Negative Keywords – Why They Matter, Signs You Need More, and How to Find Them
When working on keywords for an account, marketers often focus on directing desirable traffic to their ads and websites. What are audiences searching for, and how can they match perfectly with appropriate searches?
What sometimes is forgotten is how negative keywords can benefit a business, both immediately and in the long run. It is so important, in fact, that it is one of the nine aspects of a report that we look at when we audit an account. From improving expected click through rate to preventing unwanted traffic from using up ad spend, negative keywords have a notable amount of benefits.
Improves Quality Score
Even if an account has the perfect ad copy and keywords for their business, there is still a good chance that Google’s quality score for their PPC ads may still be low. Irrelevant impressions will contribute to this, as ads will not be clicked on. By adding negative keywords, they will not show for unrelated queries and will be more applicable to the resulting impressions. The result? The quality score will go up on active ads, showing them to more users and decreasing the cost per click.
As mentioned previously, if an account doesn’t have negative keywords, ads could show for irrelevant queries. The impact that this has expands beyond Quality Score, however, and can contribute to a company not being taken seriously. If an upscale furniture company has no negative keywords, and someone Googles “miniature suede sofa for dollhouse”, there is a decent chance that an ad for said company will pop up.
When there are no boundaries for keywords and ads show for unrelated queries, it demonstrates unprofessional marketing from the consumer’s perspective. How can a business know what they are doing when they cannot market their products or services correctly? Using negative keywords helps restore this confidence by ensuring that ads appear when users are entering relevant search terms.
Saving Ad Spend
One of the final and most important ways that negative keywords help an account is that they save needless ad spend. The end goal of an ad is to gain conversions. Therefore, when a user clicks on an ad that is not relevant to their query and no conversion occurs, this ends up being a waste of budget. Negative keywords are one of the valuable tools that give advertisers the ability to ultimately specify their desired audience. They can help set up those indispensable boundaries that keep unwanted traffic from clicking on ads, which saves spend.
Knowing the Signs
Since negative keywords greatly affect ad spend, what are the signs that there might not be enough of them in an account? One is that there are many more impressions coming from your ads than normal, but CTR is down. This could mean users are searching for terms that are not relevant, but an account’s ads are still appearing.
Another is that negative keywords have not been added in a very long time. Search terms should be sifted through at least once a week for negative keywords, more if cost is very high for keyword clicks. If this has not been done for months, there is a good chance that a problem could be starting from there.
How to Find Them
If an account needs more negative keywords, a good place to start is the search term history of the account. This gives marketers an idea of what exactly users are searching for. Another, especially for retail, is knowing what is and isn’t in inventory. An example is if a company carries only a few products from an entire line, it would be wise add the rest of them as negative keywords as necessary.
Need more PPC help for your account? Reach out to our PPC team at Web Talent Marketing today.