Negative Keywords – Balance the Scales and Increase Your Sales

In my short time here at 7search, I have learned a lot about the effectiveness of our tools. The use of our conversion tracking code allows both the advertiser as well as our 7Search staff to examine the quality of each campaign more easily. Designing custom descriptions and URLs are the equivalent of an instant sales pitch for your audience, taking advantage of the short time you have to capture a customer’s attention online. Lately, however, I have really focused on the importance of adding negative keywords to a campaign.

What are negative keywords? One of the best explanations I have seen comes from the blog in a posting by Linda Bustos: “(Negative keywords) refers to irrelevant or low converting keywords that you add to a pay-per-click campaign which tell the ad system not to show your ad when that keyword appears in a search.” Pretty self explanatory, right? They act as a search filter, shuffling away any irrelevant searches onto your site. As an example, if your website was advertising “work from home” opportunities, you might add “repair,” “insurance,” or “loan,” to your negative keyword list.

So, what’s so great about negative keywords? The term itself may conjure thoughts of error and failure when in actuality, it’s the exact opposite. I have found that, like our universe, keywords selection requires balance. When you choose a keyword, there may be dozens of different phrases that it could potentially be tied to. Without the use of Negative Keywords your ad is more likely to receive irrelevant clicks. Over time, these non-converting clicks add up and cost you money. Negative keywords function to help you sort through your traffic and receive clicks from only those that are the most targeted to your site content. As we all know, relevant searches are more likely to convert, thus giving you a better ROI.

A great, simple way to create a negative keyword list is to run a monthly keyword report. Go to the reports tab shown within your 7Search account, the click on a keyword that has received clicks. The searched terms will appear, showing what keyword combinations brought the surfer to your site. In one example, your website sells baby toys, and you select “baby” as a keyword which makes perfect sense. With such a broad search term, you are very likely to receive searches/clicks for everything from song lyrics for Justin Bieber’s “Baby” song, to adult baby costumes. Reviewing your keyword report and adding all irrelevant searched terms to your negative list will help prevent these extraneous searches from getting to your site and eating up your budget.

Monitoring your campaign and examining your results is a major key to achieving success in pay-per-click advertising, this is especially so in the case of negative keywords. Taking the time to research your keyword results can save you money, drive more relevant searches to your site, and help maintain an effective degree of keyword balance.

Author: John Moran is a Digital and Social Media Bro-fessional. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyMoDigital

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