Digital marketers are always looking for ways to improve their search advertising strategies. The importance of negative keywords has come under increased scrutiny over the past few years. Many have argued that they are an essential component of an effective advertising campaign, while others have claimed that they are nothing more than a waste of time. So, should you pay attention to them when running a PPC campaign?
We had consultations with experts from the Alpha Efficiency, which helped us conclude how important negative keywords really are. This article will dive deeper into that topic and try to give an answer to your doubts.
What are negative keywords lists?
Creating a negative keyword list is the practice of defining the specific terms that your ads will not appear for when someone performs a search on Google. If you don’t use enough negative keywords in your ad campaign, you risk that the audience you reach will be too broad. For instance, if you’re only selling t-shirts, you probably don’t need people searching for “long sleeve shirts” to see your ad.
Benefits of using negative keywords in an ad campaign
Now let’s see what benefits negative keywords could potentially bring to you:
1. Better control over your budget
When running an ad campaign, you want to achieve the best possible results for your investment resources. That’s why eliminating unnecessary expenses is very important. By utilizing the power of negative keywords, you are only spending your ad budget on people who are most likely to purchase. Over time, this can save you a lot of time, energy, and money.
2. More focused ad groups
You can focus your ad groups on a narrower audience by using negative keywords. This will allow you to create more specific messages which will boost your brand’s image.
3. Increased CTR & ROI:
Targeting many search keywords can result in a low clickthrough rate and low return on investment, as your ad will appear to an audience that is too broad. On the other hand, negative keywords can help you narrow down your target audience and bypass irrelevant searches. This will increase the CTR of your ad, but most importantly – it will improve the quality of your traffic, which will lead to a better ROI.
4. Lower bounce rate:
The percentage of single-page sessions on your website will reduce when your ad stops appearing in irrelevant searches. Besides many benefits a low bounce rate has on its own – it is also usually a good indicator that your ad campaign is performing better and that visitors are more engaged.
Three possible reasons why negative keywords are not producing results for you
1. Not using enough negative keywords
You had probably started an ad campaign with the goal of reaching out to more people. However, not every potential visitor should be in the target audience of your ad campaign. If your negative keywords list is not very long, try adding more and see where that leads.
2. Not testing different negative keyword lists
It is not easy to come up with great negative keyword lists immediately. If you don’t see any significant results, try tweaking them. Testing different approaches in Ad campaigns is very important. And that’s also true when it comes to negative keywords. You can get good results only by doing proper research and conducting split tests.
3. Misplacing negative keywords
You can add negative keywords on multiple levels. But to keep things simple, let’s say you’re only running one ad campaign.
- Campaign level – adding negative keywords at the campaign level will ensure that none of your ads will show on SERP for those phrases.
- Ad group level – By adding negative keywords at the ad group level you can further narrow down the scope of your ad campaign. Only your ads from the specific group won’t appear on the search engine results page
If you’re running an ad campaign, you might want your ads to appear on the search results page as much as possible. But this strategy can be ineffective. Sometimes staying out of the spotlight might be better – it can save you money while boosting the performance of your campaign.
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