Most of us know what keywords are in terms of SEM; they are the words we use to target our intended audience. For example, if I’m advertising a Mailchimp training class then my keywords would include Mailchimp class, learn Mailchimp, Mailchimp training and so on. There are many helpful tools to help us select keywords but generally, if we know our business, they are fairly self-evident.
What are negative keywords?
What isn’t often understood nor used effectively used are negative keywords. These are the terms we use to indicate to Google Adwords (and Bing Ads) when we specifically don’t want our adverts to show. For example, say we sell premium wines, then we may add negative keywords such as discount, free and cheap; we clearly aren’t going to get a sale (nor likely a click) if our adverts for expensive wines show for a search such as buy cheap wine so we don’t want our adverts to show for searches using specific terms (negative keywords).
How using negative keywords helps
Using negative keywords effectively greatly improves your CTR and conversion rates as your adverts won’t show for irrelevant, but related, adverts. Of course this then means that your quality score and CPC will likely reduce.
Try adding a few negative keywords to your campaigns. It’s worth it.