Optimizing Google AdWords Strategies with Negative Keywords
So, let me guess… you’re checking this post out because you’re interested in using Google AdWords to get the word out on your product or service, right? Excellent, you came to the right place because you’re about to learn something that’ll prove to be extremely helpful in your advertising efforts! Just keep reading all the way through and it’ll all make sense by the end.
It’s no secret that Google AdWords is a very choice advertising platform, if you know how to use its features to your full advantage. Although there are entire training courses on the subject of Google AdWords, and even official training offered by Google itself… it’s not exactly necessary to dive that deep into detail; all you need to know are a few choice bits of info and you can consider yourself AdWords savvy! With that being said… let’s jump into Negative Keywords.
The majority of people who use Google AdWords will probably argue all day long that “a perfect AdWords campaign is very tedious and maybe even impossible to obtain.” However, if you manage to get both your targeted keywords and your negative keywords down to pinpoint precision you will come very close to perfection in your campaigns. The aim of any Ad campaign is to cut costs while raising ROI’s as high as possible to truly milk those profits for all they’re worth. Let’s go over a couple examples to further explain how to accomplish this with the use of negative keywords.
Let’s talk about broad-matched targeting. When starting out with a new set of keywords you might wish to try out a bunch of new keywords you’ve never collected data on, this is where broad-matched keywords come in. If you go with this type of keyword you’re basically letting Google combine relevant keywords together to come up with possible combinations that your new customers and clients might be looking for. This is decided by Google’s own analytics and algorithms, which is just fancy talk saying Google decides what matches of each individual keywords to make. It then feeds this into your campaigns statistics and comes up with data such as which keyword combinations are working well and which ones are performing poorly.
It’s important to have highly optimized keyword combinations and even individual keywords because your CTR (click through rates) will increase thus letting you pay less per click because Google loves it when your campaigns are optimized and people are clicking on your ads. Think of it like this… The more love your ad is shown, the more Google will want to show it because it’s getting clicks. Google rewards you for this by lowering your CPC (cost per click) so it’s a win/win all around.
So in short, get your keyword lists and thus your campaigns highly optimized and you’ll wind up paying less per click while simultaneously getting your ads featured higher up on the lists all at the same time.
Exact-matched keywords, the one’s you actually go through and pick out specifically because they suit your campaign and will probably be looked for directly by your target audience.
One thing you may want to keep in mind when dealing with exact-match keywords is if you’re in a niche with extremely little competition, your campaign might actually not even be displayed at all. The reason for this seems to be that Google AdWords uses a system that collects its data based on the best performing keywords and then displays relevant to those words. Because this system is used Google can maximize their earnings by only displaying ads which have a high CTR so they can collect more of that money off people clicking your ads.
When focusing on exact-match keywords you are basically keeping yourself protected from paying too much for keywords and paying anything at all for irrelevant keywords. That said however, if you find yourself in a very narrow niche you’ll wind up with ads that don’t get displayed very long in most cases. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing it just means in many cases you’ll have to stay on top of your campaigns more frequently and monitor their progress with a close eye. Ok, so now we should get into more specifics on how to actually build that Negative Keyword List!
This is how to find negative keywords
Although it is possible to pull your negative keywords from multiple sources, one way to collect them for yourself is to just pull them directly from user query data based on how people search for things. You can do this right from the AdWords Keyword Planner.
How to find negative keywords with Google’s Keyword Planner
The keyword planner is typically used to help you find keywords you want to use for targeting searches, not for negative keywords. Let’s be honest here… Google doesn’t exactly mind if you spend a few extra dollars on keywords you don’t need. But, we don’t want to waste those valuable dollars so let’s turn this tool to our advantage by using a bit of forward thinking.
When you search for your terms in the keyword planner you’ll discover a big list generally pops up and in that list you’ll have a lot of terms you’d probably like to use for your own campaigns. You’ll probably also find terms you don’t need or want to target, these are the keywords you’ll want to add to your negative keyword lists. Take some time and search for multiple terms and see what you can come up with. Compile a list of negative keywords and add them to your negative list so you can help boost those quality scores and pay less per click on your Google ads. You may also notice that are KWs with very little competition, this may be an indicator that that keyword is not working. If its a very competitive niche, chances are that keyword has been tested by someone else. Be very cautious though when blocking Keywords without actually testing them yourself. You may miss out on some great gems that actually convert.
How to find negative keywords using the Search Terms Report
If you want to find the actual search queries people type into Google then the Search Terms Report is where you want to look. These are the exact things people are searching for that trigger your AdWords ads to show up. Using this data you can compile a list of both the positive and the negative keywords you’d like to use in your campaigns.
Just to give an example, if you sort results of the search terms report from highest impressions to lowest you can refine that data down to locate the search terms used which are the most popular, that would get you the higher converting words at the best rates.
Say for example you had a few keywords you thought would perform well but ended up not being the case. You could locate these in this way and then add those to your negative keyword lists to further target your audience with greater precision.
Using Google to spot even more negative keywords
This part will be short and sweet…
If you want to see more of what other people are searching for within your niche all you have to do is head over to Google’s website and start searching. Look down the page of results and spot anything related to your niche that doesn’t fit your advertising and product (or services) needs. Throw those into your negative keyword list and keep building up that targeting to improve your click through rates.
When you search for a term within Google and you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page you’ll find even more suggested search terms, use those and keep the process going for as long as you care to. The aim here is to find all the things that could fall into your niche or even just a related niche but that you don’t want your ads showing up for so that you don’t get charged for wasted clicks by curious people with no intention of buying from you and it also helps to increase your quality scores which always helps.