How To Show The Exact Search Phrases People Used That Triggered Your Ads

Yeah, that title is way too long.

In the Adwords Keywords report you’ll see the keywords you have selected to bid on. And with that the available statistics.


Here’s a little snapshot for a campaign for the Dutch soap store of my SO and I. You see the keywords that I’ve chosen to bid on, along with the data that goes with it.

With [natuurlijke zeep] being an exact match keyword, I know that five people have used exactly this search term.

With “natuurlijk zeep”, which is a phrase match, it’s different. I know people have used the words natuurlijk and zeep, but that’s it. In this report I can’t see the full search term that has been used.

For that we’ll have to click ‘details’ and ‘all’.


Now you’ll see the report below.


This is good. Now I can see the search terms that people have actually used. In this report you can select a term and you can choose ‘add as keyword’ or ‘add as negative keyword’.

While that is awesome, be aware though. If you click ‘add as keyword’, it automatically becomes a broad match. If you click ‘add as negative keyword’, it becomes just an exact match. Sneaky, Google.

View the actually used search phrase + the keyword that was triggered

In the default ‘details’ report you do see the exact term used to trigger your ads. But you don’t see the connection to your keywords, the keywords you have selected to bid on.

No worries though, we can fix that.

Click ‘Columns’ and ‘Customize Columns’.


Click ‘add’ and rearrange your ‘Keyword’ item into your desired place. Now you’ll have a report in Adwords that shows the exact used search term and which keyword was triggered.


This is really useful for managing your campaigns. You can use this data to check if your broad keywords or phrase match keywords are triggered by the right search terms.

With this data you can choose to specify your keywords or to split them up into more keywords, so you can be more specific with your bidding.

Do you have your keywords added in your details-report? How do you use this data to optimize your campaigns?