No search volume for SEM? Try these alternatives to improve low-traffic AdWords campaigns

Have you ever had the experience that the keywords you want to use for Google AdWords or SEM is not going to show due to "Low Search Volume"? How to deal with keywords marked with this tag by Google?

What is "Low Search Volume" keyword?

First off, we should understand what the meaning of low search volume is?

According to Google, “Low Search Volume” is a status that’s given to a keyword with very little to no search history on Google. In another way to say, there are not that many people are searching for these keywords or key phrase. Google will remain inactive these keywords.

How does Google consider if a keyword has a low search volume?

To understand why some keywords are determined as low search volume, I discussed with some paid search experts.

Below are some of the reasons

– Your match types are too restrictive (e.g., exact match)
– Your keyword is too specific, long-tailed
– Your keyword is seasonal (now is the wrong season)
– Your keyword is branded terms

Can I choose to do nothing and still try to bid these keywords?

Okay, before I go on, can you do a little check-up, are the keywords spell correctly? Sometimes low search volume is a crucial factor in letting you know the keywords may be misspelled.

If everything is correct, and you still want to bid these keywords without any changing, yes you can. Google will automatically check again in a week. If more people start searching for the keyword, they will reactivate it.

Do not worry that your account will be affected if you even try to bid them. The only way that Google views you is Quality Score, which are the relevance or Ad, URL, keyword and user experience.

Method 1 - Use Broad Match

If you are bidding on keywords with large search volume like “bag” or “car”, you will enter a ranking game with thousands of competitors. Broad match will waste a lot of money, and it is not suggested to use it.

But if you are dealing with low search volume keywords, broad match is a suggested way. You can target your audience and rank high as well. You may first check if you change the keyword from specific into broad, see if the search volume increases.

If the broad match keyword has high competition, then you should try Method 2.

Method 2 - Shorten Long Tail Keywords

If your keywords are too specific, just a simple way, shorten them so that they can reach broader audiences.

Method 3 - Use Organic Traffic

If you have waited for a long time and the keyword occurs to be still inactive, why don’t try for SEO? You may write some blogs or an article. Turn this obstacle into your unique advantage.


While low-traffic campaigns can be a real headache to manage, you can still get a chance to get traffics by using a new approach. You may either try to change the keyword tactics, use other keywords or try to use SEO.

We have discussed some ways to enhance your low-traffic campaigns, hope it can be helpful for you.


Google Ads Help – Low Search Volume



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