Who cares about negative keywords?

by | Nov 12, 2013

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When creating a Google Adwords campaign, people often worry about ads, keywords, and URLs. However a lot of people (especially when the person that is creating the account is not an agency) forget about negative keywords. Negative keywords can be just as important and the regular keywords.

Why are negative keywords important?

In every single Adwords campaign, the main objective is always to get the most relevant traffic, using as little money as possible. Apart from the tools that Adwords offers us to use to segment campaigns (demographics like country, language, etc) the most important thing to target the campaign is through keywords – so we need to be very careful when selecting them.

But we need to keep in mind,= that in all campaigns, there are always keywords that will convert better than others – and some of them will be probably driving a lot of irrelevant traffic to our site. This is why we need the negative keywords: to have a more accurate campaigns and reach our target group, and decrease the costs of the campaign.

How do negative keywords work?

A negative keyword blocks the results related with it of any search in Google.

Something important to keep in mind is that in using negative keywords, we can also use different matches (broad phrase and exact phrase).

This will work in the same way as they “positive sisters” work, but in reverse. As with regular keywords, we need to be sure about using broad match, because if we don’t do it right, we might be losing a lot of potential customers.

How do you use negative keywords?

Sometimes it is difficult to know which keywords we want to use as negatives, especially when the campaign is not running yet.

To think about negative keywords before our campaign is running, we need to think about the product we are selling; the company; and how we will look for it on internet. We must then try to think about terms that may create confusion.

An example
Here’s an example: imagine you have a company called “Polar”, that sells air conditioner, but you know that “polar” is a common noun that can be used with other search queries apart from “air conditioner”. The most common will probably be “Polar Bear”. As our company is definitely not selling polar bears, we will use the word “bear” as a negative term.

Keyword planning

We can also have a little help from the Keyword planner tool. By adding the name of our business/products, we can see which are the most common search queries related with it, so you can be sure whether those terms are good or not, and extract more negative terms for the account.

Continuing with our example, we find that when looking for “Polar” on the keyword planner, there are a lot of keywords that has nothing to do with our business, so we can also add them as negative terms.

Once the campaign is running, it is easier to find negative terms which are directly related with people looking for our active keywords.

To do this, we just need to go to the“keywords” tab inside Adwords, select the tab “details” and then “all”, and you will be able to see a list of all the search queries in a determined period of time.

This is great because you cans specify the period you want to check, and the ad group.

Looking at the results, you can know through which keywords people is finding your ads, and also clicking on them, so from that you can see a much clearer picture of which negative keywords to use for your campaign.

But using this tool, you may also find some new keywords that may be useful for the campaign, but you never thought about them before – so, when using Adwords, don’t focus just on negative terms, but also in positive keywords that can help you to improve your campaign.

Do you have any questions about using negative keywords in Adwords campaigns? Ask them in the comments!

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Serps Invaders

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