N-Gram Keyword Analysis – How to Do More With Search Query Data

Oct 4, 2021

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At a Glance...

Haven’t heard of the N-Gram? Well get to know it – it’s the must have tool for any paid search specialists that allows you to break down search term reports in keywords, string of words and discover trends and performance. We’ve even got a template for you to use at the bottom of this guide, so have a go for yourself.

Have you ever wished that you could simply look at a Google Ads search term report and see the performance of the individual words, or string of words, that make up the queries of the search term report? If so, what you are after is an N-Gram keyword analysis.

An N-Gram keyword analysis is a great way to discover the themes that drive performance in an account or campaign by breaking up each search term into a sequence of 1, 2, 3… n words. It can enable you to discover single words that seemingly drive high spend and no conversions, allowing for quick optimisations through negatives. 

Once having identified the themes that perform well, you can then also create new list of keywords for these or regroup keywords into new ad groups based on these topics. 

Here’s an example search term report:  

It would be easy to just add all converting terms to an account and call it a day, however, by doing so you’d be potentially missing out on some keyword or restructure opportunities. 

Here’s what a mono-gram report of the search term report looks like:  


This mono-gram analysis highlights that no search terms containing “kittens” plural has converted, the same for “buy” or “supplies”, so it might be worth adding these terms as negative keywords (this is all hypothetical of course…). Likewise, search terms containing “Accessories” or “Kitten” are driving the highest ROAS, at around 10 and 5 each respectively, so it’s worth making sure that there are dedicated ad groups for these, with tailored copy. 

The bi-gram report offers some additional bits of insight, especially when combined with the above monogram.  


For instance, the monogram showed a strong performance for “Toy” terms, however, looking at the bi-gram report, we can see that this near entirely led by the “kitten toys” term. Likewise “Food” terms, drove overall an ROAS of ~3, though this is again only led by the “dry food” terms, from the “puppy dry food” search term. 

We have prepared a simple n-gram generator that you can use to create a basic analysis of your search terms. You can find it here.

To use the file, simply make a copy and paste in your search terms and KPIs in the same order in the Search Term Report tab. This will then create mono-gram, bi-gram and tri-gram reports for you. However, the report does have some limitation, such has only looking at sequences of up to 3 words, or being limited to the first 7 words of any search term only, but this should give you an initial taste of how powerful a tool an n-gram analysis can be.  

If you’d like a more advanced tool, able to look at longer sequences, or split performance of sequences on segments of campaign type, or brand vs non-brand, or are interested in discovering more terms or themes that could help you grow your paid search activity, reach out to us and we can explore this with you.

Pierre Daudré-Vignier, Senior Account Manager

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