One of the latest and most effective strategies for attaining a successful PPC account is using negative keywords. When negative keywords are applied in the correct manner you can not only save a lot of money, but increase your click-through rates and enhance the relevancy of your audience. Here are a few tips on how to effectively use negative keywords that can be deployed to your advantage.
The very first thing you need to focus on is Search Query Reports or SQRs in AdWords. However, today you can spot this information in the ‘Keyword details’ part of the report. SQR can be an important factor in the negative keyword strategy as it can pinpoint the terms that were searched for in your ads. This helps you locate the terms that are showing in your ads, but are not relevant to your business. Armed with this knowledge, you can simply add the specific keyword to your negative keywords list and they will automatically piggy-back or tag along to create the desired results.
Next, you need pay attention to adding keywords to your account, both at the ad group levels and the campaign itself. Be sure to know where to add these keywords, as this is an important element in using negative keyword strategy. You will be adding terms that are not directly relevant to the products you sell. Like for instance, if you are an online marketer selling white goods, you could have a campaign for washing machines or dishwashers. In case you are just a seller and do not offer after sales service, you could add negative keywords like ‘repair’, ‘service’ ‘troubleshoot’ or ‘support’. You could even use cross brands as negative keywords, like ‘Whirlpool’ in the place of ‘Samsung’ or vice versa, in case you sell both brands.
While you are at it, remember that you cannot afford to use too many negative keywords at one go. This could end up working in the opposite direction and could cause you more damage than good. In case the account ends up with issues, you may have a hard time locating the keywords responsible for having caused the trouble. If you are thinking of negative keyword phrases like ‘do I really need this’ or ‘should I be buying now’, which are common phrases used over the phone or during casual conversation with peers, you may end up with a lesser rate of conversion. Even negative keywords have to be selected with extreme care.
The best solution for this is to use a list of negative keywords that you can refer to, which will help you manage your PPC account better. You can easily set this up by going to Shared Library and select the list of Campaign Negative keywords. You can include all the negative keywords that you feel cannot be used in your ads. Once the list is ready, you need to simply apply the list in every new campaign and ensure that none of those keywords figure in the ad content. This way you save a lot of time and effort.
Nicole Wilson currently works at time warner cable new york, a site that enables everyone to learn about how to save on broadband and internet cable.
Awhile back when Enhanced Campaigns came out (I hear you groaning), Luke Alley put together a great post with all the chatter about Enhanced campaigns. I thought I would do the same for Hero Conf 2013 simply because it makes finding stuff easier for me. If it help you too, great. Enjoy!
- Takeaways from Hero Conf 2013 – Timothy Jensen of Overit
- My 5 Biggest Takeaways from Hero Conf 2013 – Sarah Peduzzi of Luna Metrics
- 7 Take Aways from Hero Conf 2013 – Rehan Zaidi
- The Five Biggest Moments from Hero Conf 2013 – PPC Hero Blog
- Keyword Planner, Flexible Bid Strategies Coming to AdWords Ahead of Enhanced Campaigns – Lisa Raehsler of Big Click Co. (look near the bottom of the post)
- What I Learned at Hero Conf 2013 – Robert Brady of Trafficado
I know the last one was written by me, but what other posts should I be including?
My internet browsing behavior is not what you would call typical. I use both Firefox and Chrome every time I fire up my computer. Firefox is for my Gmail and Chrome is for my AdWords.
I also have multiple tabs open in each browser each time I close/start, so it’s exceedingly rare for me to see the actual homepage of Gmail or AdWords. Therefore, I was surprised the other day when I popped open AdWords in a Chrome Incognito window and saw the actual homepage. Behold…
I have two major observations:
- Where did my login go? Oh there it is, that little blue link in the upper right corner. I now have to click through one extra time or bookmark the wonky AdWords login URL (I don’t really use bookmarks regularly). Not a fan.
- What is that huge slider? It would appear that Google is trying to create a page that has the entire sales pitch on it, but fits above the fold. That slider has SEVEN different panes.
Why Would They Use A Rotating Banner
It’s pretty well established in the conversion optimization community that rotating banners aren’t good. Chris Goward calls them the “Scourge of Home Page Design“. Tim Ash takes it even further and says “Rotating banners are absolutely evil and should be removed immediately.” And just for fun, here’s another post with more damning evidence.
So there are two possibilities here. First, Google knows something we don’t know. Second, and more likely, Google is running a test. Based on the conversion industry they’re betting on a long-shot, but I’m intrigued to see how it turns out.
