A Negative That’s a Positive

Katherine Bennett - September 23, 2008

It might sound like a contradictory statement or an optimistic proverb but the truth of the matter is a negative, a negative keyword that is can be a positive asset to your cpc campaign. A negative keyword is a keyword matching option that keeps your ads from showing when someone types in that particular word or phrase.

Every cpc campaign should have negative keywords. Negative keywords help to tighten the targeting of cpc campaigns. They are the gate keepers that help to keep unwanted clicks and traffic away. Let’s look at an example. If you sell coffee franchises nationally then you’re probably bidding on keywords such as “franchise” “franchise opportunity” “franchise opportunities”, “franchise business opportunity” “franchise business opportunities”  etc. Yet, what happens when someone does a search for “sports franchise opportunity” “car wash franchise opportunity” or even “international franchise business opportunities” your ads are going to show up. However, you only want to target people interested in buying coffee franchises. This is where your gate keepers, the negative keywords come into play. Make a list of the words that you don’t want to show up for these would include other types of franchises such as  “hotel”, “sports”, “home based”, “international”, “automotive”, “golf” etc.  This is only a start, your negative keyword list can be as long or short as you want it to be. It all depends on how targeted you want your cpc campaign to be.

Negative keywords also come in handy when you’re bidding on abbreviations. For example what if you’re a restaurant bidding on the term “nra.”  For those in the restaurant field it stands for “national restaurant association”, but for those in the field of rehabilitation it means “national rehabilitation association” and event still for those who are experts in the area of weapons it means the “national rifle association.” In this case your negative keywords could be “rehabilitation” “weapons” “rifles” etc.  Again, your negative keywords are protecting your cpc campaign from unwanted impressions and clicks.

A negative can be a positive when you’re talking about negative keywords for a cpc campaign. Negative keywords help you target the audience you want and keep away the audience you don’t want. Negative keywords are great gate keepers for cpc campaigns.

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