Negative Keywords

All internet marketing experts and everybody who advertises online are trying to optimize their marketing costs as much as possible. Pay per click marketers are no different. There are actually many ways how to increase the effectiveness of your pay per click marketing campaign. Tweaking the ad copy, compiling a huge list of keywords, etc. One other optimization method that showed pretty good results is adding negative keywords to your pay per click campaign.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords mean that when people include one of such keywords into a search query, your ad will not appear. So you simply tell search engine not to show your ad whenever people search for information that is not related to yours. Here’s an example:

Let’s say you are providing information about web cookies. Now, if you bid on a keyword “cookies”, your ad will appear if people search for “cookies”, “web cookies” and “cookie recipes”. You see, both keywords are the same, however they have completely different meaning.

Naturally you don’t want unrelated clicks to your website. So what’s the solution? Well, you can bid on the exact phrase “web cookies”, but you’ll miss many other similar keywords.

Or you can add a negative keyword next to your main keyword that you are targeting. Let’s say you add “- baked” cookies. Now your ad won’t appear, if a visitors searches for baked cookies. There are however more keywords that can bring you similar problems, like “sweet cookies”, “chocolate cookies” etc. So if you want to get only related clicks to your site, you gonna have to add lots of different negative keywords into your campaign. In this particular “cookie” case, targeting the exact key phrase and receiving fewer clicks can be a less time consuming solution, than picking every possible negative keyword and adding it to your list.

Using Negative Keywords in Your Campaigns

However, if you don’t provide “cookie” related information, it doesn’t mean that negative keywords are useless.

You might bid on a keyword “vegetarian food” expecting that your site will be visited by people who search for veggie food. However, there are lots of people who search for “vegetarian dog food”, or “pet vegetarian food” for example. In that case, you’d get lots of unrelated clicks to your site and waste your money. So the simplest solution would be adding "dog", "cat", "pet" and other possible keywords as negative to your keyword list.

Eliminating Freebie Seekers

If you sell the information or offer services, you are not expecting people who search for free information. In this case, adding the word free as a negative keyword can help you a lot.

Let’s say you target a keyword “web design tips” and you sell an ebook about design tips. Many people searching for “free web design tips” will see your ad and click on it. If you don’t want that, simply add –free, next to your keyword list. Now, whenever people will search for free web design tips, your ad won’t show up.

Using the keyword “free” as negative, should really eliminate many freebie seekers, no matter what product you sell. It can save you money.

Actually, negative keywords are good for several reasons. First of all, you’ll decrease your expenses. You’ll pay much less, but the number of orders will stay the same. Second of all, you’ll increase your click through ratio (CTR). PPC search engines, like Google Adwords, rank websites not only by the amount you bid, but also by CTR. So adding negative keyword will reduce the number of untargeted clicks and your CTR will automatically increase. That will lead to higher position in the SERPs.

In Conclusion

Negative keywords are no doubt, very useful to your pay per click marketing campaign. You’ll be able to increase the overall effectiveness of your campaign and certainly save more money. If you are not using negative keywords in your pay per click campaigns, now it’s a perfect time to start doing that.