How to Address Low Search Volume Keywords in Google Ads

My Post (5)You’ve done it! You built your first Google Search campaign after many hours of planning, projecting, and strategizing. The ads and keywords are all uploaded and visible in the interface, and you are performing your final QA. But then it hits… you open the campaign only to find out that Google has flagged many of your keywords as ‘low search volume’ and won’t trigger ads for them. Have no fear! This is a common situation for Search advertisers, and there are several ways to address it.

How is a Keyword Considered Low Volume?

A Google Ads keyword is considered low volume when Google associates very little search traffic with it, which shows that the keyword is irrelevant to most customers’ searches. When a keyword is flagged, Google will not trigger ads for this keyword until volume projections increase above a certain threshold.

The first test you can do is upload your keyword build into the Google Ads keyword planner to get volume projections. This will help inform potential monthly impressions/spend for your keyword set, and you can adjust prior to uploading if needed.

Google Ads Keyword Planner in UI

Before we jump into how to address this, it’s important we review how to avoid this entirely by understanding how keyword match types function in the world of 2020 Search advertising.

How Can I Avoid Low Volume Keywords?

Close variants were expanded in July 2019 in Google Ads to give Google freedom to expand a keyword based on misspellings, singular/plural, stemmings, abbreviations, and accents. Gone are the days of specific keywords misspellings and super long-tail keywords. Here is an example where the bolded keyword will cover all the non-bolded queries through close variants:

  • “swimming suits”
  • “bathing suits”
  • “swim suits”
  • “suits for swimming”
  • “swimnig suits”

As a whole in the industry, we are moving towards Google having more control and advertisers lose control, and this is a prime example of this and how to get in front of it.

Broad match modified keywords are a common culprit of low search volume. The functionality of these keywords is often misunderstood when included in a campaign build. Let’s say you’re in the education space and sell certification courses for a trade of some sort such as HVAC. You build the following keyword set to show ads for how you expect a user might search for this:

  • +hvac +technician +certification
  • +hvac +technician +certification +courses +near +me
  • +hvac +technician +certification +classes +Indiana
  • hvac +technician +program  
  • +hvac +technician +program +near +me
  • +hvac +technician +program +Indiana

The bolded keywords will capture any searches that the non-bolded keywords might capture, so essentially the non-bolded keywords are redundant and likely the ones flagged for low search volume.

This brings up the point that keywords that are broader are likely more expensive because you’re competing for more available queries, which puts you in a rough spot of choosing between bidding on expensive keywords with intent that’s difficult to gauge or keywords that might not even show. Which brings the question…

My Product/Service Is Super Specific, and I Can’t Avoid Low Volume Keywords. What Do I Do?

This is all too common especially for smaller advertisers that have small budgets, niche products, and are competing with mega-brands that have seemingly unlimited spending power. There will always be a more broad keyword that will fit your service. The trick is to be creative with the audience side of Search advertising in conjunction with your keyword/ad copy strategy to improve ad spend efficiency and ultimately performance.

RLSA (remarketing list for Search ads) and ALSA (audience list for Search ads) are both common strategies that tells Google “I want to bid on a keyword but only deliver the ad if a user falls within a particular audience”. Think of it as layered targeting where you are setting two qualifiers for the user to be eligible to be served an ad. These strategies are your ticket out of the hole of low search volume. – Read more

Navigating the road ahead: How consumers are adjusting to COVID-19

My Post (28)COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with the world around us. Things like social distancing, curbside pickup, and at-home workouts are now commonplace. The necessary measures taken to manage the pandemic have not only disrupted the global economy, but have also altered consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior. These shifts are constant and they’re happening rapidly—and we want to help you navigate them. Today, we’ll share five key trends we’re seeing and provide helpful resources for adjusting your media strategy.

What’s changing with consumers?

As of this week, there are over four billion people staying home worldwide. And while we don’t know how or when this crisis will resolve, we do have new insight into how people’s needs and behaviors are changing:

People are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels.

Connecting with the world online is more important than ever right now, with at-home media consumption increasing dramatically and influencing all aspects of life.

  • In the U.S., staying home has led to a 60 percent increase in the amount of content watched. Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.
  • Consumers across the globe are spending 20 percent more time in apps and games than they did a year ago and app usage in China grew to five hours/day on average (+30 percent year over year), according to App Annie.


People are turning to Google for important information and content to meet their essential needs.

With businesses adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need.

  • According to internal data, searches for “food delivery services” have grown globally by more than 300 percent year over year.
  • Americans are watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate 31 percent higher than they did the same time last year.
  • According to internal data, searches for “online pharmacy” have grown globally by more than 100 percent year over year.


People are discovering new connections and nurturing relationships (virtually).

Even as people physically distance themselves, they’re using technology in new ways to connect with each other.

  • 50 percent of U.S. consumers said they have used video to communicate with family and friends. In fact, as of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users everyday.
  • On YouTube, we’ve seen a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning and cooking. In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.


People are adjusting routines to be at-home-first.

As daily routines and schedules adjust to new realities, so have online and at-home habits.

  • Search interest for “telecommuting” in the U.S. reached an all-time high on Google and YouTube in mid-March, and continues to grow with no sign of slowing down.
  • Workout routines have changed. There’s growing search interest for “stationary bicycle” worldwide since the beginning of the year, especially in Spain and France, and “dumbbell set” in the UK.


People are practicing self-care more. 

People are focused on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs, in addition to those of friends and loved ones. – Read more

It’s now free to sell on Google

My Post (12).pngThe retail sector has faced many threats over the years, which have only intensified during the coronavirus pandemic. With physical stores shuttered, digital commerce has become a lifeline for retailers. And as consumers increasingly shop online, they’re searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods. While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.

In light of these challenges, we’re advancing our plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google. Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings, and for new users of Merchant Center, we’ll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.

These changes will take effect in the U.S. before the end of April, and we aim to expand this globally before the end of the year. Our help center has more details on how to participate in free product listings and Shopping ads. – Read more

Hotel Check-In & Check-Out Times Now on Google Maps

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Google has announced that hotels can now include the check-in and check-out times to their Google My Business listings. 

This will give customers the ability to see these times just by doing a simple Google search for the hotel.

The feature is currently only available for hotels.

Any check-in and check-out times entered by the business will be viewable on their business listing.