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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Negative Keywords Save Campaigns: Learn How to Generate Them Effectively

Negative Keywords Save Campaigns: Learn How to Generate Them Effectively

This is a guest post by David Chapman, the Director of Marketing at Webragoeus and an expert in Google AdWords Management.


If you still don’t believe that negative keywords are important to your PPC Campaign, it is likely that you are losing a lot of money on your ROI. Negative keywords save PPC Campaigns and it is important that all online marketers learn how to generate and manage them effectively.

If your knowledge of negative keyword generation and management is minimal, use this quick article about negative keywords as a kick-start way to negative keyword stardom. After a very short period of time, if you put all that we advise into practice, you will see the difference in your ROI and realize the true importance of negative keywords once and for all.

The main problem with setting up negative keywords is that many people are not aware of how to generate and manage negative keywords successfully. For example, One of our clients wants to target child custody keywords but sometimes they show up for child support which does not generate the cases they are looking for. Therefore we have added child support negative key words to the campaign which has made a huge difference to the results of their campaign.


Whether or not you are already aware, there are ways of selecting negative keywords that are going to work best for you and your campaign.

We are going to share some of the most effective negative keyword selection techniques with you in this article…

The First Important Steps

The following two steps are kind of pre-steps to developing negative keyword lists that you really must take when completely reorganizing your negative keyword list content.

1. Start with the Search Query Report

Always start at the beginning. Download your Search Query Report and find out what keywords people are using to activate your advertisements.

If these keyword terms have nothing to do with your products or services whatsoever, you can begin to use these keywords as negative keywords. It is the best way of approaching negative keyword development at the very beginning of the entire process.

2. Existing Negative Keyword Lists

Remember to then go through your existing negative keyword list. There might be negative keywords on that list which should actually be tuned into positive keywords because they have the potential for generating impressive conversion rates for you and your business.

Go through this list with a fine tooth comb and be very certain that you have not listed a keyword as “negative” when in fact it should be listed as a “positive” keyword. Sometimes our keywords get mixed up and this is why we need to be extra careful when revising what we already have in place.

The Generation of New Negative Keywords for your Campaigns

From now on, the advice and information we provide relates to the direct development of new negative keyword lists and it should help to get negative keywords ordered and structured in your head as well as in your PPC Campaign. Order is the key to most things in life, after all!

Geography Lists
Make a list of negative keywords that will exclude people who are outside of the areas that you sell to in a geographical sense.

If you sell in the US, but not in San Francisco, make San Francisco a negative keyword. If you sell within Nevada, but not to Reno, then make Reno a negative keyword.

Movie Lists
You might not be aware of the fact that your brand name or one of your product names shares an unfortunate relationship with a movie. If this is the case, when people are looking for the movie, they will end up activating one of your PPC Advertisements and costing you money because your product is not what they are looking for and not what they are going to click on.

Your quality score might end up going down too when the search engines decide that your marketing campaign is not relevant to the audience searching on those keywords. So, make sure that you cover your tracks by listing all actors and directors associated with that movie as negative keywords and try to optimize your campaign even further.

Music Lists
The same might be happening with music tracks or album titles too. Do a Google Search check yourself on your keyword terms. If any of them bring up links to music, make those terms negative keywords.

Book Lists
You guessed it! Do you have a product which shares the name with the title or author of a book? Seek them out and mark them as negative.

Top Lists
Do a little research by performing your own Search Engine search with the word “top” or “best” somewhere in the keyword phrase. Find out which sites are listing as the top of something and then use keywords inspired by these competitors and their advertisements as negative keywords in your campaign.

Try to ensure that you are not competing; that the people who see your advertisements were not hoping to see an advertisement by a competitor by using keywords related to that competitor as negative keywords in your campaign.

Finding alternate meanings
This is a really important set of negative keywords to look into if you are advertising your products in other countries. For instance, think about the difference between the word “pants” in the US and the UK. In one country, “pants” are outer-garments and in the other they are underwear.

If you are selling outer-garments from the US to the UK, you need to put “pants” as a NEGATIVE keyword and use “trousers” instead in your positive keyword lists.

This example is basic. Things can start to get more complex when you begin advertising in different languages. You may even find that your brand name has a different meaning when advertising abroad and you might want to develop an international brand name that is going to be better for your company sales abroad.

Trending Topics
Make sure, as a PPC Manager, that you don’t get too self-involved and hibernate away from the world with your computer for too long, because your lack of contact with the world could eventually begin to harm your PPC results. How?

Imagine that you are a specialist book seller and that you had a discount campaign going on George Orwell classics during the time, about 8 years ago, when the UK’s Channel 4 Network first launched the reality TV show, “Big Brother”. You might have had lots of people clicking on your links thinking that they were going to find out information on “Big Brother, Channel 4,” when in actual fact you were trying to sell a 50 year old piece of literature.

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in the world and make sure that you add negative keywords to your lists when necessary to combat the effects of trending topics.

Wrapping up Negative Keyword Generation
In conclusion, there are many more ways of highlighting, generating and managing negative keywords, but the above list already helps to paint the idea of a complex area of PPC Management which is well worth spending some real time over.

Take your time, work systemically through your campaign and learn to make negative keywords really work for you. You will be pleased with the results that well structured negative keyword lists can bring.

This is a guest post by David Chapman, the Director of Marketing at Webragoeus and an expert in Google AdWords Management.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Certified Knowledge. If you would like to write for Certified Knowledge, please let us know.

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