Negative Keywords And PPC

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Fri, 2007-02-09 09:15.
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Most people don't pay near enough attention to negative keywords. Or maybe they stick in words like "free" or "cheap" but usually that's not enough. Sometimes the total success or failure of your PPC campaign hinges on the proper use of negative keywords.

Here's an example - the keyword "soap." Here are the results you get from the Overture inventory tool:

Searches done in December 2006

Count Search Term

91393 soap opera

63090 soap

41891 soap opera digest

34895 soap central

21779 soap opera central

17220 soap making

13494 soap opera update

13439 cbs soap

12595 abc soap

7271 soap digest

6977 soap city

6794 soap dispenser

5608 soap opera weekly

5178 daytime soap

4974 handmade soap

4778 cbs daytime soap opera

4685 soap making supply

4629 soap dish

4525 daily soap opera update

4344 passions soap opera

4234 soap opera spoiler

4136 all my child soap opera

4099 young and the restless soap opera

3787 soap spoiler

If you're bidding on the keyword 'soap' and using anything other than exact match [soap] it's gonna be real, real hard to make this keyword work. If you sell soap related products, then the list you see here is actually more valuable in terms of the negative keywords it gives you (opera, digest, cbs, daytime) than the positive keywords (handmade, dispenser, dish).

So what you should do is bid this way:

[soap]

"soap"

soap

with negative keywords

-opera

-digest

-central

-cbs

-abc

-daytime

-passions

-children

....and you should go all the way down the list, plucking out as many negative keywords as you possibly can.

When you do that, your CTR on broad match and phrase match will go up, sometimes even double or triple. On a term like 'soap', broad and phrase match will probably not work AT ALL unless you have a very extensive list of negative keywords.

2-3 years ago on PPC, the name of the game was slinging a lot of mud against the wall and seeing what sticks. Today, less is more, and negative keywords are just the kind of 'less' that will sharpen your saw and make you effective.

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