One of the most underutilized features in PPC is the negative keywords function. Hours are spent looking for the most relevant keywords and every imaginable permutation and misspelling. Those keywords are then organized into ad groups and campaigns using multiple match types, all in an effort to make sure our ad shows when a search is performed. All this effort to show up, but aren’t there searches where we DON’T want our ad?
Negative Keywords – Your Own Personal Jiminy Cricket
I love the movie Pinocchio and especially the character of Jiminy Cricket. This little guy has the job of keeping Pinocchio out of trouble. Effectively, Jiminy tells Pinocchio what NOT to do. Negative keywords are the Jiminy Cricket that you give to Google with instructions of when NOT to show your ads.
First, an example. Say you are selling small business backup software like Mozy Pro. Of course you want your ad to show for searches like “small business data backup” or “business backup”. So you put these guys in your ad group. However, do you really want someone searching “free business backup”? Say you sell Toto toilets. Do you want your ad showing for searches on Dorothy’s dog Toto from the Wizard of Oz?
How To Add Negative Keywords
Google AdWords has rolled out a new interface in the last few months and negative keywords got moved. You will now see them below your keyword lists like this:
Simply click the “Add” button and type in keywords that aren’t related to your offering. “Free” is a good one if you don’t offer a free option. Our Toto toilets site above would add words like “Oz”, “Wizard”, “Dorothy” or “Dog”. This has two main benefits:
- Your ads don’t get stupid clicks (missed clicks, curiosity clicks, etc.) from people not looking for your product/services.
- Your CTR goes up, your QS goes up and your CPC goes down for the same position.
PS – Can’t think of any more negative keywords? Run a Search Query Report and you’ll find more, guaranteed! But that is Thursday’s post.