What is the difference between search terms and keywords?
This is a common confusion. The difference is this:
Search terms are what the customer types in the search bar when looking for a product.
Keywords are what you bid upon in your manual campaigns.
Amazon matches customer search terms to your keywords when deciding whether to show your ad.
Example: Poster Hangers
Search terms: Search Terms originate from your customer, typed into the search bar. Here the search term is “magnetic wood poster hanger”.
Keywords: Keywords originate from you, then are matched to the customer’s search term. Here in Prestozon Analytics, we see that the (phrase match type) keyword “wood poster hanger” has matched the search term “magnetic wood poster hanger”, plus two other search terms. If the search term was “wood or plastic poster hanger”, this keyword would not have triggered a match because it is a phrase match type.
Search Terms Become Keywords and Negative Keywords
Search terms are your garden where you grow and harvest new phrases from which to create manual keywords. You also weed your garden of bad search terms by creating negative keywords.
Another common time to create negative keywords is when moving a search term into a manual keyword in a new campaign.
For example: You found the phrase “wood poster frame” is performing very well in your Automatic campaign, the campaign you use for researching new keywords. So you create a new manual keyword in your “Manual – Broad Match” campaign for “wood poster frame”, and then make “wood poster frame” into a Negative Keyword in the Automation campaign.
Why do this? Because then you can spend your Auto campaign budget on finding new keywords. You won’t “bid against yourself”, but you do want your keyword exposure to happen in the place where you have fine-grained control of it – the manual campaign.
We recommend “gardening” for new keywords and NKs every week or two. Prestozon’s Search Term Explorer tab makes this really easy, because, well, that’s exactly what it was designed for.