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‍Negative Keyword Optimization Tips for Better Campaign Results

Search Optimization

Along with having a solid SEO strategy in Fort Lauderdale, ads play a crucial role in helping you generate more leads and customers for your small business.  

But, did you know that the average Google Ads account wastes about 76% of its ad budget on targeting the wrong keywords?

One of the foundations of a successful PPC ad campaign is having an effective negative keyword strategy.  

When you implement negative keywords correctly, you can focus your ad campaigns only on people who are interested in what you have to offer. As a result, you can save money, improve your click-through rates, and attract users who will likely turn into customers.  

Want to know how to optimize negative keywords to achieve better campaign results and a higher return on investment (ROI)?

Read on!

What are Negative Keywords?

Marketer optimizing client's content for SEO in Fort Lauderdale by looking for negative keywords.

Negative keywords are search terms that you don’t want to include in your campaign. A filter mechanism prevents your ad from showing up in front of searches that contain those specific keywords.  

For example, when you add “affordable” as a negative keyword to your campaign, it’s a way of telling Google not to show your ad for any queries containing the word “affordable.”

This allows you to weed out searchers who are not interested in your products and services. This helps you put your ads in front of the right audience.  

3 Types of Negative Keywords

There are three types of negative keywords you can use to improve the targeting of your ad campaigns. The best types of negative keywords for you will depend on your goals, what you’re advertising, and the budget you’re working with.  

  • Negative broad match – Your ad won’t show if the search query contains all of your negative keyword terms. However, your ad may still appear if the query contains one of your negative keywords. For example, if you add “school shoes” as a negative broad match keyword, any search containing both “school” and “shoes” won’t trigger your ad, regardless of whether the terms are in a different order. So, if someone searches for "best shoes for nursing school," your ad won't show, but it will for "where can I buy white shoes.”
  • Negative phrase match - Your ads won't appear for queries that contain all your negative keywords in the exact order. Continuing on the example earlier, your ad won’t show up for “best school shoes” and “affordable school shoes”, but it will show up for “top shoes for school.”
  • Negative exact match – Your ad will not appear only if a query contains the exact negative keyword. For example, it will not show for the search term "school shoes", but it will appear for "black shoes", "best school shoes", and "top shoes."

4 Reasons Why It’s Important to Optimize Negative Keywords in your Ad Campaigns

Marketer monitoring PPC results that uses negative keywords.
  • Boosts your click-through rate (CTR) – When your ads show up only in front of those who are interested in your offerings, your ad is more likely going to get clicked. This increases your click-through rate.
  • Cuts down ad expense – When you don’t use negative keywords, your ads show up even in front of users who will never become your customers. This means you'll be paying for a click that won’t bring you ROI.  
  • Improves relevance of your ad groups – Ad relevance refers to how closely your keywords are connected with your ads. The higher your ad relevance, the better your Quality Score, the lower your cost-per-click, and the better your ad positions will be.  
  • Increase your conversion rate- Just like in SEO, when you focus on targeting the right audience in Fort Lauderdale, you can attract quality leads who will likely click on your ads and convert.  

7 Tips to Effectively Use Negative Keywords in Your Ad Campaigns

Using negative keywords allows you to refine the quality of traffic your ads generate and maximize your campaign budget.  

Here are some tips to consider when optimizing for negative keywords:

1. Add Negative Keywords at Both Campaign and Ad Group Levels

Analyzing which negative keywords to add at the campaign and ad group level is an essential part of a successful negative strategy.  

To help you understand, let's differentiate using negative keywords at the campaign and ad group level:

  • Campaign level – Putting negative keywords at a campaign level means that none of your ads will appear for your terms regardless of the ad group.  
  • Ad group level – Using negative keywords at the ad group level means that only certain ads in your ad groups won’t show up for your set negative search terms.  

Let’s take an example of a retail website selling drug store makeup. If you run a ‘Lipstick’ campaign, then the negative keywords you’re going to add at the campaign level will include “high-end” and “luxury”.  

