This is a great article by Keri Morgret over at SEOMoz in which she shares her extensively in-depth methods for finding negative keywords for your AdWords campaign. It’s refreshing to see articles written about the importance of negative keywords for once, as a quick mosey around the internet has revealed that their significance in campaigns is often vastly ignored. They’ve sometimes even avoided, due to the perception that they kill traffic.
So, what are negative keywords?
Simply put, negative keywords keep the riff raff out. By excluding certain words from your keywords you’re saying to Google “don’t show my ad to people who search for these words or phrases”. Anyone with an AdWords campaign should be closely monitoring their search terms report, as this will highlight any problem terms which are bringing them irrelevant traffic.
The issue many people have with negative keywords is the idea that it reduces the reach of their ad—and while this may be the intention—there is the perception that they’re missing out on potential impressions. But try to think of this as a good thing. Rather than shouting to the masses through a megaphone from your soapbox, you’re have a nice chat with your idea customers. So in many cases, yes, you will see a decrease in your impressions, but think of this as a good thing as your Cost per Click goes down too. It’s important to remember with that AdWord campaigns you want to show up in relevant (quality), not just a high quantity of searches. (Note: Not to be confused with the Google AdWords Quality Scores.)
Be particularly careful when including geographical negative keywords as a way excluding particular search locations, as this can achieved through the geo-targeting options.
However, also be warned that you can over do it with the negative keywords, particularly when you start including broad search terms (and this applies to keywords too). While you may be able to see if the wrong keywords are directing traffic to your site through the search queries report, there is no way of knowing how many relevant search queries you miss through excessive use of negative keywords.
That said, it’s sometimes nice to get a funny keyword in your SQR- what are some of your most giggle worthy?