Trying to sell your products or services to the wrong customer is about as effective as trying to sell ice to an Eskimo. If you’re tired of the wrong people clicking on your ads, using negative keywords in your campaign can help. Here’s what you need to know.
Prevent the wrong consumers from clicking on your ad with the help of negative keywords.
How Do Negative Keywords Work?
For starters, a keyword is a specific word or phrase that triggers your ad to be displayed during a search query. Likewise, negative keywords are phrases that you do not want your ad to display for during a search. They basically tell Google to not show your ad if a consumer types in the negative word associated with your ad. For example, if you sell baby grand pianos and you don’t use negative keywords, your ad may pop up whenever a local consumer is searching for “piano music.” This only hurts you.
Fortunately, it’s not rocket science to add negative keywords.
The first thing you need to do is identify what kinds of things someone may search for that are somewhat related to your service or product. If your ad pops up on a search and the user clicks on your ad and discovers that it is not relevant, you still pay for that click. And if they don’t click on your ad, your click-through rate (CTR) is lowered. Over time, this can have a negative effect on your Quality Score with Google. As your Quality Score drops, you’ll start paying more in order for your ad to appear in a prime position.
Be sure to add not only keywords, but effective negative keywords as well.
Use Your Search Query Report
Google AdWords generates a report that tracks all the search terms used by people that received clicks in a 30-day period. You can have access to this report to see keyword phrases for your ads that were clicked. You can also use this report to add new keywords and negative keywords to your campaign.
To upload your AdWords report, do the following:
- Select the ‘Campaigns’ tab.
- Select the ‘Keywords’ tab.
- Select the ‘Details’ button.
- Select ‘All’ from the drop-down menu.
- Select the download button to export the data.
With just a few taps of the mouse, you’re on your way to improving your CTR and Quality Score.
Be on Key: Add the Right Negative Keywords
Let’s take a look at the piano example again. Take a vendor that sells new baby grand and uprightpianos and nothing else. Here’s a list of some negative keywords that should be added early on in their campaign:
- Refurbished pianos
- Used pianos
- Piano music
- Piano sheet music
- Music for pianos
- Piano repairs
- Piano tuning
- Old pianos
- Piano concerts
- Piano musicians
Adding these negative keywords will prevent many folks searching for used pianos, concerts, and sheet music from clicking on the website.
Be right on key with negative keywords.
The Benefits of Using Negative Keywords
There are several benefits that come from using negative keywords:
- Your ad will never be shown for keyword phrases that are not related to your service/product.
- There will be less clicks that don’t lead to conversion.
- Your overall CTR will be higher once the target audience starts seeing your ad and clicking on it.
- As your CTR grows, your ad will be positioned higher up on the page without having to pay a higher CPC (cost per click).
- Costs will be reduced when you exclude keywords where you might be spending money but seeing no return.
- You’ll see an increase in your campaign’s overall ROI.
Your campaign’s ROI will improve once you start using negative keywords
How Often You Should Research Negative Keywords
Selecting negative keywords is not like choosing the perfect dress for prom. This is not a one-time, special occasion. Adding negative keywords should be an ongoing process for your campaign. Here are 3 crucial times you should be brainstorming and researching negative keywords:
- Before you’ve launched your PPC campaign: By taking time to research and add all the pertinent negative keywords, you’ll save yourself money on unnecessary clicks and also save your Quality Score from dropping.
- While your campaign is live: This is the perfect time to hunt for irrelevant searches that your ad has matched against. Start digging through your search query reports in AdWords for keywords with high impression counts but low click-throughs. These are keywords that may be too general and not relevant enough for your campaign.
- On a regular basis: PPC experts often do negative keyword research on a weekly basis. With a marketing team by your side, your conversion rates and Quality Score will be closely watched to ensure that your ads are not being displayed with unrelated searches.
PPC experts can research negative keywords for your campaign on a regular basis.
Remember, a negative keyword will stop your ad from showing up for the specific words or phrase chosen, so take extra caution when adding negative keywords. To stay on the safe side, add negative keywords as exact match with [brackets] for Google AdWords and “quotes” with Bing Ads. Also, make sure you know which campaign you’re affecting as some negative keywords will work for one campaign but not for another. You don’t want to accidently cancel out keywords that you should be bidding for. If you’re unsure about which negative keywords to use for your industry, contact a PPC expert.
Bottom line—don’t go cray cray when adding negative keywords.
Be careful when selecting negative keywords so you don’t hurt your campaign.
If you’re ready to say farewell to low click-through rates and damaged Quality Scores, contact our PPC experts at OrangeSoda. We’ll successfully manage your campaign and target the right negative keywords.
Who would have thought something so negative could be so positive?