Negative keywords are probably the most powerful tool in your Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign arsenal. Used effectively, these keywords will help you reach the most interested customers, reduce costs, optimize your paid search, and increase your revenues.
HOW DO NEGATIVE KEYWORDS WORK?
When negative keywords or keyword exclusions are added into a paid search campaign, you are PREVENTING your ads from showing up. For example, if you are promoting a mobile phone app, but the app is not available on the iPhone, you would place ‘iPhone’ as a negative keyword. So when a user searches for a mobile app using a phrase like, ‘mobile apps for iPhone,’ your app will not show up. This also ensures that your ads will reach the appropriate audience, are less likely to pop up in inappropriate searches, and improves budget spending.
Below are three top free tools to research negative keywords. These tools will locate any phrases or keywords that might be matched with your keyword. Google has a great tutorial on how to implement negative keywords.
- Google Search Bar
- Google Keyword Tool
- Google Search Query Tool
CHOOSING THE RIGHT NEGATIVE KEYWORDS
When you are deciding which keywords to classify as negative, consider any search terms that are similar to your keywords, but indicate that the user is looking for a different product or service. Be sure not to choose too many negative keywords. Too many negative keywords mean that your ads will reach fewer customers.
FYI: Your keyword might still show up if a user searches with a phrase longer than 10 words and your negative keyword is the 11th, or your ads may show up on pages/searches that include variations of your negative keyword. If your negative keyword is ‘iPhone app,’ then your ad might show for searches on ‘fun app’ or ‘cool app, but shouldn’t show for ’iPhone app store.’
Take your SEM from a negative to a positive with negative keywords. For more information about how to optimize your AdWords campaign email Cohlab (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a free audit.