Search phrases

Search phrases are terms that describe your business and help determine when your ad should appear for a potential customer. You can view your search phrases and their performance in your AdWords Express dashboard.

How search phrases work

When you sign up for AdWords Express or create a new ad, you'll be asked to choose a business category. Based on the category that you choose, we'll add a list of related words or phrases to your ad, known as “search phrases”. Now, whenever someone in your targeted area searches for those phrases on Google or Google Maps, your ad can appear and help attract a new customer to your business.


Let's say you own a pet shop and you've selected the category “Pet shop”. AdWords Express assigns a set of search phrases to your ad. These search phrases are related to your pet shop and include words like pet food, pet products and pet supplies. When someone searches for pet food on Google, your AdWords Express ad can appear.

You can’t change, remove or add the search phrases assigned to your ad. However, if your search phrases aren’t a good fit for your business, it may be helpful to select a new category. In addition, we analyse the performance of search phrases and gather feedback regularly to make improvements.

How to view your search phrases

Your AdWords Express dashboard will display the search phrases assigned to your ad. To see top-performing search phrases in your account, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords Express account at
  2. Click the business listing.
  3. Click See more.
  4. Scroll down to “Search phrases” for a list of words or phrases for your ad. You’ll also see clicks and views that came from each search phrase.
Try it now
How search phrases are matched to your ad

Your ad can show when someone searches for your search phrase or a variation of it, so that you can reach a wider audience.


Gina owns a hat shop and one of her search phrases is “hats”. Her ad may also show for searches such as "hat", "sun hats" and "caps".

The ability to edit keyword matching options isn't available in AdWords Express at this time, but we'll automatically apply a match type to each of your search phrases that we think is most suitable.

Your business name

We include your business name as a search phrase so that your sponsored offer will appear for potential customers searching for your business. Using your business name as a search phrase helps increase exposure by making your business eligible to appear in both the sponsored and organic search results.