How to harness the power of the negative keywords in your AdWords campaign

How to harness the power of the negative keywords in your AdWords campaign

George Stevens

Whether you are an expert or a newcomer to AdWords, you probably spend a good amount of time fine tuning your keywords and seeing which ones will drive more clicks and conversions.

However, many businesses and advertisers fail to invest in building a negative keyword list which can be as equally effective when increasing ROI and help you reach the most interested customers. By neglecting this crucial aspect of your campaign, you can be missing out on chances to maximise the effects of your PPC spend.

What are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are a strategic way to prevent your keyword from showing when your audience isn’t interested. For example, if you are an optometrist selling glasses, you would want to exclude phrases such as ‘wine glasses’ as these won’t lead to sales. This can be taken further by adding other phrases that aren’t relevant to your business, such as ‘drinking glasses’.

By stripping away the terms that don’t apply to your business, you minimise the amount of people who will click on your ad and waste your budget.

Finding Negative Keywords

If you are after conversions and sales and certain keywords aren’t getting you a return but burning a hole in the pockets of your PPC budget then it’s time to add them to the list.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner find words for you to bid on and it can be used to find related terms that you want to phase out.

Another tool to utilise is Uber Suggest as it will allow you to type in the keyword phrase and then group variations on that keyword.

A solid way of getting results and weeding out the terms that aren’t relevant is using the Search Terms Report. This will show you the search words people typed into Google to trigger your AdWords ad. Once you have gone through this list, use it to put together a list of positive and negative keywords.

Get Creative

Ensuring that as many terms as possible are covered may require a bit of lateral thinking. If you sell calendars then you may want to look at opportunities outside products that might be eating up your budget. For example, if someone searches for the film Calendar Girls it is unlikely those interested in the film are at that point wishing to buy a calendar.

Use Common Sense

Once you get started, it is easy to continue adding negative keywords that haven’t performed for you lately. This is a surefire way of quickly making your list unmanageable and cutting off potential customers. Before you finalise the list, look far back into your data at seasonal trends over the year and take these into account.

Adding Negative Keywords to Your AdWords Account

Now you have built a strong list of negative keywords, it’s time to add them to your AdWords account. To find out how to do this head over to Google who will guide you through the process.