Your AdWords campaign might be a revenue-generating machine, but once you stop pumping money into that beast the coins will stop flowing.
Keeping your ad groups as focused as possible is one way to maintain the health of your advertising budget. Effectively using negative keywords is one way of qualifying your campaign and attracting the right type of click-hungry searchers.
As marketers, we want to make sure that we’re paying for the right type of traffic. So it can be quite tragic to watch your marketing spend get devoured without giving anything back. Negative keywords can help remedy this situation and bring in quality prospects and customers.
Ambiguous search terms are one of the worst contributors to an unsuccessful AdWords campaign. This is especially true if you are using “broad match” terms to promote your ads.
Even if you target specific key terms, you can still find that your ads are showing up for queries related to movie titles, books, performers, YouTube videos, etc. This is why it is often necessary to perform in-depth research around the keywords you are building your campaigns around. Some of the benefits of using negative keywords in your campaigns include:
– Keeping your ads from being clicked on by searchers that are not part of your target audience.
– Fewer clicks that do not convert to sales, as well as higher click-through-rate for terms you are actually targeting.
– A more relevant ad and a higher CTR can increase your quality score, which has the potential to put your ad in a better location.
– A reduced cost-per-click and an increased ROI.
You can start with a list of common negative keywords and continue your search from that point. In addition to using the Google AdWords keyword tool, you may want to check out several other free keyword research tools or resources that specifically focus on negative keywords.
As you create your list of keywords, keep in mind that there are two main ways to use them:
1) You can add negative keywords to the campaign level, which will keep all of your ads from showing up for these terms.
2) Or you can add them to an adgroup too keep only the ads in that group from being associated with specific search queries.
The type that you choose to use will depend on your particular product/services and the focus of your budget.
A good chunk of time, PPC marketers employ negative keywords to ensure that their ads are not showing up for searches that are irrelevant to their ads. For example, in the call tracking industry, our ads have the potential to show up when people are searching for a way to spy on their spouse or family member by tracking their phone calls. This type of traffic is obviously not relevant, so adding related negative keywords at the campaign level would be ideal.
As far as the adgroup level, negative keywords could be used to focus your budget on your best ads or in the case that certain terms are only useful for specific ads. This is more of a protective strategy that does not completely eliminate a keyword but saves it for ads that offer the highest ROI.
The value of negative keywords is obvious but it is possible to overuse these gems. Make sure that you are careful about the campaigns that are being influenced by these terms. Some ads will benefit from certain keywords while others might take a hit. Regularly evaluating the results of this strategy is one way to avoid canceling out profitable keywords from your campaigns.
Even if you find and bid on the best keywords in your industry, neglecting to use negative keywords will be detrimental to your campaign and your budget. Shaping your strategy with these terms is a great way to conserve your advertising budget and keep Google from stepping too far across the line.