Keep the Competition at Bay with Negative Keywords

February 15, 2024

Keep the Competition at Bay with Negative Keywords | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Google AdWords houses the most significant market share of PPC campaigns, raking in over 40% of global revenue. Businesses big and small, exclusively online or offline can all benefit from a professional Google Adwords campaign.

Across industries, the return on investment for AdWords campaigns is nearly 200%. But PPC campaigns require a lot of monitoring and repositioning to get maximum results. With a Google AdWords campaign, you’ll see explosive traffic for your online and offline store or business if you optimise it correctly.
How can you do this?

With targeted keywords and phrases that will net you clicks and conversions.

Most of the time though, when people think of keywords, they think of them in positive terms. A potential lead enters a phrase into the search query, and if the bid is adequate, your product or service will show up on the results page.

But did you know you can also use negative keywords? Negative keywords can keep out your competitors’ customers, in turn, lowering your CPC rate. The following article will cover the types of keywords and phrases you can use for your Google AdWords campaigns and how they can benefit your business.

First, what is a negative keyword or phrase?

A negative keyword will tell Google who or what not to target with your ad. You can list competitors as negative keywords, or you can use negative keywords to whittle down your lead’s search terms.

For example, if you design and sell outlet covers, you may want to consider adding negative keywords to your AdWords campaign such as ‘book covers,’ or ‘furniture covers’ or ‘bed covers.’ If you don’t use negative keywords, you’re in danger of getting too many unqualified leads looking at your ad.

They may click on your ad out of curiosity. This will drive up your CPC rate, but won’t give you any conversions. Too many unqualified leads will cost you money and skew your conversion numbers.

So, when selecting your negative keywords for a Google search campaign, you want to add terms that are similar to your keywords but would apply to customers who are searching for a different product or service.

Keep in mind that negative keywords will work differently for different types of campaigns. For Display and Video campaigns, your negative keywords will keep you from targeting unrelated sites or videos. Also, you can use up to 5000 negative keywords for Display and Video campaigns. You can also use the site category options and content exclusions in your Google AdWords account to keep from targeting unrelated sites and videos.

Keep the Competition at Bay with Negative KeywordsSo, what types of keyword categories are there?

The following three types of keyword categories apply to both negative and positive keyword phrases:

Broad Match

Broad match is the default setting, and it means that your advertisement won’t appear if the customer’s search query contains all of your negative keyword terms for a search phrase, even if they are in a different order. Your ad can still appear though if the search terms contain only a few of your keywords.

Phrase Match

With negative phrase match, your ad won’t appear if the search query contains the precise keyword terms in the order you’ve selected. The search query can contain additional words, but your ad won’t appear if all of the terms are included in the search in the same order.

Exact Match

For a negative keyword exact match, the ad won’t appear if the customer search query includes the exact keyword terms, in the same order you’ve selected, and without any additional words or phrases. But, the ad can still appear if the search includes keyword terms with other words.

Keep the Competition at Bay with Negative KeywordsDespite the fact that negative keywords can help you better target your customers, therefore giving you more qualified leads, you don’t want to use too many of them. If you do, you may not reach enough customers. You also need to keep in mind that your negative keywords can still appear in search results. This is especially true if the customer entered a misspelling into the search bar.

It’s a tricky balance to strike, and getting negative keywords correct takes a lot of research, patience, and ultimately, time. But the results for your business can be fantastic. With an expert negative keyword strategy for your Google AdWords, you’ll be able to effectively target qualified leads, increase your conversion rate, and grow your sales.

We Can Help

Our SEO and digital marketing experts at Australian Internet Advertising know exactly how to craft an effective Google AdWords campaign. We take the time to understand your business and your goals, and we’ll research and formulate a professional negative keyword strategy for your Google advertisements. Give us a call or shoot us an email today and see how we can grow your business and get you the best ROI for your Google ads.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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