Negative Keyword Research

Have a Positive Attitude to Negative Keywords:

Positive Or Negative

One area of PPC that we feel is undervalued and, often overlooked is the use of negative keywords.

Constantly updating your negative keywords should have a positive effect on any of your clients’ PPC account; it will save your client money and help you focus the budget on better traffic.

It’s easy to take the quick route of just adding in the ‘typical’ keywords (“job”, “review”, “forum” etc.).

The more effective approach is to use the Search Terms report, displayed under the Keywords tab.

“Why a Search Terms report?” some may ask. A Search Terms report will show you exactly what people have been searching for that your keywords are matching to.

To make this exercise easier let’s imagine our client has a website selling irons.

The ‘easy’ route to adding negatives would be to add in keywords such as “plug”, “fuse”, “spares”.

Running a Search Terms report may reveal more opportunities for negative keywords:

  • Competitor searches (“argos buy iron online”, “john lewis irons”)
  • Service/non-product based searches (“ironing service in Huddersfield”, “pay someone to iron my clothes”)
  • Query based searches (“what type of water to put in my iron”, “descaling my iron”)

By running a Search Terms report you can do far more than just add negative keywords you simply “think of” and hope for the best.

Another example I came across last week was for one of my clients, an online wine merchant. Someone had searched for “best cheeses for wine in bristol”. Of course, wine and cheese!

The Search Terms report is useful if you are using phrase, broad and BMM keywords.

The important lesson here is that you should use the tools provided. Running regular Search Terms reports will often help you identify opportunities for new negative keywords.

As a rule at Circus, each of us runs a Search Terms report every 2-4 weeks, for each of our clients.

Hate wasted traffic, save your client money, and increase return on ad spend.

Ahmed Chopdat
Commercial Director

An expert in high volume, highly competitive markets with a keen eye for trends, motivated by client profitability and success.

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