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“Low Search Volume Keywords” – What does it really mean?

What does “Low Search Volume Keywords” status mean?

When keywords in your AdWords account do not have enough search traffic on Google search, they are marked as “low search volume keywords”.  It indicates that they are not very relevant to most customers’ searches. As a result, Google makes those keywords inactive, so they will not trigger your ads until the search traffic for them increases. As soon as the search queries raise even by a small amount, Google will reactive those keywords to start triggering your ads and showing them again. Status of low search volume keywords is checked and updated once per week by Google system.

Why is there “Low Search Volume Keywords”?

In 2008 Google introduced “low search volume keywords” status in order to exclude from the ad auction keywords which are considered unclear or too specific, or were misspelled significantly. It helps AdWords serve ads more efficiently and decrease the number of keywords in its system. Before the keyword is stopped from joining the auction, Google system evaluates the volume of searches on a given keyword worldwide over the past twelve months.

How to manage “Low Search Volume Keywords”?

Google´s options to manage “low search volume keywords”:

  • Leave keywords as they are. In one week the system will automatically check the number of searches on given keywords again and if the search traffic increased, the keywords will be reactivated. This strategy is good for keywords of a new product, term or brand. The traffic will increase once people become aware of it.
  • Delete low search volume keywords. By deleting low search volume keywords you will keep your account organized and under control. Besides, the Keyword Planner in your AdWords account will help to find ideas for new keywords to target.

Other options to manage “low search volume keywords”:

  • Change a match type. Often long keyword phrases have exact or phrase match types. By changing a match type from exact or phrase to broad or broad match modifier “low search volume keywords” problem can be fixed.
  • Broaden the geographical area. If your business has a flexible service area, the geographic reach of your AdWords campaigns can be expanded to check if that raises the volume enough for Google to begin showing ads. For example, if you use the radius targeting, you can double the radius or expand into neighboring cities, states, or countries to see if that works. You can transfer the low volume keywords into another campaign with a greater geographical reach.
  • Place keywords in a different campaign. Sometimes keywords with low search volume relate to a specific season or an event which is yet to take place/launch. A good alternative is to relocate those keywords in a different campaign with the same ad group name appended with ‘low search volume’.
  • Pause keywords. If in your account there is a significant amount of low search volume keywords, you may consider pausing the ones which are generic and have a low quality score. It will help to make your account manageable and to improve the overall campaign quality score.