Within your Lipstick campaign, you’ll most likely have a “Nyx Lipsticks”, Maybelline Lipsticks”, and “Revlon Lipsticks” ad group.  

For the Nyx ad group, you want to include “-Maybelline” and “-Revlon” into your ad group-level negative keywords. This ensures that your Nyx lipstick ads don't show up for Maybelline and Revlon queries.

2. Use Negative Keywords to Point Users to The Right Part of Your Site

If you run specific campaigns for certain products, include negative keywords to avoid overlap and direct prospects straight to where they want to be.

Here's an example of what that could look like:

table of how negative keywords that show how it can help direct users to the exact part of your site they wanna be.

If users are looking for blush, you don’t want to direct them to the lipstick or the foundation section of your product page.  

3. Don’t Include Too Many Negative Keywords at A Time

Did you know that Google allows you to add up to 10,000 negative keywords for every campaign?

You might think that adding all the negative keywords you never want your ads to appear for is the best way to save yourself time and effort.  

However, adding all your negative keywords in one go or ‘list stuffing’ limits the visibility of your ads. This means fewer people will see them, which causes an increase in lost impression shares.  

Instead, increase your list as you run your campaigns so you can get a better grip on how your ads perform.  

4. Create a Consistent List of Negative Keywords for Your Campaigns

Campaign getting much love from users and are attracting leads and prospects.

It’s good to have a list ready for you to apply across as many campaigns as suitable. This makes it easy to apply them to any new campaigns.

However, since experts recommend that you build your negative keyword list as you go, you might end up using an inconsistent list of keywords throughout your campaigns. This can affect your campaign’s performance and impact results.  

Make sure to conduct thorough, unique keyword research and establish a good routine for negative keyword optimization.

5. Check Your Existing Negative Keywords

Monitor your ad performance. If you notice that your campaigns aren’t getting as much relevant traffic as you expected, check your existing negatives.  

It could be that you’ve included some valuable keywords that impact the performance of your PPC campaign.  

6. Analyze Non-Performing Keywords

Aside from unrelated keywords, you should also consider including non-performing keywords in your negatives.  

But, before you do that, you’ll want to analyze if those keywords are doing something other than a conversion (e.g., introducing users to your brand).  

Although some keywords don’t convert, they could be informational keywords that searchers use to discover your brand.  

With this information, you can make better changes to your campaigns, decide if you should pause this non-performing keyword, and get insights for your organic optimization efforts or SEO in Fort Lauderdale tactics.  

The goal here is to stop spreading your ad budget across unprofitable keywords and concentrate it on those that bring ROI.  

To identify which of your keywords are poor performing, here are some filters you should consider using:

  • Quality Score Filter – Enables you to identify which keywords have low-quality scores or are irrelevant to your landing page. You can then change your keywords or make your landing pages more relevant to your chosen keywords.  
  • Clickthrough Rate Filter – Take a look at which keywords generate a lot of impressions but only a few clicks.  
  • Below First Page Bid EstimateFilter your keywords to determine which of them are below the bid you need to set to ensure that your ad appears on the first page of SERPs. Raising your bids might help your low-performing keywords improve.  

7. Use Negative Keyword Matching Wisely

Remember the different types of negative keywords we mentioned earlier? It’s important to know when to use them to help you generate even more qualified traffic.  

You can’t just use them randomly because you might end up blocking qualified traffic from reaching you. Do your research and identify which negative keyword match type will help you realize your ad campaign goals.  

Turn the Negative into Something Positive!

By harnessing the powering of negative keywords, you can guarantee that your ads only show up in front of searchers who will likely turn into customers.

At Digital Resource, our team of paid ad managers and SEO experts in Fort Lauderdale will work with you to create targeted PPC campaigns that will generate more leads and customers for your small business.  

Contact us today to start creating effective ad campaigns that generate results!

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