Comprehensive and exhaustive keyword research is crucial if you want your PPC campaign to succeed. But this doesn’t just include the terms and phrases your target market is searching for, it also includes negative keywords that require exclusion from results.
In many respects, negative keywords are just as important as regular ones, but often don’t get as much attention as they should. However, if you spend a bit of time working with negative keywords, PPC performance is bound to improve.
(Almost) always add negative keywords in Broad Match
If you want to exclude a keyword or phrase, then variations will undoubtedly require the same treatment too. It is very rare that the people searching for your negative keywords will have an interest in your products and services as well.
Adding negative keywords in Exact Match leaves your campaign open to unnecessary clicks, which is a waste of money and will be detrimental to overall performance. The only time Exact Match might be needed is with short or closely related negative keywords.
Think about the meaning and intention of negative keywords
Try to understand the intentions and behaviour of all Internet users, not just your target audience. Those searching for your negative keywords will also be typing in similar terms and phrases too, which require just as much comprehension.
Think about the other words they’ll be using and be sure to exclude these as well. If you’re a luxury retailer specialising in high-end products, add negative keywords like affordable, cheap, low-cost, inexpensive and reasonable. But remember, the meaning behind words can be different depending on the individual, so don’t assume too much.
Pay close attention to the length of negative keywords
By coming up with the smallest common denominator between negative keywords, you can save an incredible amount of time and exclude countless irrelevant clicks. Think of common, specific yet irrelevant words and add these to broad match.
You can also add the whole search query as a negative keyword and see the smallest common denominator in action, as ‘excluded’ will appear in the interface.
Utilise your Search Terms Report
Knowing what negative keywords to include to your list can be tricky, as you don’t really know what search queries are receiving impressions but not getting clicks. You almost have to second-guess what people are searching for and build from there.
But by delving into the profusion of data in your Search Terms Report, it is possible to unearth the negative keywords that require exclusion. There is every chance that certain brands or products are coming up that you don’t sell.
Don’t be ad group specific
If a negative keyword doesn’t apply to a single ad group, then it probably isn’t relevant to your entire account. Therefore, negative keywords should be added to keyword lists in your Shared Library.
This will undoubtedly save you a lot of time and money, as you won’t have to go into multiple ad groups and campaigns to make alterations.
Going through your negative keywords might feel like a waste of time, but it will lead to more relevant and valuable clicks. For help or inspiration, search for the negative keyword lists that other brands and businesses have used, as these are often published on the web.