Negative keywords are a fantastic tool for excluding specific terms from your PPC campaigns to enhance your targeting capabilities.
While this may seem like a tricky concept, it’s an incredibly effective way to prevent your efforts from displaying in searches that bear limited relevance to your brand.
As mentioned above, negative keywords represent the search terms you wish to avoid your website appearing for. Let’s take Apple for instance. In this scenario, they’d designate terms like ‘apples’, ‘apple pie’ or ‘apple trees’ as negative keywords to ensure their products remain absent from such searches. This ultimately translates into less budget wastage, precise targeting and a notable CTR increase.
By hiding your PPC campaigns for irrelevant queries, you can restrict uninterested individuals from viewing your ad. By practicing this refined targeting strategy, the percentage of people who’ll view your ad and proceed to click on it will rise markedly.
Without applying negative keywords, someone hypothetically searching for ‘market saturation’ could come across an advertisement for Saturate Marketing, mistakenly assuming they’d found what they’re looking for. If they proceeded to click on our ad, this would lead to wasted spend as the likelihood of the person converting would be exceedingly slim. However, by implementing negative keywords, we would see improvements to the quality of traffic coming to our site and overall health of our conversion rate in no time.
It’s worth noting that there are online resources such as AdWords Performance Grader that can hugely benefit PPC campaigns too. A recent WordStream study asked advertisers to run Performance Grader on their PPC campaigns, consequently revealing that ’…30 days after getting their first report, participants added 103,410 more negative keywords, averaging around 186 additional negative search terms per account.’ This insight highlights just how frequent irrelevant placement of your ad is, and thus presents you with an opportunity to act on such issues.
Your ad remains hidden if the search includes all of the keywords you’ve specified, regardless of their arrangement in the query itself. For example, if you set ‘football boots’ as a negative broad match keyword, your ad won’t show for searches such as ‘studded boots for football’, but will still appear for ‘studded boots’.
Ads do not appear when the search includes the exact keyword phrase in the precise order you’ve specified. However, your ad will display in searches where the keyword is in the same order, but additional words precede or follow the phrase. Using the ‘football boots’ example again, your ad will be visible to those searching for ‘black football boots’ or ‘football boots for kids’, but not to those inquiring about ‘best boots for football’.
Your ad remains hidden for search queries that precisely mirror the specified phrase, but if the words are rearranged, or extra words are introduced around the keyword, then your ad will still feature in the search results. Referring back to ‘football boots’ example, if someone searches for ‘football boots’, then your ad won’t appear, but would do for search terms such as ‘cheap football boots’ or ‘football boots for astroturf’.
Exact match terms are more-suited for larger budgets as they enable advertisers to exclusively target the terms that yield the best conversions for their business. For those operating on a more modest budget, opting for broad and phrase match negative keywords remains a cost-effective strategy to eliminate a wider spectrum of irrelevant searches.
Begin the process by identifying phrases that contain similar terms to your target keywords that hold no relevance to your business. A straightforward approach would be to conduct a Google search using your target keywords, and gauge the results from there.
Furthermore, you can leverage Google’s search term report for a highly comprehensive list of negative keywords, which presents the terms people have searched to trigger your ad. Utilise this resource to pinpoint any irrelevant searches your ads have been appearing for, and add them to your negative keyword list!
If you need further insights regarding how to implement negative keywords or any other facets of PPC advertising for that matter, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at Saturate. With our excellent range of industry-spanning services, we’re here to offer our expertise and assistance, whenever you need us.