Articles in The 'AdWords-101' Tag

January 19 2011

Guess What? Negative Keywords in AdWords Just Got Easier!

by Theo Bennett

There aren’t many things you can do to your AdWords campaigns that will impact your click-through-rate and the conversion rate on your site.  When you find one of these magical dimensions, you need to cherish it — regardless of how much harder it makes your work.  Negative keywords fall into this category and, until recently, could be difficult to manage across your account.

So what is a negative keyword?  Negative keywords prevent your ad from displaying for a search query and they can be added either on the ad group or campaign level.  For example if own a beachside pizza place and you are targeting the keyword “pizza in Fort Lauderdale”; your ad could display for these queries:

“Pizza in Fort Lauderdale”
“Pizza in Fort Lauderdale near the beach”
“Pizza in Fort Lauderdale near the Everglades”
“Worst pizza in fort Lauderdale”
“Free pizza in Fort Lauderdale”

As you can see, you may not want your ad to show for “worst” or “free” or for a geo-modifier like “Everglades”.  If you include these terms as negative keywords, then you’ll save yourself an impression, increase your click through rate and get more qualified prospects to your site.  Keywords like “free” and “worst” are easy examples of negatives; however, due diligence is required to ensure that you stay up to date with how people are searching today. 

Until this week, sharing negatives between campaigns could be a time consuming task that required a lot of exporting and importing, or copying and pasting.   Fortunately, the fine folks at Google have added a new tool to the “Control Panel and Library” section of AdWords!  “Negative Keyword Lists” is a new tool that lets you add negative keywords across your entire account!  Log-in and take a look.

If you have negatives and haven’t used it yet, try it out.   If you don’t have any negatives in your campaigns — consider adding them now!

January 17 2011

Google AdWords: Tightly Themed Ad Groups Explained!

by Theo Bennett

If you’ve spent any time on Google’s help center for AdWords, you’ve come across the phrase, “tightly themed ad groups” at almost every turn.  Well maybe not every turn, but it’s peppered throughout any article, blog post, video, or forum that has anything to do with optimizing your AdWords campaigns. 

At almost every turn, Google implores you to construct your campaigns with the aforementioned “tightly themed ad groups” that contain a “few” keywords that are closely related to each other.   Unfortunately, you won’t come across any definitions for a “tightly themed ad group”.  So what is a “tightly themed ad group”, why is it important and how does it apply to your search marketing efforts?

Let’s start with a quick explanation of Quality Score, and a simple breakdown and explanation of how Google AdWords Accounts are structured:

Quality Score:  Simply put, the more often your ad gets clicked, the higher your quality score and the less you have to pay for your bid position. (There are a couple of other factors to Quality Score, but click through rate is the most important.)

AdWords account structure:

AdWords Account:  One account per company containing all of your campaigns, payment and billing information.

Campaigns: Up to 50 campaigns per account.  Targeting, ad delivery method, bid types, budgets and effective date ranges are controlled by the campaign.

Ad Groups: Up to 100 ad groups per campaign.  Ad groups are a collection of keywords that will trigger your ads; the amount you are willing to pay per click; the ads that will display when those keywords are used and the landing page on your website which will be displayed after your ad is clicked.

After digesting the above breakdown and reviewing the screen shot below of a Google search for “running shoes”; you may start to see the importance of ad groups that are organized with a few relevant keywords in each:  Ads should reflect the keywords that are being used. 


Got it yet?  No?  Remember Quality Score from above?  Let me break it down:  Take the keywords that you are targeting in the ad group and use them in your ad copy for that ad group.  When you do, the keyword used in the Google search will be bold in your ads on the Google results page.  The bold words will stand out.  Searchers will be drawn to the bold words in your ads and more likely to click on your ads as the bold text appears to be more relevant.  Your click-through-rate will increase; your quality score will increase and — most importantly — your cost-per-click will decrease and you will get more clicks for your budget!  Isn’t that easy? 

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