What Is Search Term Isolation?

Team Pepper
Posted on 1/08/225 min read
What Is Search Term Isolation?
Search term isolation means bidding on specific search terms on Amazon. We explore exactly what it means and how it can further your advertising strategy.

One of the most difficult aspects of digital advertising is learning the complexities of the industry, especially the enormous collection of terminology. A common mistake of conflating the phrases “keyword” and “search term” is frequently seen among advertisers.

Although both are important aspects of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and have similar meanings, they are not interchangeable. A search term is a term a user enters to search something online, while keywords are what advertisers or marketers use for promotion and visibility. This brings us to search term isolation.

What Is Search Term Isolation?

Search term isolation entails bidding on search terms that convert, while ignoring those that don’t, making sure that you only invest in the best search terms. Essentially, it involves bidding on keywords that match the search terms the audience is using. This practice is highly prevalent on Amazon.

In search term isolation, you can break down each keyword individually by adjusting individual bids to account for the number of impressions, budget, and CPC target, and gain greater customization and boost profitability. So, if you want to have a successful growth strategy, you need to understand how to optimize search terms, as well as the difference between search terms and keywords.


What Is the Difference Between Search Terms and Keywords?


example of a search term

Keywords and search terms may appear to be the same thing, but they are fundamentally distinct. A keyword is a particular word or phrase a marketer uses in a sponsored or organic search campaign. For example, if you want to run a campaign for a gel moisturizer, you will use that term as your keyword.

Keywords can also be branded terms, i.e, the exact name of a brand, or the tagline of brand. Marketers and advertisers use keywords for greater visibility.


Search terms are words or phrases that users write into a search engine box to search for specific information. The list of terms could be out of order, include additional words that aren’t relevant to the search query, or even include misspellings (in which case search engines will automatically correct them).

How Does Search Term Isolation Work?

The principles of search term isolation are based on bidding on the exact keywords that convert and matching them to actual search terms used by customers.

When running a PPC campaign on Google or Amazon, you must first decide if you want to target using keywords or products. You can then choose whether the keywords will display in search results with a “broad match,” “exact match,” or “phrase match.”

Each of these alternatives has its own set of bid prices and methods for completing the match. The popular or high-performing search terms are placed in exact-match campaigns. This method lets you target your bidding on the keywords with the highest conversion rates. Let’s take a closer look at the three to understand their importance in search results.

1. Broad match

how broad matc keywords work


In this bid, any term that is broadly related to the word or phrase you’re targeting will appear in the search result page. For instance, if your target term is “coffee tables,” your product may appear in searches for “brass coffee table for living room,” “cheap coffee tables,” and the like. This is useful, as the phrase is relevant. However, you might even win bids for keywords related to products you don’t sell.

2. Phrase match

Phrase match bidding lets you narrow down your target search terms to specific phrases. An advantage of phrase match is that it lets you regulate word order.


the difference between broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords


For instance, bids on phrases like “coffee glass table” can appear in a broad match bidding for the search term “coffee table.” On the other hand, phrase match allows you to place any changes in the keyword at the beginning or at the end of the keyword, giving you more control.

3. Exact match

In this form of bidding, the exact term you’re targeting will appear in the search result. It enables you to bid on the exact match— including plurals—and only that word or phrase.

When done correctly, it maximizes conversions and thus the efficiency of your ad. You can also use exact match bidding to receive the highest competitive bid for a phrase. Exact match bidding can enhance conversion, while also lowering bid expenses. For Amazon campaigns, this will result in a much reduced spend, while also raising your total volume of sales.

This, however, must be done with caution. Exact match bidding, if done carelessly, might harm your product’s visibility. It’s up to you to choose the correct keywords, and doing so relies heavily on your knowledge of the subject.

How Does Search Term Isolation Work on Amazon?

Amazon search term reports are a list of customer keyword search terms that have created at least one impression for your Amazon advertising campaign. They are essentially terms the shopper uses to search for products on Amazon.

search term isolation on Amazon


There are three types of Amazon search term reports that you can run:

Sponsored brands

Sponsored brand video ad types

● Sponsored products

Once you download an Amazon search term report, you can analyze and add three very actionable steps to it to optimize your Amazon campaign performance:

Add new keywords to the campaign

● Add negative keywords (where you focus on only the most relevant keywords)

Every penny of your marketing budget matters, and search term isolation will save you from unwanted expenses. Search term isolation allows you to manage the bid on a single search term rather than a group of search terms related to a keyword. However, you need a proven search term bidding method and strategy to power your approach if you want to advertise successfully and profitably.

You may be able to get a good hold on your PPC advertising search terms, find gaps in your search term strategy, and improve conversion rates. Even better, it can allow you to subdivide this data into different geographical locations, purchasing methods, and different personas.


1. Why are search terms important?

The words/phrases the audience uses to search for content relating to their concerns are known as search terms. They are an engine that helps drive information for the users.

2. How do you effectively use an Amazon search term report?

An Amazon search term report can be used to examine how well your advertising strategy performed. In order to make your campaigns more effective, you must find search terms that aren’t as relevant to your company, and put them to your negative keyword list.

3. What is the difference between search term and keyword?

A search term is a word or phrase that a user types into search engines’ or online retailers’ search boxes when conducting an online search. A keyword is a term or set of words that marketers use to target the right audience for their ads.