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Identify Seasonal Trends with AdWords Search Terms Report

Leverage your AdWords search terms report to identify seasonal content and improve your marketing campaigns for next year.

AdWords Search Terms Report for Organic Content
David Ward

David Ward

Dave is the CEO + Founder of Meticulosity and a serial entrepreneur who has spent his 20+ year professional career as an agency owner in digital marketing and web development space.

Paid search and organic search go together like cookies and milk. Both are great on their own, but when you put that data together the results are delicious. Let’s dive into how to leverage your AdWords Search Terms Report to identify seasonal content ideas.


Quick Recap: What is the Search Terms Report?

In Google AdWords, head over to the Keywords tab then click on the Search Terms tab. This is the Search Terms Report: 

Adwords search terms report

This is where you find the real gems. These are the search terms that your ads are actually showing for, which is sometimes different than the keywords you selected to bid on especially if you’re using broad match keywords. If you're using broad match, Google might match your keyword shoes with footwear, sandals, pumps, slippers, etc. so it's important that you keep an eye on what you're actually showing for so you don't blow your budget. 

Using Search Terms to Identify Seasonal Trends

Sometimes you don’t know what’s going to be popular until you see it in your analytics, and when that happens you’ve often missed the trend. When you’re looking at your reports and you start to see a bunch of new keywords popping up this can be a good opportunity to add them to your AdWords campaigns, but it’s also a great time to add them to your content calendar for your website.

Recently, I checked on a client’s account and saw that our search terms report looked like this:

AdWords Search Terms Report for Seasonality

Over half of their top keyword search terms had to do with Oscar trophies. Oscar trophies are not a high demand item for most of the year; this is a seasonal spike, and a big one. If you missed the spike in interest in this report you likely wouldn't even think about how you could have done more to capture this traffic, as this is just one single trophy out of a catalogue of thousands. 

The key to identifying these spikes is to review your Search Terms Report regularly. I'd recommend keeping on eye on it biweekly or even weekly and use different time frames so you can capture snapshots of search interest. Once you've identified that there is a seasonal spike in search demand you can make sure you take advantage of it. Maybe not this year, but you can get a head start for next year.

Here’s how: 

Adjust Your Paid Search Campaigns

A dedicated budget for Academy Awards statues likely isn’t necessary for most of the year, but could be really important closer to the event. Set a reminder to adjust your paid search campaigns for next year to appropriately manage your budget, keywords and ads for the Academy Awards. Also make sure you’re setting up the appropriate negative keywords – this particular adgroup might have negative keywords that are different from the rest of your adgroups.

Review Your Website Content

Review website content to ensure that we have “Oscar” and “Academy Award” keywords on the appropriate products. This can be tricky when you run into branded terms that have restrictions on their use, but if you get a little creative you can usually find a way to naturally use those key terms in a way that reflects the nature of your product without violating trademark infringement. Also be sure to optimize your page title tags, meta descriptions, product titles, product descriptions, and image alt tags to capture the search terms that you now know people are using. 

Increase AdWords CTR


Blog About It!

Build your content calendar to include blog posts about the Academy Awards. Perhaps you’re going to give some tips on how to host an Oscars party. Perhaps it’s a review of some of the nominated movies and actors. A custom drinking game to play while watching the Academy Awards. Shoot a video of your office/brand recreating scenes from the nominated films. The options are really endless if you’re willing to have fun with it and make it your own. The key here is to make sure you’re providing interesting, helpful content to your target audience.

This new blog content is great for capturing more organic traffic. Always make sure you are adding in links to your target products from your blog posts, then share them across your social media channels.

Share with Fans and Followers

Social media is all about sharing. You can leverage your new blog posts to share on social media and you can also share your product links directly in your social streams. Find a way to get your audience engaged and you’ll have an even better reach.

Your regular reporting will uncover all sorts of gems like this can you can use in your marketing campaigns, if you remember them. When you come across them, add them to your calendar for next year so that you can remember to take advantage of them. So many business operate on a “set it and forget it” approach to AdWords that being proactive to hit this market next year can capture a huge portion of the market share.

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