What Are Google AdWords Negative Keywords And How Can They Save You Money?

What Are Google AdWords Negative Keywords And How Can They Save You Money.jpg

Google AdWords is a very cost-effective form of search marketing, but only if your adverts appear in front of the right target audience! Google AdWords negative keywords help you do this by restricting your advert to people who are interested in what you have to offer. In this article we explain how AdWords negative keywords are used and how they can cut the cost of your PPC campaign.

What Negative Keywords Are And How To Use Them

When you set up a list of keywords on AdWords you select which search results you want your advert to appear under. For instance, you might want to attract clicks from people searching for IT services Derby. This will get you traffic, but how can you be sure that only people genuinely interested in your services will see your ad? If you’ve chosen a ‘broad search’ or ‘phrase search’ option, the advert will also appear on permutations of the keyword, such as IT careers Derby, IT jobs Derby, computer repair Derby, IT services Birmingham etc.

Here is the problem. Some of the people searching for these alternative keywords may be relevant to your business, but many others may not. A person looking for an IT job is unlikely to be a potential customer for your IT service, but they may click on your link anyway, eating into your precious AdWords budget. Or a potential client in Birmingham may click on your link, which is useless if you don’t cover that area.

Negative keywords are a way of ‘fencing the table’ to exclude non-relevant search terms.

How To Find AdWords Negative Keywords

Some negative keywords you may be able to think of through a brainstorm, but AdWords provides two other ways of creating a working list:

1) AdWords Keyword Planner

Google’s keyword planner tool is a great way of finding positive keywords to bid on, but you can also use it to ferret out negative keywords. When you type in a search term the tool will show you a whole list of similar search terms that you may want to add to your keyword list. Among these are bound to be negative phrases you wish to avoid. Make a note of these and add them to your negative keyword list.

2) Search Terms Report

If you have an active Google AdWords account you can use the Search Terms Report to view the search terms people have used to bring up your adverts. You may be surprised by some of them. Negative search terms will be immediately visible and you can exclude these straightaway. You may also find there are some positive keywords you hadn’t considered before, and you can add these to your bid list. By sorting your results to show the keywords that trigger the most impressions, you can see which of your positive keywords are performing the best. This lets you adjust your keywords over time, by pruning away keywords with a low click through rate (CTR) and adding new, more popular search terms.

Why Negative Keywords Are Important

The more relevant your adverts are to your target audience, the higher your CTR will be and the lower your cost per click (CPC) will become. This sets off a virtuous circle of lower campaign costs and higher returns. Once you exclude non-relevant traffic your conversion rate will start to increase, your leads will become more valuable and you will start getting a higher average revenue for each click. Ultimately your PPC budget will go further, yielding a better ROI.

Negative keywords are frequently misunderstood, which is why many businesses choose not to use them! However, building a creative list of negative search terms is the best way of restricting your adverts to prospects with the highest chance of becoming a paying customer. Get in touch with one of our Google AdWords specialists today to find out about the potential benefits to your company.

Google Adwords Checklist - JDR Group