Imagine a world with no traffic lights or roads, cars running everywhere with no direction or guidance. It would be a disaster!
Like traffic lights, negative keywords play a huge role in helping control traffic and stop undesirable search terms from triggering your PPC ads. Google defines a negative keyword as “A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match.”
In PPC, where the advertiser is paying for each click his/her ads get, PPC negative keywords are a MUST. Without them, any possible word used by the people searching on the web could potentially prompt the ads to show and cost a large number of wasted clicks, in other words, money. On the other hand, adding negative keywords will help your PPC campaigns focus on the search terms that matter to your customers.
How Do Negative Keywords Work?
To better understand how negative keywords work, let’s review an example. Let’s say you have a customer that builds wooden furniture. Wardrobes, tables, desks, chairs, etc. these are all applicable keywords, but what if someone types on the search engine “plastic chairs”? You wouldn’t want your customer’s ad to show up for that term; in this case, “plastic” would be a negative keyword.
There are also more general keywords that are not necessarily related to the type of service or products that you offer. Therefore, adding them as negative keywords can help you have a more successful campaign.
Types of PPC Negative Keywords
There are mainly two types of negative keywords on PPC campaigns, search network negative keywords, and display network negative keywords.
Search Negative Keywords
On Search, negative keywords work differently from positive keyword match types. For PPC negative keywords we can use phrase match and exact match, but you’ll still want to be more specific with phrases, synonyms, misspellings, plural versions, and all the possible search terms you would like to exclude.
Display Negative Keywords
On Display, you can also add negative keywords. However, they apply to exact topics. So, for example, if a website doesn’t necessarily contain the keywords you added, but the topic of the content is related, the display ads won’t show up.
Points to Keep in Mind
- Negative keywords can get applied at the account, campaign, and ad group level.
- Symbols like ampersands (&), accent marks (á), and asterisks (*) can be used in your negative keywords, and also make different negative keywords. For example: “white and black” and “white & black.”
- Broad match cannot be used for negative keywords
- Be very selective with your negative keywords, adding too many could reduce the campaign’s traffic significantly.
If you would like to know more about how negative keywords can improve your campaigns’ performance, feel free to contact us. Hite Digital is one of the fastest-growing US digital marketing agencies.