The great folks at Radiolab recently posted the following video on language and context that’s a great illustration on why it’s vital to add Negative keywords when doing a paid keyword campaign:
Context is Crucial
Negative Keywords too often are an afterthought of campaign creation. It’s human nature to get fixated on what we want to buy(keywords) and forgetting to establish the context in which we want something- “I’d really like to get a speaker in here”…is it an audio speaker or a guest speaker? For paid search platforms, context is everything, they’re very much like literal minded children in many ways.
Using Negative Keywords shapes the context that PPC ads are displayed and remove irrelevant or unwanted impressions for a selected Campaign or Adgroup. Doing this has the great benefit of a lowering a keywords cost-per-click. This is certainly the case within Google AdWords, as narrowing the context of a keyword you are bidding on via Negative keywords helps increase a keywords Quality Score. Of course, Quality Score is primarily driven by a keywords click-throughrate(CTR), hence using Negative Keywords decreases wasted impressions and improves CTR.
Picking the Keywords you are going to buy is far easier than compared to what you don’t want to be associated with. Start with the obvious terms that are not in line with your product or service and over time just keep adding. Imagine you are bidding on commercial software term’s; having Negative terms such as the following would help ensure Ads are serving to the right type of active user:
Software Negative Keywords:
- PHP DEA
- Snake–> Based on “Python” root term
- Reactive approach: Run a Search Query report that will show the actual user query, and then add the non-relevant terms as a Negative Keyword.
- Proactive approach: Use tools such as the Google Keyword tool, WordStream Negative Keyword tool, and good old group brainstorming
Adding Negative Keywords is an ongoing discovery process from two sources:
From the onset of any campaign developed, negative keywords should be part of a launch strategy. Adding Negative Keywords is a moving goal , but I’ve found that consistent monitoring (daily if not weekly) is a be a key tactic to cut waste and decrease a cost-per click.