Adding negatives is easy, be it at campaign or ad group level. Without them apple sellers would bring in tons of searchers of toffee apples, personal trainers would attract shoe buyers and casinos luring someone looking to play online bingo. Negatives are crucial to reducing wastage, improving site stats and most importantly improving ROI and CPA’s.
One aspect and significant benefit of negatives is often overlooked however, their impact on CTR’s. Most people only think about reducing spend by those clicking on your ad that are not actually looking for what you provide. What about the thousands of others that search for those terms but don’t actually click the ad? Surely these searches are damaging your CTR across all your ads right? And doesn’t that affect your quality scores? Exactly!
There are a huge amount of irrelevant searches around all types of keywords that are invisible to search queries. You cannot rely on ‘seeing what people clicked on’ in your search query reports and adding from there. We need to be smarter than that. The more we add at the start, the higher our starting CTR’s. The higher the CTR’s the better our quality scores. The better our scores the higher we show and at a lower price. It’s not rocket science.
The obvious one – add the well known keywords attached to your product/service and any other signalling an intent other than your core focus. E.g. reviews, images, Wikipedia, instructions etc. Think about other references to your keywords too or any add ons, substitutes or other terms used alongside a potentially good search that would bring unwanted interest. E.g. a book seller may want to exclude ‘bookmark’ to stop ‘buy bookmark’ keywords.
Often ignored at an advertisers peril – the Google Keyword Planner. Type in the most generic and obvious terms that surround your product/service. Skim through and add anything not relevant.
Use the keyword planner again – however this time use the URL field rather than keyword. Letting Google scan your page can bring up some varying results you may not of otherwise thought of.
Alternative keyword generating sites and tools – Tools like Uber Suggest are great for finding long lists of terms that could and will appear before and after your main keywords. Uber is particularly effective at this showing the list from A to Z. Why not give it a go and seehttp://ubersuggest.org/
The ‘time consuming’ one – it’s a long process but always worth it in the end. Use Googles predictive search to your benefit by typing in your main keywords and simply typing in each letter in the alphabet noting down which terms appear. Those keywords will have search numbers or they will not appear so regardless of how ‘little the impact may be’ of doing this it’s always worthwhile. Note – at the bottom of the page you may also see a list of top searches worth viewing.
My favourite – Adwords built in keywords suggestion tool (found when adding keywords in the keyword tab) more often than not provides new ideas for both negatives and new keyword angles to drive traffic also. The tool itself takes into account your current crop of search terms whilst also viewing the landing page providing a diverse range to view broken in categories for faster viewing. This is always the best place to start.
Use these six steps for all campaigns and results will be clear to see. Yes your impressions will drop but for the right reasons. And remember, negatives in one campaign will likely apply to others so ensure they are copied where relevant to save time!