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.
Since working at MoreVisibility, I’ve had the opportunity to look at the many different aspects of client campaigns in order to determine the most effective search engine marketing strategy. When walking through the door, every client has a different level of understanding and experience with search engine marketing. While some clients tend to pay attention to the ads, other clients may be more concerned with the keywords. One area of particular importance that many clients do not even know about, are negative keywords. I call negative keywords the ‘unsung heroes’ of the campaign. Negative keywords are keywords or phrases that are added to the campaign that prevent the ad from showing when they are entered into search queries. By adding negative keywords you will be eliminating a large amount of irrelevant searches or superfluous clicks which, in turn, can increase your return on investment and save you money.
Only recently, I was working on a client’s campaign in the heavy duty construction industry. When digging deeper into the account (no pun intended) I discovered a large list of potential negative keywords. While it was helpful to add negative keywords along the lines of toys, games and costumes; it was also helpful to add negative keywords related to accidents, injuries and crashes. It’s just as important to concentrate on the negative keywords as it is to focus of the search keywords. One helpful tool to utilize when creating your list of negative keywords is the Google keywords tool. By entering keywords into the search, you can see the volume of searches conducted on your industry or product; you can use all the search volume information and keywords that it produces to decided whether or not these terms are relevant to your business objectives.
So remember, it’s ok to think negatively sometimes…it may save you a lot of money and increase your ROI.