Use Negative Keywords to Tighten Your Keyword Basket

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Want a ‘PERFECT’ account that does not attract any unwanted traffic, converts everyday and gets you a completely unbelievable ROI? Don’t we all!!! Ok so let’s get back to reality. The ‘perfect’ account may not be possible but you can always come close to touching perfection.

Most of our accounts have an extensive and exhaustive keyword list to ensure that we cover as many variations of keywords that users can possibly insert into the Google search bar. However, while creating this extensive list of keywords, we tend to forget that we are inviting several irrelevant users as well who have absolutely no interest in our products or services. The result – loads of impressions, lower clicks resulting in a lower CTR. Or even worse, lots of irrelevant clicks and high cost with very low conversions. You can avoid this by adding only exact match type keywords, but won’t that reduce your visibility too much?

Before you come across this disastrous high cost – no conversions situation, let’s wake up and begin optimizing. Although, optimization includes several tasks, one activity we often keep low on our list of priorities is ‘Adding Negatives’. Adding negatives can help reduce irrelevant traffic to a very high extent, thus reducing wastage of your advertising budget. Another very important effect of adding negatives will be an increase in CTR due to higher relevance. This will also help to boost your quality score resulting in a drop in your CPC.

You can add negative keywords at the campaign as well as ad group levels. If you have generic keywords in your account, your ads may get triggered with lots of far-fetched search queries. Avoid these by adding negative keywords at the campaign level.

Most of us will have very tightly themed ad groups where similar themes like ‘repair’, ‘fix’, ‘replace’, etc. will be present in different ad groups to ensure extremely relevant ad copies. Google, very often, tends to trigger ad copies from the wrong ad group due to the sheer nature of broad match keywords. This defeats our primary purpose of high relevance. Your saviour can be inter ad group negatives. Ensure that the parallel theme or synonym is added as a negative in your ad group. For example:

Negative Keywords

There are several ways to add negative keywords:

  1. By far, the most entertaining thing to do in Pay Per Click is to check search query reports. The extent to which your search queries can differ from your keywords is hilarious. Check your SQR on a regular basis and exclude anything that seems far fetched
  2. Use common sense. For example, if you are advertising for clothing and do not sell jeans, ensure that you add ‘jeans’, ‘denims’, etc. as negative. Additionally, if yours is a paid service, add the term ‘free’ as negative
  3. Use Thesaurus to add synonyms that are irrelevant to your account or ad group as negatives at the corresponding level

Another great thing about adding negative keywords is that you can use match types to avoid certain variations while ensuring visibility for your targeted keywords. If you are advertising for ‘patio chair cushions’ and do not want to show your ads to those looking for ‘patio chairs’, you can add the term ‘patio chair’ and ‘patio chairs’ in negative exact.

Although negatives can profit you in several ways, if you are not careful while adding them, you may end up blocking visibility for some of your top keywords. Add negatives in plenty but after careful analysis to avoid situations like these.

So allocate some of your optimization time to negative keywords and begin adding them now. I am sure it will go a long way in saving you money on your ad campaigns.

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