Most of us have been told at some point and time to use moderation and not over indulge. This advice holds true when it comes to negative keywords in paid search campaigns. Just like over indulgence, too many negative keywords can hurt your paid search campaigns.
Negative keywords are designed to help tighten the focus of your campaign. Let’s say you’re a jewelry company that only sells solid silver jewelry and your company bids on related keywords. Negative keywords that could benefit your campaign are “how to clean”, “wholesale supplier”, “how to make”, “gold and”, etc. All of these could potentially be negative phrase match keywords.
Negative phrase match keywords prevent your ads from showing when someone types in that keyword phrase in that particular order. This means that people searching for “how to clean silver jewelry”, “silver jewelry wholesale supplier”, “how to make silver jewelry”, and “gold and silver jewelry” should not trigger your ads to show. This is a positive because your company doesn’t give tutorials on how to clean or make silver jewelry, you’re not a wholesale supplier and you don’t sell gold jewelry. However, too many negative keywords could actually be a negative and block your ads from showing for relevant searches.
Negative keywords become a negative to your paid search campaigns when they block your ads from showing for relevant searches. Let’s continue with the example above. If your company adds a negative such as “buy silver chains”, it could be blocking potential customers, especially if you are bidding on the term “silver chains” to refer to a necklace. In this example your company is working against its own paid search campaigns. It could be that “silver chains” is attracting people who are looking for silver purse chains, silver chains for their fence, as well as those people who are looking to buy a necklace. Instead of adding “buy silver chains” as a negative, consider adding negatives such as “purse chains”, and “fence chains.” This allows your company’s ads to continue to show for searches like “silver chains”, but at the same time it excludes certain purse and fence chain terms from triggering your ads.
Negative keywords should always be a positive and not a negative to paid search campaigns. It’s good to add negative keywords, but don’t go overboard. If negative keywords are keeping your ads from showing for relevant searches, then it’s time to make some adjustments.
What happens when someone locks their keys in their car? They have to figure out how to get their keys out of their locked car and it delays them from getting to their destination. Although, it wasn’t intentional, their schedule has been altered. It’s the same way in the internet world. Companies make changes to their website, move pages, delete pages, but don’t make the corresponding adjustments to their search engine marketing campaigns. It’s an honest mistake, but one that can be costly.
What many companies don’t realize is that they are wasting money when they change their website pages and don’t adjust their search engine marketing campaigns. Their ads are showing and they are incurring cpc costs, even though their ads are going to an error page.
Think about it. It’s like a restaurant paying for a billboard on a busy interstate that says exit here for food. However, when people exit they end up at an empty building, with no sign that says we’ve moved to a new location. It’s a waste of money. Why pay for a billboard that directs people to the wrong location?
Another cost factor is losing trust and relevancy among searchers. Searchers don’t enjoy clicking on ads that lead them to an error page. It has no benefit for them. Some companies may remember to put in redirects on their websites that send searchers to the home page of their site, but it’s better to send searchers to a page on your website that is directly related to their keyword search. Although some searchers are persistent, a company can lose credibility if their ads consistently lead to error pages.
Error pages not only leave a bad taste in the searchers mouth, but also in the mouth of search engines. A company’s keywords and ads within their search engine marketing campaign can be disapproved by engines. This can be hurtful to the quality score and drive up a company’s cpc cost for keywords, which causes the company to incur unnecessary costs.
The solution to avoid costly mistakes is simple. If there are changes made to your website, especially in the naming of the web page, make sure the corresponding changes are made to your search engine marketing campaign. It is better to pause your campaigns temporarily to confirm that they match your website; than to run them with uncertainty, hoping that everything matches.
I admit it; I love the TV show “Vegas”. One of the things I always found fascinating in that show was the facial recognition tool they use in the security room. It is great the way they scan through a database of faces and find a match to someone they just video capped from the security cameras. It’s basically a search engine for faces.Read More