What Are Negative Keywords?
Keywords are words in a search campaign account that help businesses get found online for relevant queries on search engines like Google or Bing. Negative Keywords are the exact opposite. They are words (keywords) that are put into a paid search account to help ensure a business only shows up for the searches that are relevant to them. In other words, they are keywords that prevent a paid search ad from being shown, and they are a must-have for any properly set up account. In the below article, let’s take a look at why. Take a look at Google’s definition as well!
Why Are Negative Keywords Important?
Negative keywords or negative matches are extremely important in every account. In fact, I have seen paid search accounts fail simply because negative keywords were never used in the set-up strategy. Without them, the account can spend through the monthly budget on clicks that will not convert into a lead.
For example, let’s say you are a tire shop in Phoenix, Arizona. You are looking for qualified leads as a business owner that will hopefully turn into revenue. If someone does a search on Google for “work for a tire shop” that is a search query where we can see the intent is not the same as someone looking for new tires. Therefore, a negative keyword for “work” would be the best approach. As this example shows, negative keywords help to make sure the paid search budget is spent on clicks that are more likely to convert into a lead or will have a higher conversion rate. Now, the tire shop owner can be happy and give two thumbs up for an excellent job!
Negative Keyword Match Types
Negative keyword match types work in the same way that match types do for regular keywords. There are the options of exact match, phrase match, modified broad match, and broad match. This allows advertisers to be creative and make smart decisions when analyzing a search term report.
Negative Keyword Lists
The Adwords platform also allows for negative keyword lists so that users can be more organized and strategic about the way they structure their negative keywords. For example, here at Megethos we like to create brand negative keyword lists as well as competitor. Brand negatives are negative keywords of your brand name, and competitor negatives are negative keywords of your top competitors. Then, within the competitor campaigns the list of brand negatives is applied and vice versa. This leads to better matching which is great for better click-through rates, quality scores, and less expensive click costs.
Negative Keyword Best Strategies
Negative keyword strategies will vary depending on the business segment. In general, negative keywords that block intent for free or cheap items, are good for a business to have in their negative keyword list. Employment or job-related searches are also good negatives to have as part of your keyword strategy. For E-commerce business’s especially, negatives for the “big players” like Amazon or E-bay are great to be thinking about so that you are not competing against very expensive clicks or companies that a smaller business might have trouble converting against. To start a negative keyword list on a new account, there are some great articles that help with starter lists. After that, it is best to let the account run for a couple of days and then analyze a search term report within your account to add negatives for things people are searching for that you want to avoid. The next recommendation is to analyze the search report every week or so as a routine optimization on your account. After that, if negatives are not being added each week, move to every other week. Once a month checks should be good from there.
Hopefully this article helped in the understanding of negative keywords, and why they are absolutely necessary in every single PPC search engine account! If you have any questions at all, the Megethos Digital team is here and happy to help. Contact us!