What Are the Pros and Cons of Negative Keywords?

What Are the Pros and Cons of Negative Keywords?

In Google AdWords or Bing, you can add negative keywords to your advertising groups or campaigns in order to block your ads on those particular keywords. For example, if you are a bar owner in Chicago and you use the negative keyword “exam,” in AdWords, you will block out “bar exam in Chicago,” from your campaign. That’s due to the word exam, and it would keep you from serving your ad to individuals looking for the legal exam as opposed to a place to have a few drinks.

Utilizing negative keywords properly is an important part of any paid search advertising campaign, as you want to eliminate your ads from irrelevant, unrelated searches. However, you have to be thoughtful about the process. It’s easy to accidentally rule out searches that could actually be quite profitable. For example, if you are a plumber in Philadelphia and you see that your ad is showing up for the search, “plumbers that are hiring in Philadelphia,” you may want to add the negative keywords “hiring,” and “hire.”

Your thought would be that you are not trying to hire people, you’re looking to find customers. However, you have to remember that people could be searching for “hire a plumber in Philadelphia,” and that could bring you business. You don’t want to block those searches with negative keywords. If you determine that you’re spending more money on people who aren’t going to be customers anyway, you may end up wanting to block all of the “hire,” and “hiring,” searches anyway. Just know that you’re blocking potential customers too, and be mindful of it.

If you’re looking to get around the problem, you could add the negative keywords that are highly unlikely to drive the right traffic to your site. Using the Keyword Tool that Google offers, you can add a list of your products or services. Throw in some common searches and Google should make plenty of suggestions. Decide which searches you do not wish to show up for and block them as negative keywords.

When you know how to use negative keywords effectively, they are a great way to save you some money in your advertising budget. Just make sure that you know how to use this powerful feature without letting it become a detriment to your business. Make your decisions carefully and do the proper research, and negative keywords will be very positive for your bottom line.

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