How does Search Term Isolation work?

What is Search Term Isolation and how do I use it on Perpetua?

Joe Rideout avatar
Written by Joe Rideout
Updated over a week ago

Search Term Isolation

The Search term isolation feature allows you to funnel spend towards Exact match keywords using ad-group Negative matches in order to improve efficiency. More specifically, for any keyword, a Negative Exact match will be added to the Phrase ad-group and a Negative Phrase match will be added to the Broad ad group.

By implementing this strategy:

  • A given search term will only ever match its corresponding Exact match keyword.

  • Broad and Phrase keywords will serve only as research keywords to identify net new search terms that are not being bid on.

Let's look at an example to get a better understanding!

Let's say we only had one keyword in our entire goal. The keyword "white shirt". In this case, if we turned on Search Term Isolation on this goal:

1) A negative Exact Match would be applied to the Phrase Match Ad Group. This would then remove the search term "white shirt" from the search terms that are matched underneath the keyword "white shirt" Phrase Match, leaving only search terms such as "white shirt women" to remain.

2) A negative Phrase Match would be applied to the Broad Match Ad Group. Since this is a negative Phrase Match, not only would this remove the search term "white Shirt" from the Broad Match Ad Group, but it would also remove the search term "white shirt women", leaving only the search term "white women shirt" to remain.

With this, we are able to funnel spend towards the Exact Match keyword "white shirt", as this keyword will be the only one that has the matched search term "white shirt".

Note: This feature does not add Negative matches to "poorly performing" search terms that are not being bid on by Perpetua.

Also, we don't recommend turning on this feature for any new goals in order to allow our ad engine to initially collect search term data. This feature should only be applied to goals that already contain a lot of keywords, as this will likely impede keyword research. This is because by applying a negative Phrase Match to your Broad Match Ad Group, the Conversion Rate for your Broad Match keywords will likely decrease early on, which ultimately reduces bids and your competitiveness to win traffic on new search terms.

What happens if I apply Search Term Isolation on a Keyword Boost?

If you apply Search Term Isolation to a Keyword Boost, this will only add negative matches if an Exact match exists along with either a Phrase or Broad Match within the campaign.

How do I turn on Search Term Isolation?

1. Go to the Sponsored Products tab in the left-hand menu.

2. Click into the specific goal you wish to apply Search Term Isolation to.

3. Navigate to the Configuration panel on the right-hand side and click the "Advanced Settings" icon at the bottom of the panel.

4. Click the "Search Term Isolation" tab in the modal. From here, use the toggles to apply the feature to all your branded or unbranded keywords.

5. Press "Done".

6. Then at the bottom of the Configurations panel, click the "Update" button to save your changes.

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