What Are Negative Keywords
In paid search, keywords can be the difference between success and failure. There are two distinct groups of keywords that brands should know: negative and positive keywords. Simply put, negative keywords detract from your paid search efforts (but they are relevant) while positive keywords advance your paid search efforts. By identifying and eliminating negative keywords, you are setting up your brand for success, allowing it to be found by relevant searchers.
Valuable as they might be, negative keywords can result in a negative bank balance – literally. This is because you are likely going to pay for clicks that don’t yield results or deliver on your investment. According to Google, negative keywords allow you to block certain search terms from a campaign. This, then, enables you to focus on those words and phrases that matter to your customers. With better-targeted ads, a brand is, thus, able to position its ads in front of interested users, thereby ensuring increased return on investment.
Why Do Marketers Use Negative Keywords?
As far as negative keywords are concerned, their use is not entirely unfavourable. They serve to help search engines turn up only the relevant search results. Negative keywords avoid ambiguity in Google Ads and can make it easier for search engines to completely omit your ad for specific searches. Such keywords let marketers drill down and reach target audiences. At the same time, they will be saving money and streamlining the PPC process.
Types of Negative Keywords
There are different types of negative keywords in Google Ads. Negative broad match keywords are those used by default and let you hide your ad from a search that has all of your keyword terms. Negative phrase match keywords, on the other hand, are those that ensure that a paid ad will not show if someone searches for those precise words. Lastly, negative exact match keywords will not allow your ads to show up when someone searches for the exact words used in an ad. This option is recommended for brands that dabble in a highly competitive environment.
How to Find and Use Negative Keywords
The first step in this process is to identify those search terms that are similar to your target keywords; although they might be relevant to irrelevant searchers. These could be people searching for products and services that could be mistaken for yours. For example, a retailer who sells men’s overalls may want to add negative keywords for search terms like ‘winter work suits’ to avoid attracting an irrelevant ‘overalls’ audience.
While finding negative keywords might be a lengthy and costly process, tools such as Google’s search term report are there to help. This tool shows you the specific terms people have searched for that have triggered your ad. It can also be used to identify the keywords that have been generating clicks. Further, it can help you identify those search terms people are using that are unrelated to your product or service. Such terms are the ones that could be added to your list of negative keywords.
Positive keywords might result in high ROI on your campaigns. But, a word for digital marketers is that they ignore negative keywords at their own risk. By identifying negative keywords, you stand a better chance of having your ads found by relevant searchers only; those that might be real leads that result in sales.
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