Using Negative Keywords when Advertising with Google AdWords

Google AdWords

One of the major online advertising methods is using Google AdWords.  You get to design your own text/photo ad for display on Google search engine results and/or websites  opting to display Google’s ads using AdSense, and pay for each click you get on your ad.  You choose keywords that relate to your product/website and that, along with how much you are willing to pay per click/day, determines when your ad shows. But there is one feature not many may know exist or take advantage of: Negative Keywords.

Negative keywords doesn’t mean that you choose keywords that are negative in nature.  They are the opposite of your target keywords – they are keywords you choose that determine when your ad does not display.  So if a user is searching for something that contains your negative keywords in Google search, or a user is on a website that contains your negative keywords, your ads will not show there.  You can use negative keywords in your Google ad campaigns to target your customer base that would be the most interested in your product/website, reduce your advertising costs, and increase your return on investment (ROI).

Need some ideas of good uses of negative keywords?

For example, your product is high end and is priced accordingly, so if you don’t want your ad to show when someone searches for “cheap” or “free”, you could set these as your ad campaign’s negative keywords.

Another reason to choose negative keywords is to not pay for clicks by customers that are actually looking for a similar but different product that you don’t offer, because if you just use the target keywords your ad may display here when it’s unlikely they are interested in your product/website.  Google uses the example of if you’re an optometrist and are selling eye glasses on your website.  You would want to target “optometrist” and “eye glasses”, and set your negative keywords to inclue “wine glasses” and “drinking glasses” for example.

You could also use negative keywords to not display your ad when someone is obviously specifically googling to find your website.  For example, we would set “ultimatewb” as a negative keyword, as web surfers will be directed to our website on the first ranking on Google without the need for the ad, and unnecessary charge for the ad click.  You could also choose negative keywords based on which keywords you are already getting top ranking for on Google.

So how do you set the negative keywords on your Google AdWords campaign?  It can be easy to miss the link to the negative keywords section if you have a long list of targeted keywords in your campaign.  But it is really easy to find:

1) Sign in to your AdWords account.
2) Click the “Campaigns” tab, then select “Keywords” tab.
3) Scroll down to the “Negative keywords” link below the keywords table.  Expand the section by clicking the link.
4) Add negative keywords to an ad group or a campaign by clicking “Add”.

Reference: “Add negative keywords to your campaign

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