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Pay Per Click Search Engine Marketing: The Importance of Negative Keywords


Imagine you are opening a sports store down the street, Joe’s Sports Store, and you are building a pay per click search engine marketing campaign. Like any online marketer, you may follow a few steps, such as building a landing page, putting together a few ad copies, and conducting keyword research. Perhaps your store offers sports nets, such as for volleyball, tennis, and basketball and you are putting together some keywords to invest in. But what many online marketers neglect is the use of negative keywords, and they end up needlessly wasting hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

What are Negative Keywords

Negative keywords, as their name suggests, are keywords that your ads from being triggered when irrelevant search queries are performed. This could be very valuable when you are a business that offers a very specific service that often overlaps with other similar search terms. A poorly constructed or optimizedpay per click advertisingcampaign can be very costly for a business. Therefore, it’s critical to conduct the proper amount of research both before launching a campaign and after the campaign has already gone live to eliminate irrelevant searches.

Negative Keywords Best Practices

When utilizing negative keywords, it is important to keep the match types in mind when entering them in:

• Broad Match- Prevents the ads from showing up for anything that relates to that keyword
• Phrase Match- Prevents the ads from showing up for any phrase that contains the keyword
• Exact Match- Prevents the ads from showing up for the exact wording of the keyword

Let’s use Joe’s Sports Store as an example. The business may offer volleyball, baseball, basketball, and tennis nets, but may not offer fishing or hunting nets. If a user is searching for “fishing nets” it would not be adequate for Joe’s Sports Store to show up in the ad results as the store does not sell fishing nets. It makes sense that Joe’s Sport Store should only show up for highly relevant searches. Depending on your keyword settings, you may need to consistently add negative keywords such as “fishing” to your campaign to prevent your ads from showing up for irrelevant searches.

It is important to constantly monitor search query reports to ensure that a negative keyword list is updated regularly. While anticipating negative keywords should thought out at the beginning of any campaign, it is virtually impossible to predict what every search trend will be until search query reports are generated.

Finding the right target audience is crucial to a successful pay per click advertising campaign, but just as important is eliminating potential uninterested customers. Negative keywords are a necessary step in lowering the overall cost of a campaign and ensuring that your ads are shown only to the most targeted prospects.