A PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign is a very effective way to drive traffic to your website. Whereas search engine optimization is a strategy that works over time (months usually) to gradually work key terms up higher in the search engine results pages, PPC can garner a click literally moments after the campaign is activated.
It has to be remembered though that getting clicks is a simplification of the goal. The trick is to get meaningful clicks that create interest and hopefully earn new clients. Getting 1,000 clicks with no follow up is an expensive gamble. To make every dollar count, the PPC campaign should not only be diligently set up, it should be monitored carefully and frequently.
A powerful tool in maximizing your return on investment is negative keywords. They are a virtual superhero, defending the campaign from wasted clicks.
Why is that important?
- Every click is costing you money
- Every person who visits your site and doesn’t find what they are looking for may be less likely to click on your site again
- Your limited budget only goes so far, so each click which is used up by someone looking for something else is one less click presented to a person actively searching for your product or service now
- Every time your ad is clicked on and the viewer gets a poor landing page experience (indicated by clicking straight out and not engaging with the site), the quality scores for your keywords can be impacted. Lower quality scores result in a higher cost per click (CPC)
What are negative keywords?
Negative keywords are phrases or terms or even single words which, when matched to the search string entered online, will NOT trigger your ad to be shown.
How do you choose your negative keywords?
Right from the campaign kick-off, there may be some obvious keywords you want to enter. Just knowing you have the ability to add negative keywords triggers the thought process about how they can be utilized. Here’s a hypothetical example: Your business is rental cottages on the coast and you are looking to fill blocks in your calendar. Online searches vary depending on what the searcher wants. Search string about coastal cottages may be from the customers you want (those looking for a rental) but they could equally be about buying a holiday home or investment property. Those search strings could be almost identical:
Treasure Island beach cottage for rent (we want these people to see the ad)
Treasure Island beach cottage for sale (we don’t want these people to see the ad)
Treasure Island beach cottage (we don’t know if these people are looking for us but it could be worth a click)
Adding buy as a negative keyword will stop the ad being presented to those people who actively search for the word “buy”, thus reducing the chance of wasting clicks and honing in on the best target audience.
Even better – these negative keywords can be entered at the campaign level (blanketing the entire campaign), or at the adgroup level, giving flexibility in how they are placed.
Once the campaign is active, click on the Keywords -> Search terms section to see what terms are being matched. If there are terms presented there that offer up new opportunities to fine tune the campaign and add more negative keywords, make a note of when they are added so you can monitor clicks moving forwards. Any changes can be reverted if they have an adverse impact.
If your business is looking to implement a PPC campaign, Trulium has the experience to zero in on the right keywords and identify the negative keywords which will maximize your ROI. Contact us today to get started.