Negative Keywords

How Using Negative Keywords Can Have A Positive Impact On Your Campaign

We’re often asked about negative keywords, so here we try to define what they are and how they work. Equally, we explain how they can bring some real benefits to your digital marketing campaigns.

What are they?

By using negative keywords, you can exclude specific search terms from your digital marketing campaign, allowing for a stronger focus on those which are important to people who are browsing your products or services.

Put simply, if a negative keyword is added to your campaign, then Google won’t display your ad for any search term entered which contains that keyword. Despite its best efforts, Google can’t offer 100% accuracy in serving up the most relevant ads to every searcher every single time, so there is still room for error.

This more exact targeting can place your advert in front of more people who are likely to respond to it, meaning you get more from your investment in digital marketing. It means your budget is spent on the best searches. 

Negative keywords are important because many search terms for a product you’re selling could be more ambiguous than you realise. ‘Glasses’ for example, can be for drinking or wearing; ‘salsa’ could be a sauce or a dance class. So, bidding on search terms which are too broad is a more common mistake than you may have thought. And clearly, you don’t want to be paying for clicks from someone who has no intention of buying what you’re offering.

Finally, you can add negative keywords either for a specific campaign, or for a particular ad group, and creating a list of them is not hard to do. Google’s Keyword Planner could provide some inspiration for terms to weed out. You can also add negative keywords for exact matches, or only in some contexts.

The benefits of negative keywords

There are a number of ways in which the use of negative keywords can have a positive impact on your digital marketing campaign. Here’s a summary:

  1. Having developed a comprehensive set of negative keywords, you should find that spend per click reduces, while conversions, Return on Investment and click-through rates rise.
  2. Negative keywords allow for more accurate customer targeting, weeding out those who aren’t interested in what you offer.
  3. The better click-through rate should have a long-term positive impact on your keyword quality score, or Google’s general estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages.

Summing up

It may be easy to overlook the importance of negative keywords, but unfortunately you can’t afford to, and getting this right is as important as bidding on the correct search terms. Some brainstorming and a few clever campaign tweaks is often all it takes. But make time to look afresh at this aspect of your PPC campaigns at least monthly.

At Front Page Advantage, we have a detailed understanding of negative keywords and how they affect PPC campaigns, based on many years’ experience with a diverse client base. We could help you, too – get in touch to learn more.