How To Use Adwords Searches Summary Card

Today I want to take a closer look at one of my favorite sections of the new AdWords Overview page, the Searches summary card. I have always enjoyed sifting through the search term report and this is a much more visually appealing way to see which terms are worth bidding on and which may be wasting your ad dollars.

About the AdWords Searches Summary Card

The Searches card has two tabs you can switch between: Search Terms and Words. The “Search Terms” section shows the top searches people typed on that most frequently matched your keywords and triggered your ads. To find out which individual words within the searches were most popular, see the “Words” section.

By default, the search terms will be sorted by impressions. The more vibrant the blue around the searches, the more impressions they have.

You can change the card to sort by clicks, conversions, or cost by selecting the metric you want to look at from the drop-down in the top-right corner of the card. I like to switch between all the metrics to really understand how these searches are performing.



If you hover over a search term in the card, a box will pop-up giving you more information about the term. It shows you the keywords in your account that it matched to. Impressions, click, and conversions based on date range you have selected on the Overview page.


Now let’s take a look at the Words section for the Searches summary card.

Words Section in the Searches Summary Card

This is the section I am most excited for. In the past, if you wanted to analyze the performance of a single word across all search terms you had to do some manual manipulation of the data or use an external N-Gram tool. In the Words section, Google does the work for you but pulling out the words most popular in your search terms.


You can use this data to determine if there are certain words you may want to build more keywords around or exclude them from your account. For example, I notice the word ‘cheap’ listed in the top impression keywords. The products my client sells are relatively affordable but are they in the right price range for people looking for “cheap” products.

By hovering over the word I can see how search terms containing the word cheap have been performing. Over the last 30 days, “cheap” searches spent $371 and generated 7 conversions. I do wish some more metrics were available in the pop-up, in this case, CPA would be helpful so I don’t have to calculate it myself.

In this case, a $53 CPA is a little higher than we’d like for this account but not too high where I would want to exclude all searches containing the word “cheap”. The next step then would be to look at the individual searches containing this word to see if there are certain ones we may want to exclude or potentially add as a keyword if the CPA is around our goal.

Clicking on the word in the card will open up a search term report that is filtered to just searches containing the word you clicked on. Now I can see specifically which “cheap” search terms have led to conversions and which are spending money without converting.

One thing to note is that the search term filter will default to ‘contains (case sensitive)’. You can remove that by adjusting the filter and changing it just to ‘contains’ instead.


I’m really enjoying using the Searches summary card to identify and analyze larger trends in search term performance for my accounts. It’s definitely the part of the Overview page I’ve been using the most often so far.

What do you think of the Searches summary card? Do you find it to be more helpful than just going directly into the search term report? Let us know in the comments below!