PPC Tuesday – Negative Keywords

By Profitable PPC Team


Negative keywords are a great way to minimize spending and effectively target and drive more qualified targeted traffic to your site.  While utilizing the different match types allows you to target search terms in a particular way, be it through broad, phrase or exact negative keywords allows you to refine your results so you aren’t receiving unnecessary and/or unqualified visitors.

Negative Keywords Allow You to Filter What Searches Trigger Your Keywords, so by using them you can ensure that the right ads are showing for the right searches.

Negative keywords are included in your campaign by adding a minus sign in front of the keywords you would like to filter out, and you can use them at the ad group or campaign level.

Setting up negative keywords is fairly easy and can be accomplished using the following 4 steps:

  1. Determine which level in which to exclude a keyword, be it at the AdGroup or Campaign level. Depending on the messaging in which you want to target you may want to exclude certain terms from being shown in one AdGroup but shown in another. However excluding keywords at the campaign level would override any settings you have for a particular AdGroup within that campaign.
  2. Once you determine at which level you will exclude terms, the next step is to do some keyword research for targeted terms. One great area I believe to do so is by looking at Search Query reports during the past 3-6 months for terms that were entered that generated unwanted clicks to your campaigns.
  3. Once you’ve identified keywords to exclude, the next step would be to use the Google Keyword tool to come up with different variations of the targeted keywords using all match types. The more variations you can find the better as it increases your chances of eliminating any wasteful impressions to an unqualified audience.
  4. Finally once you’ve determined the keywords to implement as negatives along with the different variations implement them into either AdWords and/or AdCenter. Depending on the traffic those terms originally clicked for you, it can take as little as a day to as long as a week to see the impact made to your campaigns as a result of utilizing this feature.

So you heard about Negative Keywords, why to use them and how to set them up. Here are the benefits of using this option to optimize PPC performance for your brand:

  1. Because you are excluding your ads from being shown for particular searches, you are thereby decreasing the chance of having impressions served on a more unqualified audience.
  2. As a result of this, a more qualified audience will be shown your ad. Thereby with the fewer impressions you will see a higher click through rate on those impressions. Now that your ad aren’t appearing on unrelated queries, people will be more inclined to click on it.
  3. Your conversion rate will increase. Your offering is now more relevant to the search term, so you should see this go up.
  4. Your cost-per-conversion will go down. Your clicks are now of higher quality and your conversions are increasing. This will ensure your cost-per-click decreases.
  5. Lastly as a result of this you will have lower overall PPC costs which in most cases with the rise in conversions and revenue will lead to a higher Return on Ad Spend.

In closing, the use of Negative Keywords is something we at Exclusive Concepts strongly believe and is one of the things we look for when we audit a prospective client’s PPC account. In addition when we take on a new client that is one of the first things we look to do in optimizing a client’s PPC structure.