change Match Type: You can change the match type to be more inclusive. If you have been using exact match type then change it to phrase match, and if you have been using phrase match type then change it to broad type.
  • Status Quo: Leave it alone as it is, especially if you think the search will pick up or if you are unsure about the future traffic. That is also the case if you have a high conversion rate for the keyword.

 

The takeaway from this is that it is usually best to leave the low search volume keywords alone most of the time, especially if they are still relevant to the campaign or you are unsure about the traffic for the keyword in the future. It really does not have any negative impact on your campaign apart from the fact that it can clutter up the interface if you have a lot of them.