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How do you prevent your Google Search ads from showing to users who aren't interested?
By using negative keywords.
Say you’re a travel agent who wants to reach users booking a dream vacation to the island of Java in Indonesia. “Java” has multiple meanings and associations, like Java Software or coffee or song titles, and Google is looking to show results that are relevant to the particular user who typed “java” into their search bar. The travel agent advertiser would want to use negative keywords like “software” or “coffee” to help Google filter out those users who aren’t looking to book a hotel in Jakarta.
Java, Java, Java, and also Java.
How do you put together a negative keyword list?
You have to have pretty good general knowledge of the industry and the business you are advertising. Start by doing research, using keyword tools, and, most importantly, checking the actual search terms that trigger your ads.
One of our clients creates custom products like gaskets and seals from rubber materials. Monitoring actual search term queries showed that users searching for rubber catsuits were clicking on their ads because Google was broad matching our keywords for custom made rubber products.
Negative keywords filter out unwanted traffic
Since the client likely isn’t keen on adding this new dimension of rubber production to its capabilities, adding “catsuits” as a negative keyword filters out this unwanted traffic and saves unnecessary spend.
Every day new search terms increase and search algorithms change
The volume of searches conducted on the Internet at any given moment is staggering. People search for an amazing array of things, and it is a balancing act to add and subtract keywords to best deliver targeted users to a website. Google says that it receives 500 million new search queries every day, unique queries which Google has not yet encountered. That’s 500 million new ideas or questions that have not specifically been asked before. Google processes over 100 billion queries a month and crawls 20 billion websites every day to match users with content.
Google is also updating constantly – they average 500-600 updates to their algorithm per year, more than one update per day – with the goal of improving their product, which is relevant search results. Google's goal is to keep making happy users who find the information they are for looking through their product. They don't want advertisers to diminish the experience of using their product. Helping your campaigns and ad placements be more relevant by using negative keywords will filter out unwanted clicks and spend due to users who have no intention to use your product or service, and help improve ad performance.
Think more like a Google user
It’s important to think of Google advertising less like an ad placement and more like a sponsored search result. The more relevant the ad and the destination website is to the searcher, the better their experience and the more Google will want to show the ads to similar users.
Quality ads rank higher
Google gives campaigns what they call a Quality Score. This score affects ad rank, the order in which ads bidding for space on a search result page are placed. If your Quality Score is 10 and the nearest competition’s score is five, you could theoretically appear above their ad even though they are bidding more.
How Aztek can help
We build extensive lists of negative keywords for our clients. These include detailed spreadsheets of keyword categories such as adult, gaming, and sports, to use as negatives because they are frequently searched but rarely profitable for most industries. For each client, there could be hundreds of negative keywords included in a campaign. We monitor negative keyword possibilities throughout the life of the campaign to optimize and improve the return on investment.