Welcome to the eighth contribution to our SEM Beginner series, a collection of posts from our friends at Microsoft intended for those new to search engine marketing. If you are looking for some guidance to help identify, monitor and adjust the key performance indicators (KPIs) that determine how successful a PPC campaign is, guest blogger Tina Kelleher, SMB Community Manager at Microsoft, has the answers. This post was originally written by Microsoft’s Nora Flansburg.
What Are Negative Keywords and Why Are They Important?
An easy way to filter out unwanted traffic is by using negative keywords - specific words or phrases that help to prevent your ad from being displayed to customers who are unlikely to click your ad. Negatives keywords can help reduce costs by keeping your ad from appearing in unrelated searches that drive little or no return on investment (ROI). And in turn, your click through rate (CTR), position and cost per click (CPC) may improve.
Let's say you sell upscale hotel rooms in Orlando, Florida. To ensure your ads do not show up for people searching for cheap hotels in Orlando, you should add "cheap" as a negative keyword. Keep in mind that your ad will not appear if the negative keywords appears anywhere in the search query.
It is easy and beneficial to use negative keywords. They can be set at the campaign, ad group or keyword level, however, negative keywords are pulled from the lowest level that exists for any keyword. So, if you have negative keywords implemented at the campaign and keyword level, the keyword level negative keyword will be used.
Microsoft Advertising Intelligence is a great resource to research negative keywords that can be applied to your account. Also, negative keyword lists are limited to 1,022 characters including commas.
Negative Keywords and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Similar to relevancy, negative keywords are not considered key performance indicators. However, they can be used to help improve other KPIs. Using negative keywords will ensure your ad does not match to irrelevant searches, which will help to improve CTR, position and CPC.
Now that you understand negative keywords and how they are used, visit the links below for optimization tips and tricks: