Relevant and targeted keywords are crucial for a PPC campaign. Equally important are negative keywords (or negatives as they are commonly called). Negatives are word filters that disqualify text ads from triggering for specific search queries.
For instance if you are a iPhone reseller and “iPhone” is one of your keywords, each time somebody does a search for that keyword your ad will be displayed- this is a good thing. What is probably not good is if your ads also showed up for a search on “iPhone problems”. To avoid this and bloating total impressions with irrelevant searches it’s important to add “Problem” as your negative keyword. This way “iPhone Problem(s)” search query would not trigger your text ads.
Every search engine advertiser should use negative keywords in their Pay Per Click (PPC) account. A comprehensive list of negatives helps ensure targeted visits to your site which will in turn significantly improve not only your CTR, but also your overall conversion rate.
Not using negative keywords can mean that your ads show to users who aren’t interested in your business or service. This untargeted traffic could lower your keywords Quality Score and negatively impact your return on investment.
How to find negative keywords idea:
- Google Keyword Tool: Place your keywords in the keyword tool. Google shows keywords related to your products or services. Check the Keyword column for any search query that is irrelevant to your business and that you wouldn’t want triggering your ads. Click the downward-pointing arrow in the Keyword column for each keyword that you want to be added as a negative. Select that keyword and it is added as a negative.
- Search Query Report: Pull a search query report at regular intervals to check what keywords trigger your ads. The new Google interface has a feature which is somewhat hidden, but it helps you run a search query report at the ad group level without actually running a full-blown report to find additional keywords or negative keywords.Here’s how you can access that- under the keywords tab, click the “see search terms” drop down and click “all” or “selected” (be sure a date range is chosen). You will see the actual search queries that displayed your ads. Search queries that are not relevant to your product/services can be added as a negative keywords right from this window. Just click the box next to a particular keyword and click “Add as negative keyword“.
- Analytics: It can be an amazing source of negative keywords. Look at your organic data and not just your PPC data. If you are unsure of any terms, do a simple search for the keyword and see what results pop up.
- Use A Thesaurus: Run your main keywords through a Thesaurus. This not only helps in expanding your negatives but also helps with main keyword list.
- Industry Analysis: Use your product and industry knowledge and think of words that are similar or spelled similarly to your product or service names. Remember that there are products released every day, so set up Google Alert for your keywords.
Once you’re done with adding negatives at your campaign or ad group level, check for account performance. Look for improvements in CTR, quality score and conversions. Here’s a list 150+ Negative Keywords for Software Selling AdWords Campaigns with examples to add to your PPC groups.
Adding negatives is an ongoing process. Depending on your product you might need to look at new negatives every day.