If you’re an online business, you’re likely involved in running ad campaigns. Ad campaigns are an extremely effective way to boost traffic, increase conversions, and ultimately gain a greater ROI and grow your business.


One strategy to run ads is keyword targeting. This strategy is extremely effective at ranking for specific keywords relevant to your product or service. Audiences that are searching for said keywords will be shown your ads and hopefully, take action.


There’s a caveat, though…


If you aren’t careful, your ads may rank for keywords similar, but irrelevant to what your goals and objectives are. How can you prevent this from happening? This is where negative keywords come into play!


What are negative keywords, you ask? Keep reading to learn more!


What are Negative Keywords?


In short, a negative keyword is defined as “a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.


In other words, it prevents your ads from displaying on sites and platforms that may rank for a particular keyword or phrase that you’d wish not to show up for. This would, for obvious reasons, be a total waste of time and money.


Why is this advantageous?


Not only does it eliminate search terms that may be of disservice to your campaign’s success but it allows you to focus on the keywords that are going to provide you with the more relevant matches, ultimately resulting in a better ROI and a more accurate target demographic.


Moreover, adding negative keywords to your ad campaigns saves you a ton of money! How? Well, because not using negative keywords uses up valuable ad spend on irrelevant and ineffective audiences or search terms that aren’t going to provide you with an ROI.


To clarify this, let’s use an example to paint the picture.






Consider you’re trying to rank for the following keywords:


   Men’s shirts

   Men’s exercise shirts

   Exercise shirts


In this example, a business selling men’s exercise shirts is trying to reach those interested in purchasing, well, men’s exercise shirts.


These keywords, without adding in the appropriate negative keywords, will also rank for every similar and broad match that may involve other words and phrases attached. In this example, the ad will end up showing on those who also search for “free exercise shirts”.


Now, obviously, the business doesn’t want to waste money on reaching those searching for “free exercise shirts”.


The negative keyword to add? You got it: “free”.



Things to Consider When Choosing Negative Keywords


Implementing negative keywords into your ad campaigns is effective, and arguably imperative, however, you want to do it strategically in order for it to provide you with the best ROI.


Below are a few tips to optimize your negative keyword implementation, and ultimately, your entire ad campaign:


   Choose negative keywords wisely. Choosing too many or not enough could result in showing your ad to too many people, or not enough people.

   Become educated on the three types of negative keyword types: broad match, phrase match, and exact match.

   Negative keywords don’t match variants close to or expanded upon keywords.

   Be strategic in your approach to choosing negative keywords. Consider choosing words that may imply a search for a completely different product or service.


Final Thoughts


Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what negative keywords are and how valuable they can be to your ad campaign’s success and the bottom line of your business.


Not only can it improve reach and conversion, but it will also save you a boat load of money in the long run if executed properly.


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