Negative keywords are an integral part of a successful list of keywords. These are words associated with a campaign’s keyword theme, but unconnected to the services or products the advertisement group is based on.

When doing a PPC campaign’s keyword research, it is recommended to create two distinct lists. One list should be for the keywords the campaign will probably use. The other list should contain any negative keywords one comes across.

The Importance of Identifying Negative Keywords

Correct PPC management necessitates the knowledge of any negative keywords pertinent to the campaign. A detailed keyword list can lower the cost of advertising, as well as ensure that the visits to your website are ‘targeted.’ It is integral for the PPC basics category to include the resulting negative keywords.

This inclusion to the category prevents unrelated keywords from activating the display of your advertisements upon performance of a search. This results in decreasing the instances of irrelevant clicks – these types of clicks will eat into your profit, and cost you the same as appropriate clicks. This practice will also augment your CTR, thus enhancing your quality score.

Note omitting negative keywords from the list may result in the display of your advertisements to users who are not interested in the service. The untargeted traffic may decrease the quality scores of your keywords and hurt your ROI. On the other hand, note that the over-application of negative keywords to a campaign’s keyword theme may limit your audience too much. Before adding the said keywords to your campaign list, carefully consider your potential keywords and negative keywords.

How to Identify Negative Keywords

Determine Negative Keywords that Frequently Occur

There are a number of negative keywords spread throughout various services and products. It would be beneficial to the campaign to jot down the common negative keywords – this will make for quicker identification of negative keywords further down the line.

An example would be the fact that many PPC campaigns that revolve around services and products cost money. It is logical to assume that since the campaign comes at a cost, the word ‘free’ would merit insertion into the list of negative keywords. If the campaign does not endorse a ‘free’ service, for example, then ‘free’ would be a negative word a marketer will use repeatedly.

Once the list has been established, the pertinent keywords one may refer to can, and will differ, from one campaign to another. Apply good judgment, a bit of expertise, and much common sense when utilizing this particular list in any campaign.

Employ Tools for Keyword Research

The Google Keyword Tool, KeyCompete, and Wordtracker are just some of the available tools for keyword research. You can identify numerous pertinent keywords with these programs, and in the process, find irrelevant keyword ideas. These will enable you to get a general grasp of the competitiveness of keyword phrases. These will also give you a broad idea of a specific keyword’s search volume. The figures given would not be entirely accurate, but an indication would be better than nothing.

Google: Search Query Report

After generating a few hundred clicks with an AdWords campaign, one can get more details about traffic by initiating a search query report. This report can identify the actual keywords that visitors who have clicked on your ad have typed. This works well if you have set your keywords to ‘broad’ match.

Utilize the Search Query report to show all search queries that triggered your advertisements. Add any irrelevant words or phrases to you ad group as you see fit. With some analysis and study, you will see trends on how any particular variations of keyword matches can trigger your ads.

This report benefits a campaign by telling you more about the way people search through subjects in a certain niche market. This tool helps discover negative keywords, not only at the level of the advertisement group, but also at the level of the campaign.

Site Analytics

Google Analytics or All Stats are some of the analytic tools at your disposal. These programs give you prospective negative keywords (as stated in the aforementioned tool) by stating the keyword phrases that directed visitors to your website.

These tools help you get specific details about the sources of traffic. For example, a lot of your campaign’s traffic originates out of the country, and is therefore not applicable to your strategy. You can incorporate all impertinent locations into your negative keyword list for this campaign.

Content Network and Negative Keywords

Your list of negative keywords potentially affect where your keyword-targeted advertisements appear within the content network. AdWords will integrate the negative keywords applicable to your ad group or campaign, and prevent displaying your advertisements on sites that contain the said terms.

These tools can help you fine-tune your campaign. The gathered data can help guide the formulation of the campaign strategy. These tools, your campaign data, and meticulous observation and testing will boost the chances of your campaign’s success.