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Should I delete ‘Low search volume’ keywords?

Should I delete ‘Low search volume’ keywords?

If a keyword doesn’t have enough or very little search volume, on Google search, it will be marked ‘Low search volume’.

The keyword is likely to remain inactive until its search traffic increases.

The keyword may then be reactivated and it will start triggering your ads to show as Google system checks and updates this status regularly.

A ‘Low search volume keyword’ does not impact your Quality Score.

If you have a large amount of ‘Low search volume’ keywords, especially with fewer impressions or no clicks at all, pause and periodically reactivate these.

However, if after your optimisation you still get no impressions, delete your ‘Low search volume’ keywords permanently.

Best practices
Use a Filter to find your ‘Low search volume’ keywords
– Keywords > Filter > Status > Limited > Low search volume.


Wait for traffic to increase
– Wait for the traffic to increase, this is a common recurrence for new products and services, or if keywords are seasonal and you’re bidding during the wrong season.

Display Network
– Test a Display Network campaign targeting your ‘Low search volume’ keywords to create awareness.

Look at the placements Google Ads is showing your ads to get ideas for targeting new keywords, different keyword themes, and variations to expand your reach.

Change keyword match types
– Find out if your ‘Low search volume’ keywords are set to phrase match or exact match, and change it to broad match, or BMM (Broad Match Modifier). These match types increase your keywords’ reach and Search impression share.

Target research and mid-funnel keywords
– Consumers do not always know exactly what they want. When they are searching, they type keywords to research the market (top funnel), to gather more information (mid-funnel), or to express interest when are ready to buy (lower funnel).

As lower funnel keywords are more likely to convert, it is important to target more top and mid-funnel keywords to get consumers to enter your sales funnel.

Long tail Keywords
– If you have long tail keywords marked ‘Low search volume’, shorten these keywords to two/three keywords, or even a variation of these two/three keywords into just one broad match keyword.

Find more targeted keywords or variations
– Input all your ‘Low search volume’ keywords into the Keyword Planner.

The Keyword Planner suggests you new keywords and variations. 

Add keywords and variations with good traffic volume to your campaign as a broad match or BMM (Broad Match Modifier).

Peel and stick
– Test a new small campaign with your search volume keywords pointing to a different landing page.

Peel all the ‘Low search volume’ keywords from their ad groups, and stick these into new tight themed ad groups.

This practice ensures the CTR (Click through rate) of your performing keywords is not affected by the ‘Low search volume’ keywords.


– Check your bids are not too low preventing your keywords from entering the auction.

Try raising your bids gradually to see if the number of impressions increase.

Remarketing campaigns
– Create a Remarketing campaign targeting the top and mid-funnel keywords of your Search campaigns.

– If your products or services fit into a small niche, try to target this niche only to qualified audiences using RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) with the ‘Targeting’ option.

Social Media Ads
Try Social Media. Your ‘Low search volume’ keywords may resonate well with selected and targeted social media audiences.

Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.

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