For those of you who run PPC campaigns for yourself, consider the use of adding negative keywords. If you do not quite understand what a negative keyword is, then consider the clear definition from Google as referenced by their website….
|Use this match type…||With this punctuation…||To trigger your ad on…||Example|
|broad match||none||synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations||adopt kittens chicago|
|broad match modifier||+keyword||close variations but not synonyms or related searches||+adopt +kittens +chicago|
|phrase match||“keyword”||a phrase and close variants of that phrase||“adopt kittens” chicago|
|exact match||[keyword]||an exact term and close variants of that exact term||[adopt kittens chicago]|
|negative match||-keyword||searches without the term||-puppies|
For all practical means, a negative keyword is only useful for phrases that are set to be broad match, and lesser for phrase match types. If someone is searching for tennis shoes, and your business does not sell black tennis shoes, then you will need to set negative keywords to ensure people looking for them do not find your ads in a broad sense.
If you sell mostly every type of shoe, you may want to advertise to shoe customers of every type, but how do you know every shoe customers is going to be profitable? A PPC advertiser can quickly go broke if they were advertising to people looking for shoes that make you lose weight as these customers are not too serious about purchasing, and keyword lists are endless. To effectively learn from your PPC mistakes, you must certainly add negative keywords to your campaigns on a regular basis to ensure unqualified leads are marked for deletion. By adding negative keywords, we can maximize the amount of leads we generate with a sizable budget, and reduce the chances for unqualified leads while were at it.
FYI, the alternative to running broad or phrase match keywords campaigns are exact match keyword campaigns, but search volumes can be limited. Furthermore, long tail keywords often convert better and generate less expensive leads than their root keyword counterparts, so broad matching serves as the best method for generating leads in a limited in size niche.
*** Before you get started with an intelligent broad match campaign, you will need to have installed Google Analytics.
When you setup your broad match keywords campaigns, you will need to run the campaign for at least a week in most cases to generate the keyword data necessary for adding negative keywords. Once you have generated at least 500 clicks from your PPC campaigns, you can take a look at your keyword queries generated specifically from PPC, and sort them by the amount of engagement they generated. Descending from the least amount of time spent on the site to the most, we can see which inquiries generated a “bounce” or no interest from the customer.
To get a good measure as to what a specific query generates in terms of response, you must see the keyword generate at least 5 clicks. From that data, you can determine if the keyword gets another chance or gets ax for negative keyword insertion. Another criteria to find negative keywords can be through manual review and determination if search queries match the scope of service or products offered. Through these two methods, a good list of negative keywords can be generated.
Once a list of negative keywords are generated, you can go ahead and add these to all your keywords campaigns in one swoop by using Google adwords editor software offered by Google. Manually, one can add a list of negative keywords to each individual campaign through the typical adwords interface, however is time consuming. It is also possible to add keywords to specific adgroups if this is what you want, however is not really necessary in most cases. Adding negative keywords by Adgroup is typically carried out when keywords are triggering ads that are not related to the adgroups targeted, but should be triggering other ads under your accounts control.
Here are some screenshots that shows how to setup negative keywords through the Google Adwords account interface…