Removing Negative Keywords to Boost PPC ConversionAs pay-per-click (PPC) advertising builds in popularity, prices have likely gone up for top-converting keywords in your sector. Maximize conversions by taking the time to cut "negative keywords" out of your campaigns. "Negative keywords" are "unrelated search terms that mistakenly trigger your ad," writes Adotas. If your site specializes in cowboy hats, you don't want to pay for visits from people seeking info on the Dallas Cowboys football team. Adding "football team" to your "negative keywords" list in AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing or MSN AdCenter ensures your ads don't appear in an irrelevant search. A Few Differences Between PPC Vendors. AdWords, Yahoo and MSN AdCenter let you filter negative keywords out, but each does it differently. On MSN, you can create a different list of negative keywords at the keyword or campaign level. In contrast, adding negative keywords on Yahoo excludes them from your entire account. AdWords lets you terrace keywords out based on "ad groups" — keywords related by a common subject or theme. Here are tips for filtering negative keywords out: 1. Prepare a list of negative keywords off the top of your head. (You could also turn this into a marketing team exercise.) Consider sports teams that share your product name, brands you don't carry, or celebrity names. An adoption service, for example, might consider filtering out "Angelina Jolie" — unless it happens to yield perversely good conversions. If you're a formal shoe retailer, you might filter out words like "crocs," "sandals" or "ballet." 2. Check reports. From your pay-per-click dashboard, organize keyword reports by bounce rate. (The bounce rate tells you how quickly a visitor leaves your site.) Check keywords that yield high bounce rates. Chances are:
- The page your visitor hits is irrelevant, in which case you should alter the link, preferably to a product page. (For example: a user searching "Cole Haan emerson shoe" should find herself at a page like this, versus a homepage.)
- The page your visitor hits no longer exists.
- The visitor was seeking something your site does not offer. Here, you've probably got a negative keyword
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