Paid search is the online marketing preference of so many web masters, thanks to its fast and unrivalled benefits. The only downside to this approach is that your first page SERPs come at a cost. PPC is a notoriously expensive promotion method and so it is essential to find ways to keep costs to a minimum. One way to do this is through using negative keywords.
What are negative keywords?
Negative keywords are simply search terms that you don’t wish to be displayed for. Most advertising platforms, including Google AdWords, offer users these match types which allow you to select who sees your ad based on their search queries. They are most commonly used to stop sites appearing for irrelevant searches in order to bring down the amount of money used up on wasted clicks.
Why use negative keywords?
By preventing your site from showing for keywords that are not appropriate for your business, (for example if you sell similar products but not that specific item), you stand to dramatically reduce your costs. Other benefits include:
- Through not being displayed for irrelevant search terms, there is more opportunity to display for terms that are relevant and worthwhile.
- Improving your CTR- your click through rate is the percentage of people who see your ad and make the decision to click on this, and this stands to increase if all your ads are relevant to the search queries in question.
- Improving your conversion rate. By only being displayed for relevant search terms, the people reaching your site are much more likely to convert into leads and sales, creating probably the most significant benefit of all.
- Improving your quality score- your quality score is basically a Google AdWords http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2453972 quality rating that can alter the amount you pay for an ad, thus reducing your costs for the future.
When should I think about Negative Keywords?
People start using keywords at all different stages of their campaigns and there are a number of reasons for this as well as different advantages. In general these can be grouped into three categories.
- Proactive. It makes sense to be prepared for the likelihood that your ad will be displayed for irrelevant search terms at some stage, and by planning for this in advance you are preventing wastage.
- Reactive. Probably the most popular scenario, many begin to introduce negative keywords to their selection as and when they start to see the problem occurring. This is why it is so important to monitor performance right from the beginning.
- On-going. The most thorough of approaches, many PPC marketers choose to keep a constant monitor on the situation, regularly introducing negative keywords.
SEO Positive is an Essex-based firm specialising in SEO, PPC, reputation management and web design.