Negative Keywords are an essential part of PPC (pay per click) advertising campaigns. These are words or phrases that, when included in a search term, do not trigger your adverts to display.
Negative keywords are completely subjective, what might be obvious for one campaign might actually be a keyword trigger in another. For example, negative keywords could include: “free”, “definition” and “instructions”. These would tend to indicate that the person searching these words are not interested in purchasing. But instead only looking for information. In some instances, however, this could be exactly they type of people you want to find.
As with normal keywords, negative keywords can take the form of broad match, exact and phrase. These can also be combined to completely lock a campaign down and ensure you aren’t wasting your PPC budget.
You may not want to show your adverts if a search is too broad. For example “Advertising”. The person searching this could be looking for almost anything. In this example, you may want to trigger adverts for “TV Advertising” but not for [Advertising]. You don’t want to block the word “advertising”, just when the search query matches [advertising] exactly.
Normally this problem wouldn’t crop up if your campaign was made up of just phrase match keywords, but this could be limiting your audience.
Depending on your company name, SEO position of your home page and competition, you might also want to block searches for your company. It’s just wasting budget and people will find you anyway (assuming you are number 1!).
Optimise your PPC Budget with Negative Keywords
One (slow and expensive) way of identifying negative keywords is to run a broad keyword campaign and constantly check the search terms that are triggering your adverts. It will very quickly become obvious how varied search queries can be, and how quickly they drain your budget.
There is little more irritating than have someone click your advert when, at least to you, it was completely obvious they were not going to find what they wanted on your website. It is exactly this that you need to predict and prevent. Not only will your conversions increase (hopefully you have setup conversion tracking!) you will probably notice that your quality scores rise too.
Make your keyword advertising campaign specific and focused to your landing page. Make sure if people are searching for exercise equipment, they don’t trigger your adverts for advertising classes!
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