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Quick, ROI-Friendly Guide for Duplicate Keyword Cleanup

Published: May 2, 2016

Author: Nathan Singer

Most accounts have duplicate keywords, especially larger accounts where your client is constantly wanting to expand. An oft-overlooked factor in account performance is that using Broad or Broad Match Modified keywords means that you could be creating duplicates.
Luckily for you, it is rather easy to find and pause duplicate Keywords in AdWords Editor.

Find the duplicates

In the Tools dropdown, click “Find Duplicate Keywords.”
A box will pop up with several boxes to check. You want to check for Word Order, “Any word order.” Since the keywords we are trying to find are in Broad or BMM, the order does not matter.
For Match Types, you’ll want “Duplicates must have the same match type,” because Exact Match and Broad Match keywords perform differently and you can negate overlap with negative keywords.
For Location of duplicates, you want to select “In the same campaign” in order to catch all duplicates within each campaign.
Next, create a filter to filter for only keywords with a Broad Match type.

Pause the duplicates

So now you’ve got your duplicates. Next question: if you have a large account with hundreds, even thousands of duplicate keywords, what is the most efficient way to effectively pause out the underperforming duplicate keyword?
AdWords has simplified this problem by adding a dropdown in which you can select your duplicates. You then make your edits from there, whether you want to pause or delete them.
The two that I like to use are Quality Score: “All but the highest,” and Order of Appearance: “All but first.”

Quality Score “All but the highest”

If a keyword has a higher Quality Score, but has not been serving because a duplicate is stealing all of the traffic, then you’ll want to pause the lower quality score keyword, and test to see if you can get lower CPCs with the high quality score keyword.

Order of Appearance “All But First”

Before I highlight anything, I like to pull in data for a certain period of time. Depending on how much data your campaigns have, you may want to pull from a longer lookback.
After pulling the data, simply click the metric, and you can sort the keywords highest to lowest.
After sorting select the duplicates, select “All But First,” and now you will have all of the lower-performing duplicate Keywords highlighted to do with as you please.
I know it is scary to edit that many duplicate keywords, so to be safe, LABEL and date all changes.
Some keywords may have to take time to generate history in order to start picking up the extra volume, but in the end your account will benefit greatly from cleaning this up. You do not want keywords in your account competing against each other. This will not only help with saving money, but also make your bid adjustments more accurate.

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