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Paid Search (PPC)

18 AdWords filters to help you improve performance

Managing the performance of AdWords accounts is time consuming, particularly if you have a lot of keywords, ad groups, campaigns or products.

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Pete Keyworth

Senior PPC Consultant

Google AdWords Filters

AdWords filters can save you time by helping you manage your account more effectively. They can help you understand and interpret the data in your account better, so you can increase your traffic and revenue.

What are AdWords filters?

Google AdWords Filters
AdWords filters can be created and applied to query data within your AdWords account, based on different data attributes options that you select. They can be created within most areas of the AdWords online interface, including at campaign, advert, keyword, search term or Ad Group level. The filter option attributes are context sensitive and vary depending on which section of AdWords you’re in.

How to apply AdWords filters
Example of some keyword filters that have already been created

Useful AdWords filters

There are several types of filters you can use, these are the ones I find most useful, categorised by where they can be applied within an AdWords account:

Keyword AdWords filters

Filters to apply within the keyword section of your AdWords account.

1. Costly keywords – lots of clicks, no conversions

AdWords Filter to identify Costly keywords with no conversions
A filter to look for keywords which cost more than £20, have more than 100 clicks but no conversions. You can refine this based on a higher number clicks and a higher cost if you typically get a higher return on your services or products. Another tip is to only apply this to your enabled keywords.

2. Bidding higher than required and not getting a good return

AdWords Filter to Identify bidding too high for position
This filter lets you see keywords that have had a reasonable amount of clicks, that are above the estimate top page bid, but which have a high return (all conv. value/cost). You could remove the all conv. value/cost and replace it with cost per conversion, if you’re not recording sales revenue in AdWords, or add an option to show keywords with no conversions.

3. Poor quality score keywords

Filter to spot low quality keywords
This filter will help you spot keywords with low quality scores. You can then decide whether to improve your ads, bids or landing page, or to pause them. Start with looking at keywords with quality scores that are getting clicks and then refine this.

  • Qual. score <= 5 + Clicks >=100 + Cost / Conv >=50 – To look for keywords that are costing above a certain threshold.
  • Qual. score <= 4 + Clicks >=1  – Keywords with quality score of four or less that are getting clicks

4. Matched keyword search term filters

Matched search terms filter for Google Shopping or text ads
Image showing a search term filter. Added / Excluded = None is selected to show all but excluded keywords and then specific search terms are excluded to identify keywords that are not relevant to the product

Using filters can also help you review the keywords that your ads show for, whether they’re text ads or Google Shopping ads. The above image shows a filter with Added/Excluded = None (to only show keywords not already excluded) followed by Search Terms Does Not Contain options to show keyword results not including specific terms.
Using search term filters can help you to interpret your data and then decide on whether to add negative keywords to prevent wasted clicks, setup new ads, or add new keywords to improve performance.
Matched search terms filter for Google Shopping campaigns
Example of matched search term filters that have been setup to review keywords that have triggered Google Shopping ads

5. Keyword average position filters

Filters such as the following can be used to identify keywords that are below a certain position and combined with other metrics.

  • Avg. Position worse than 6 + CTR <2%
    A filter to identify keywords which are in a good position but which have lower click through rate
  • Avg. Position worse than 3 + Impressions >50 + Clicks <1
    A filter to spot keywords below position three that have more than 50 impressions but no clicks

6. Keyword Bid Position filters

  • Status Matches > Below First Page Bid
    Spot keywords that are not on the first page
  • Max. CPC < Est. top page bid
    Highlight phrases where you bids could be too low to appear at the top of the page. Remember that this is an estimated position and may not be accurate.
  • Max. CPC > Est. top page bid
    The reverse of the above filter to spot where your bids could be too high. Check for bids significantly above the Est. top page bid value.

Advert filters

A selection of filters to apply within the Ads section of your AdWords account. This may help you to review your advert performance.

7. Adverts with high impressions and a conversion rate of less than 1%

Adverts with High Impressions and Low Conversion Rate of Less Than 1%.
A filter to identify adverts that need pausing as they are not converting.

8. Adverts with more than 100 Clicks and a conversion rate less than the site or account average

Adverts with More than 100 Clicks and a Conversion Rate Much Less Than Site Account Average

9. Adverts with more than 100 clicks and position above six with a cost per conversion of more than £100

adverts with-more-than-100-clicks-position-above-3-with-cost-per-conversion-more-than-£100
Spot adverts that are prominently placed (above position six) and have had a decent amount of clicks but that could be costly.

10. Adverts containing specific marketing messages

Use of filter to measure advert copy performance of adverts with more than 100 clicks
Find out if specific advert copy message are working better than others, or the account average.

Ad Group and Campaign Filters

A mixture of filters to apply within the Ad Group section or Campaign section of your AdWords account.

11. High traffic ad groups with over low conversions

High Traffic Ad Groups with over Low Conversions

12. Costly adGroups which are over £50 with no conversions

filter for adgroups that cost over £50 with no conversions

13. Campaigns with a search lost impression share (rank) of more than 20%

Campaigns with Search Lost Impression Share (Rank) More than 20%

14. Campaigns costing more than £500 and a cost per conversion of over £100

Campaign Cost of More Than £500 and Cost per Conversion > £100

15. Campaigns with high bounce rates with over 250 clicks

adwords filter showing campaigns with high bounce rate and with-over 250 clicks

16. Ad Groups with good engagement – visits of more than 300 Seconds and more than 100 Clicks

Ad Groups with Good Engagement with Visits of More Than 300 Seconds and More than 100 Clicks

17. Campaign names that exclude brand traffic

Campaign name does not contain brand filter

18. Ad Groups that haven’t been edited

Identify Ad Groups that Haven't Been Edited


As you can appreciate, there are many different AdWords filters you can use to measure your AdWords performance. You’ll then have a better understanding of how to optimise your accounts, so they can drive more traffic to your site.
Unfortunately, only 10 AdWords filters can be saved under each area of your AdWords account (10 campaign, 10 adgroup, 10 keyword, 10 matched search term filters etc) and you can’t sort them once they’re created. I recommend adding and saving the filters that you plan to use most frequently. It would be great if Google improved both the number of filters that can be saved and the sorting options.
In addition to filters, you can also make sense of your AdWords account changes and performance by using bidding strategies, rules and reports, automation and labels.
Why not let us know which AdWords filters you find useful in the comments below?

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