What do you think of the new homepage?
Google has recently announced major changes to AdWords. The new enhanced campaigns will see the integration of mobile search and desktop search. This is Google’s first step in helping advertisers manage their ad campaigns in a multi-device world.
A recent study found that 90% of multi-device consumers move between several different devices to accomplish a task. AdWords has previously been used to target mainly desktops devices, but with the advancement of new devices, such as tablets and smartphones the new enhanced campaigns will target both desktop devices and mobile devices in one campaign.
The enhanced campaigns will be optional for all advertisers, until late June, when all campaigns will automatically be upgraded.
The new enhanced campaigns have three major features:
Management of Campaign and Budget: With smartphones constantly coming down in price, it’s no wonder that nearly half of all searches are performed using smartphones, and this will only increase over the next few years. Google has taken note of this data to help advertisers target customers more relevantly. With bid adjustments, using just a single campaign, advertisers will be able manage their bids for different devices, locations and time of day.
Example: A cafe serving breakfast may want to target people nearby searching for “Breakfast” on a smartphone. With bid adjustments, advertisers have the ability to bid higher for people located nearby, and for those using smartphones. The cafe could also choose to bid lower after they stop serving breakfast.
Bid adjustments will be found in the campaigns settings tab.
Context Based Ads: People using a smartphone may be looking for something different, than if they were using a desktop computer. Context based ads allows you to show ads across different devices with the correct text, sitelink or app. This can all be achieved with just one campaign – rather than having to edit each campaign for different locations, times of day and devices.
Example: Certain companies may have both a physical store and a website. With the new enhanced campaigns, the company could show ads with click-to-call and apps downloads for people searching with a smartphone. The company could then choose to display an ad for their website for customers searching with a PC.
Ads based on context will be a type of ad selection in AdWords.
New conversion types: Before enhanced campaigns, advertisers have been unable to easily measure mobile campaigns. With the new AdWords reports, advertisers will now be able to determine how many times an ad has converted into an app download or phone call.
Example: Click-to-call phones calls of 60 seconds or more will be counted as a conversion in the new AdWords reports. This can then be used to compare against other conversions, such as sales and downloads.
This feature will be an additional column as a conversion in reporting.
Cross device tracking, a new feature from Google, will allow advertisers to see how mobile searchers drive desktop searches, downloads, purchases, etc. It will also show how desktop searchers drive mobile searches.
Will the New Enhanced Campaigns Affect your Current Campaigns?
Most likely, yes. Firstly, the new mobile changes coming to Google’s mobile search will no longer make tablet targeting optional. You will still have the option to not appear on mobile by setting mobile bids to -100% of the desktop bids.
Your upgrade path will vary depending on how you currently run your campaign:
- If you’ve yet to separate your desktop and mobile advertising, then the only thing you’ll need to do is set your mobile bid adjustment factor
- If your campaign is currently desktop-only, then it will automatically be upgraded to run on both desktop and mobile devices
- If your campaign is currently mobile-only, then it will automatically be upgraded to run on both desktop and mobile devices
- If you have made copies of the same campaign, to run on both desktop and mobile, you’ll need to merge these back together
The new enhanced campaigns should make AdWords easier to target users. The complexity of managing several different campaigns should now be easier to manage, as all changes will be made from just one campaign.
Google’s new enhanced campaigns will be available to advertisers in the next few weeks and are optional until the end of June, after that time all campaigns will automatically be upgraded.
In the course of managing several AdWords accounts I come across issues that need some assistance from the friendly folks at Google. I found myself in one of those situations the other day regarding some rule-based remarketing audiences I had created. I clicked the Help link in the upper right corner and saw a new twist:
As you can see, AdWords has 5 different options here:
- Browse Help
- AdWords Community Forum
Did you catch that? CHAT!
Maybe this has been around awhile, but it was new to me, so I decided to give them a chance. I already had a good idea what was causing the issue, so I figured it would be no big deal. After clicking I got a little window that loaded up in the lower right corner telling me where I stood in the queue:
It took a couple minutes before I got hooked up with Eric B. I had to do the typical phone routine of providing my 10-digit account ID and login email. I then had to explain the issue and wait for him to navigate to the appropriate page and validate what I was saying (this has always been a frustration for me). We ran through a couple ideas that didn’t ultimately work and he said he’d email me after he spoke with a specialist team (the normal M.O. for a phone support call).
In the end it was about the same as a phone call, but if you’re a fan of chat it’s a nice option to have.