Are you getting the most from your PPC spend? – Negative Keywords

May 8, 2014 - Digital State Marketing

It is all too often that when analysing new clients’ Adwords accounts we find that negative keywords aren’t being utilised. Negative keywords are essential for helping you reach the most interested customers, reduce your costs and increase your return on investment (ROI). Below we have a brief 101 on negative keywords and how you can start getting the most out of your campaigns.

Negative keywords prevent your ad showing to people searching about things that you don’t offer. It makes your ads more targeted meaning that they only show to people who are more likely to click them. Whether you’re a newcomer to Adwords or have been using the system since its inception, you’ve probably given a great deal of thought into which keywords will result in more clicks and higher conversions. But what we tend to see is not as much time devoted on building a negative keyword list, which can be catastrophic for your click through and conversion rates. The addition of negative keywords into your campaigns will ensure that you are maximising the effectiveness of your PPC spend.

Adwords works by placing your ad into an auction by bidding on keywords. If your bid and your ad is relevant, you have a chance of showing your ad to relevant searchers. But how do you stop your ad from showing when you know the audience isn’t interested? That’s where negative keywords come in. For example, let’s say your company sells luxury jewellery and you don’t want people to find you for terms such as ‘cheap jewellery’ or ‘discount jewellery’. You simply add the terms ‘cheap’ and ‘discount’ into your negative keyword list and your ad will not show for those search queries. Using negative keywords will ensure that your ad will not show for search queries that are not related to your business, so you don’t rack up ad impressions that won’t lead to sales.

One of the best ways to start identifying which search terms to add to your list is by analysing actual user search data. This can be done through the Adwords Keyword Planner and Search Terms Report found within your Adwords account. Although the keyword planner’s main aim is to help you to find keywords to bid on, not exclude, it can give you a good idea for keywords to add to your list. If we continue with the example above, just adding the generic term ‘jewellery’ into the planner will give you a raft of different search term variables and search volume data. Using the Search Terms Report will show you what people have typed to click on your ad and will allow you to create a list of positive and negative search queries.

If you’re still stuck for inspiration for which negative keywords you should be implementing into your campaigns, please find some recommended negative keyword tools below.

The key thing with negative keywords is to allocate as much time to them as you would to the keywords you want to trigger your ad. If you would like to have an informal conversation on how DSM can help you with implementing negative keywords, call us today on 01229 484290.