Creating negative keywords are essential. The basic premise is that “all traffic is not good traffic”. When I take over a pay-per-click account, the first thing I do is add negatives. That often results in traffic and cost going down. That first step of reducing traffic is often a shocker for the client, but it never fails to pay back when the higher quality traffic comes in and converts.
PPC negative keywords allow advertisers to filter out the unwanted traffic. Some of the more common negatives include categories like job seekers (employment, hiring, intern, internship, internships, jobs), education (classes, college, courses, education, school, training, universities), price shoppers (prices, pricing, quote, quotes), DIY (creating, hand made, handmade, homemade, how to), and many more.
Most negative are done at the campaign level. That means that negative would apply to every ad group within that campaign. It’s an extremely useful tool and is a must-do for any well-optimized campaign, however there is much that can be done at the ad group level. Before we get into that, let’s make sure we are configured properly.
Solid Account Structure
In order to make the most out of segmenting negative keywords, it’s important to make sure the account structure is setup properly. In fact, strong segmentation within a PPC account is the basis for almost all enhancements and improvements.
We could dedicate a whole series of posts on account structure, but for now here are a few basic tips:
- Divide ad group by landing page
- If keyword doesn’t match landing page, then create a new ad group
- Keywords, landing page and ad should focus on the same keyword(s)/product
- Limit use of DKI (Dynamic Keyword Insertion). If the need arises, then see prior tips
Obviously, there is a lot mentioned above we can dive into, but for now let’s move back to negatives.
Negatives at the Ad Group Level
There is no doubt that negative keywords are beneficial, but most advertisers tend to just use them at the campaign level. For example, they don’t want job seekers clicking on their ads, so they include words like “job”, “employment”, “hiring”, etc. That makes sense and it’s a very valuable too.
However, negative keywords can provide much more value. Of times, products can be very similar in Google’s view, but require unique ads and landing pages to the user. Let’s walk through an example.
In this example, let’s examine the vacation rental market. (I happen to have an extensive background here). Here are a few basic ad groups:
Ad Group Name: Destin Vacation House
Goal of Ad Group: For users to book a Destin vacation house online
Keywords: destin vacation house, destin fl vacation house, destin+ vacation+ house+
Ad Group Name: Destin Planning Guide
Ad Group Name: Destin Vacation Rentals
A beach home may not be the same thing as a beach condo. In this scenario, advertisers would not want to send searchers looking for a vacation house to a list of condos, often high-rise buildings. It also would not make sense to exclude “house” and “home” at the campaign level. By adding negative “house” to every ad group except Destin Vacation House, it forces searches to the right ad and landing page.
Assuming the structure is setup properly, this approach allows advertisers to silo and direct users to specific landing pages. Redirecting users to the right landing pages is at the heart of all PPC campaigns. This methodology also comes in handy on tight budgets … and for that matter any budget. The ultimate goal of helping the searcher is met. A common mistake that advertisers make is forcing users to search again, after searching on Google.
Do you use negative keywords at the ad group level? What other negative tips can you provide?Tags: AdWords, Google, match type, negative, Pay Per Click, PPC
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