When we start executing search and shopping campaigns, we refer to best practices to guide us. Follow along and learn why the SQR is super important to Shopping campaigns and how it affects your ROAS performance.

Recently, I was working on a retail client and I noticed something odd. Their ad spend was increasing while the ROAS was decreasing for their shopping campaign. I knew I needed to investigate the weirdness that was going on, so I set out on this journey by checking the first thing that came to mind, the SQR.  

Normally, I would only doa SQR check once a week at a minimum. This time, however, I decided to do them daily in order to get the wasted spend under control. While analyzing the SQR, I noticed the report wasn’t as up to date as I would have liked it to be where I overlooked keywords that should be negative keywords.    

I decided to take 3 approaches to analyzing the SQR.  

Approach 1 – Eliminating Irrelevant Keywords

This approach is the lowest hanging fruit.  Basically, it is scanning your Search Term report and removing any keywords that are irrelevant and too costly.  This is the most important tactic when reviewing your SQR as you do not want to be showing up and having users clicking on product that is not relevant to their needs. It is just wasted spend and will increase your bounce rate. Additionally, you want your product to appear as closely related to a person’s search. A person is far more likely to convert that way.

Approach 2 – Excluding Products Based Off SQR

While you are removing irrelevant keywords, you want to pay attention to common keyword topics that are driving your ad costs up.  For instance, I have a client that sells a wool coats for dolls. The account had a significant amount of irrelevant search terms and clicks focused towards wool coat for children.  

As I was checking the SQR daily now, I noticed that no matter how many times I included these terms in the negative keyword list, either new variations would appear or the spend had already been wasted with the keyword.  Since I separated my campaigns between branded and non-branded, I decided to start turning off specific products that displayed these characteristics for non-branded campaigns. This was just a band-aid solution for non-branded as the search terms would shift to the branded campaign.  I ended up turning off these products for branded campaigns as well.

Immediately, my daily spend decreased for these campaigns, and after a week, I noticed my ROAS increasing as well.   What I learned from this tactic was that you don’t have to promote all your SKU’s in Shopping. That, and it is ok to turn off products that are spending a significant amount but not yielding any conversions.  Using this technique, you can generate effectiveness with your spend and focus your spend on those products that are driving conversions for your campaign.

Approach 3 – Excluding Non-Converting Search Terms

This last approach was another low hanging fruit.  When you look at SQR’s for the past 30 days, you should analyze which search terms are the most costly and not converting.  When looking at this, you will need to determine if that search term is better off being a negative keyword or if you should keep it as is. Sometimes words, despite being a little off the mark can drive traffic to your site and generate conversions. Being able to determine which terms to exclude or keep will help in maximizing your ROAS. You create cost effectiveness by diverting your spend to other better performing search terms.

This all comes down to what your KPIs are, whether it be conversions or ROAS based. These things will help you decide if the term is worth keeping or not.  Generally if you are unsure, you can look at a longer window period such as 60 days or 90 days to help you make your decision easier.  

Example here:  These highlighted terms generated traffic but had a low conversion rate.  Therefore, I moved them into the negative keyword list to save on wasted spend.  


Since implementing all 3 approaches to the SQR, my client’s ROAS increased by close to 2X within 3 weeks. With our efforts, we generated a more effective ad spend for my client’s budget. The lessons I learned from this experience shows how much SQR’s affect the overall performance of search and shopping campaigns.  It is something that we can easily forget to pay close attention to and get away from you, like a runaway train. Even though checking SQRs’ daily seems excessive, it is sometimes necessary. Eveyr client iis different and it is important to ensure that their ad spend is effective.