What Are Negative Keywords In PPC?

What Are Negative Keywords In PPCNegative keywords are an essential aspect of any Google Ads or Microsoft Ads campaign. Essentially, using negative keywords can help minimise wasted budget and deliver a higher return on investment. However, there are other ways in which negative keywords can improve your PPC campaign. This blog article outlines what negative keywords are, why they are important and how to use them. 

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are keywords that you do not want your ad to show up for. So, if someone enters a search term that includes one of your negative keywords, your ad may not be displayed. The way in which negative keywords work depends on the match type used. 

Why Negative Keywords Are Important

Using negative keywords effectively is important for a number of reasons. Ultimately, using negative keywords helps to minimise wasted budget, increase the conversion rate and deliver a higher return on investment. Below are some ways in which negative keywords can help improve PPC campaign performance. 

Help Protect Your Brand Image And Reputation

Firstly, negative keywords can help reduce the chance of your ads being displayed in search engine results for search queries that may look bad on your business, or alongside websites or topics that reflect badly on your brand. This may include controversial topics related to your business, profession or sector. 

Target The Right People

Secondly, effective use of negative keywords can help prevent your ads from being displayed to the wrong people. For example, you may be running a PPC campaign to advertise your graphic design services. In this case, you will want to target your ads towards businesses who are looking for a graphic design agency or freelancer. However, it is likely that your ads will also be displayed when people search for keywords such as “graphic design jobs” or “graphic design courses” unless you add them to your negative keyword list. 

Another way of using negative keywords to target the right people is by adding adjectives that do not reflect your brand to your negative keyword list. For example, a luxury brand will want to avoid searches containing the words “cheap” or “discounted”. 

Avoid Unrelated Searches

Some words are spelled the same, but have different meanings. This can be a problem when carrying out a PPC campaign. If your campaign is centred around selling wine glasses, you will not want your ads to show when people search for whiskey glasses. Likewise, if you are selling winter coats for people, you will not want your ads to show up when people search for dog coats. Using negative keywords in these situations can help to eliminate a lot of irrelevant clicks and impressions. 

Reduce Wasted Budget

Ultimately, using negative keywords effectively reduces the amount of wasted budget, as your ads are not being displayed to or clicked on by people who have virtually no chance of converting into business. Remember that successful pay-per-click advertising relies on those clicks turning into sales and leads.

How To Use Negative Keywords

Negative keywords need to be used properly in order to be effective. You may be able to identify some negative keywords when you set up your PPC campaign. However, others will need to be added as you go along. It is important to check your PPC campaign regularly and update your negative keyword list as required. 

Negative Keyword Match Types

There are three match types for negative keywords: broad match, phrase match and exact match. However, they work slightly differently to match types for the keywords you want to target. For example, you will need to add variations, plurals, synonyms and mis-spellings for any negative keywords you wish to exclude. 

Negative broad match keywords will exclude your ad from searches containing all of the words within the negative keyword, even if those words appear in a different order. Your ads may still show for search terms that include just one of the words within the negative keyword. 

Negative phrase match keywords will exclude your ad from searches containing the negative keyword in the order in which they are written. Your ad may still show up for searches including the negative keyword in a different order.

Negative exact match keywords will only exclude your ad for searches for that exact keyword. Searches containing the negative keyword along with other words may still display your ad. 

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VIP IT are a digital marketing agency based in Hampshire, UK. We create and manage PPC campaigns for businesses in a range of sectors, across the UK and internationally. Find out more about our PPC management services and contact us to enquire.