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5 Keys to Using Negative Keywords

5 Keys to using negative keywords

Negative keywords can be an integral part of a PPC campaign, but it is important that one does not use them incorrectly. Using negative keywords excessively or with poor strategy could eliminate potential searches that would be relevant or even prompt readers to action. There are therefore many factors to keep in mind when going about a negative keywords library. Here are 5 keys to keep in mind when working with negative keywords.

1. Avoid adding long-tail searches– If a search appears that is a sentence long, or longer than 6 words, then it does not have to be added into the negative keyword library. Miscellaneous searches are always going to happen and it is not possible to eliminate them entirely. The key to dealing with these searches is to try to find trends in search queries, rather than entering a whole long-tail search into the library.

2. Identify recurring themes in searches– Rather than continue to add in negative keywords whenever you see them, you can knock out multiple birds with one stone by identifying common themes. For instance, if you have a client who specializes in athletic nets, but you continue to see searches for fishing nets, then you can enter in fishing and fishing related items as negative keywords. Make sure that you use phrase match when adding them in.

3. Avoid using broad match– Only in certain situations should you ever use broad match for negative keywords. Broad match is difficult to measure and control as it pulls anything that is related to that term. By entering in a negative keyword using a broad match, you may be eliminating relevant searches without realizing it. Avoid using broad match unless you have a good idea of what will be generated.

4. Keep in mind certain campaigns– An audience can vary greatly by location. Make sure that you select the right negative keywords for each campaign. You can do this by creating a list for certain campaigns in the shared library and sharing them with the proper campaigns. Make sure you utilize the shared library effectively in your PPC campaign.

5. Stay proactive rather than reactive– Obviously, you can’t predict everything about how a campaign will generate searches, but you should always be anticipating what negative keywords to add in before they are clicked and use up PPC budget. This should start before the campaign, with negative keywords already implemented before the campaign goes live. But while negative keywords are being reviewed, a PPC manager should also seek to identify possible searches that are likely to appear based on trends, and remove them before they are searched for.


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