Fifteen Minutes Could Save You Budget in Your PPC Campaign

It’s not quite the GEICO tagline, but the message of saving money is the same.  By taking fifteen minutes to research pay-per-click (PPC) campaign negative keywords you will save money in the long run.

Usually you add negative keywords to a PPC account as a reactive measure.  In other words, viewing a search query report or data from your analytics is causing you to add the negative keywords.   The damage is already done since you have already paid for the irrelevant clicks.  What if you could add negative keywords to your campaign as a proactive measure?

More and more I am finding that keyword research is not just about finding the right terms to bid on.  It is also about being proactive and finding those terms that will negatively affect your campaign and eliminating them before they can do damage.  Unfortunately, you are never going to complete your list of negative keywords because no matter how refined your campaign, searches that you never expected will come through.   However, by utilizing the same keyword research tools you use to find relevant keywords, you will also find negative keywords.

Let’s say I sell Boston Red Sox apparel.  My keywords will focus around Red Sox shirts, hats, and other clothing.  When I do a search in Google for “boston red sox apparel” I see these suggestions:

These are good suggestions as all keywords relate to my business.  However, a search for “boston red sox” shows me these suggestions:

Automatically I see six negative keywords I am going to add to my campaign:

schedule
roster
tickets
“seating chart”
jobs
radio

Clicking on “Related searches” in Google’s left hand navigation menu shows me these results:

I find four more negative keywords:

celtics
bruins
espn
“stub hub”

In doing a wonder wheel search (also in the left hand navigation menu) I get these results:

Automatically I see another negative keyword: weather.

As an aside, some of the researched terms may seem appropriate to add as negative keywords, however, I only want to include terms that I know do not make sense to my business.  If, for example, I see many searches with “history” in the query that do not convert I will make this term a negative keyword.

In fifteen minutes I was able to research eleven negative keywords.  If I spent another fifteen minutes I probably could have found ten more.  By being proactive I am saving myself irrelevant clicks and budget down the line.  The better the traffic the more effective my campaign is going to be.

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One Response to Fifteen Minutes Could Save You Budget in Your PPC Campaign

  1. Great advice, Matt! Definitely worth the fifteen minutes. I just recently did a post on finding campaign negatives that your readers might find interesting. I apologize in advance for the quality of the tutorial video—it was my first one, so it’s a little rough.

    http://www.chadsummerhill.com/search-query-mining-campaign-negatives/

    Separately, I found your blog via a comment you added to a post over at ppchero, and look forward to reading the rest of your posts.

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