Over the last two days, I've briefly explained how to set up a single ad using AdWords Express
and then how keyword targeting
works within the full version of Google AdWords. In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'll introduce you to the concept of AdWords Negative Keywords.
Every jewelry store owner wants their website to appear at the top of search results. This is referred to as "ranking well in search," and usually you would take the time to identify the keywords you want to rank for, usually the products and services you offer. Once chosen, you then create content for your website to match those keywords. The search engines then match someone's search query to the words found on your website.
In the neverending quest to rank for specific keywords, you usually don't hear search engine marketers talking about keywords you should not be ranking for. But there are a few.
If your jewelry store specializes in loose diamonds, the last thing you probably want to rank for is "cz" or "cubic zirconia" because you don't sell them. You also wouldn't want customers to mistakenly think that you do. On the other hand, as an educational piece for customers, it would be good idea to write a blog post about the difference between a CZ and a diamond. This would be quite educational for a customer to find in the organic search results, and that's exactly what Calla Gold did in this CZ vs. Diamond post
on her website.
Organic search results are one thing, but when it comes time to spending money on paid ads, you wouldn't want your diamonds ads to appear when someone is searching for cubic zirconia because they probably wouldn't be your target customer.
Over the years, Google has compiled list of how one keyword relates to another. They know that someone searching for "diamond" might also be interested in results for "diamond clarity," "loose diamonds," "wholesale diamonds," and "diamond grading."
Google also know that there is a relationship between "engagement rings," "diamond engagement rings," and "cubic zirconia engagement rings." A search for that first phrase could show organic and paid results for the other two.
As a paid advertiser you want to limit any potential chance for your ads to appear to non-qualified prospects. This is where the negative keyword is useful. The full version of Google AdWords, not AdWords Express, has the ability to prevent ads from appearing when specific words or phrase are searched.
You might have already guessed that, with the above example, the negative keywords would be "cz" and "cubic zirconia." Here's a short list of a few other negative keywords I usually include in AdWords campaigns for retail jewelers:
* free sample
Now consider your product line and the types of products you do, and do not carry. Do you sell black diamonds, fancy yellow diamonds, or synthetic/lab grown diamonds? Surely you would be able to acquire one of those on memo if a customer in your store wanted to see it, but is it on your website? These are all good candidates for negative keywords if you don't have them showing online.
Google will easily match all diamond ads to the "black diamond" search phrase, and the person looking for the black diamond might click through all the online ads until they find it.
Here's another tricky example...
Let's say you carry the Nomination You-Cool line of bracelets in your store. You decide to create a few ads to promote their rainbow of colors, and you receive a lot of clicks on your ad that says "Nomination You-Cool Bracelets," but you have very little sales.
In this example you would want to set negative keywords for these words:
* nomination charm
* nomination charms
* award nomination
* tony nomination
* oscar nomination
In this case you can see how keyword searches for "Nomination bracelet" could incorrectly match people searching for product you don't carry, as well as completely unrelated topics.
You also need to be careful when using your town name in your positive keyword list because your ad could appear any time someone includes your town name in their search query. Including Totowa Boro, where my office is in NJ, as a targeted keyword would cause a phrase match to this unwanted list:
* Totowa eye doctor
* Totowa dog grooming
* Totowa auto body
* Totowa Tire (this is my personal mechanic)
* Totowa Developmental Center
This list of negative keywords would have to be applied to my account:
* eye doctor
* dog grooming
* auto body
It's impossible to think of all the negative keywords, but a careful review your AdWords reports over the first few months will reveal the most obvious ones.
In case you haven't realized it yet, your Google AdWords spending will be very high until you identify and block all the negative keywords. Having an uncontrolled list of erroneously targeted keywords is the primary reason why the first few months of AdWords are more expensive.
Getting back to the CZ example above, you could create a special AdWords group that only targets people searching for "CZ" or "cubic zirconia". The ads in that group could lead people to the special blog post comparing diamonds to CZ's. There's always a potential to win a few customers over. With that specific CZ ad, you would be able to measure exactly how popular the keyword is, and track that highly segmented customer.
Every jewelry store should include a list of negative keywords in their AdWords campaigns. It will take a few months to figure out what's unique to you. This is what saves money and improves the ROI of AdWords.
One last word of caution about AdWords and some large AdWords agencies like YellowPages and ReachLocal... Their turnkey methods do not allow for managed negative keyword lists, which is why those services have such a poor ROI.