How to use Negative Keywords in a Google AdWords Campaign

Negative keywords are an important component of a Google AdWords campaign. You may be paying for clicks that are of no value to you. Using the searching terms section, you can see the search terms people are using to find your website. The columns will show total number of clicks, and costs. When you find a search term you don’t want to pay for, you can click the box to the left, then simply add to negative keywords.

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In this lesson plan, we’re going to cover negative keywords in your Google AdWords account.

So you’ve set up your Google AdWords account, you’ve set up a campaign. Then you’ve set up your ad groups and your ads and you’ve assigned keywords to those ad groups. Well, what happens is if you have any phrase match or broad match terms, your bid placements are saying, “Yes, if anybody uses this phrase, regardless if they add to the front or back of that phrase or key word, I still want you to show this ad.” Or it’s broad, which means, “If anything that user types in looks similar to what my ad is, go ahead and show it even if the keywords not there.” You will start collecting keywords that you didn’t actually bid on completely. And then you have the option to either add those to your account, which there’s reasons to do that. Or you remove them from your account because they’re not relative and they don’t match that ad. So, it’s important that you spend some time looking at your keywords.

Now, this is the new Google AdWords Beta. You might be using Google AdWords Express. Or you might have other software that you’re using. What you’re going to want to navigate to is go to campaigns, then you want to go to your keywords and you want to use the filter that says, “show all,” so that you can look at all the ones that you’ve run. So, in my case keywords is here. I click on these little three dots and I can click on “show paused” or “hide paused.” I want to show them all right now for the sake of this video. So I have them all selected. Normally, I hide my paused keywords and ads so that they’re not too confusing if I’m running a lot of ads. But for this case I want to go ahead and show them.

Then I go ahead over here to this column and I sort clicks, and I want to go highest to lowest. So, what this is going to show me is the keywords that have had the most clicks over time. And that will help me determine whether or not I want to add that keyword to one of my ad groups or if I want to block it. Add it to the negative keywords so that it does not show up anymore.

So the first thing here we have is search keywords. Okay? So these are the terms you’ve actually bid on. Over here we have search terms. And these are where the terms are showing up that you didn’t actually bid on but they’re either a phrase match or a broad match. So it is showing up in some clicks and these are going to show us where those are. And then you have your negative keywords and these are the keywords you’ve added that you do not want to pay for advertising. Okay. So it’s so important that you add to your negative keyword list.

So let’s go back to our search terms. So search keywords is what we’re bidding. Search terms are phrases around what we’re bidding on that we’re also still paying for because of the way we have our auction set up. So we’re going to sort by clicks highest to lowest. Okay, it looks like it’s already here.

Here’s the first one. Los Vegas real estate market. Now in my case you’re going to see that I’ve already added some of these or made them negative keywords. Los Vegas real estate market. Maybe I was just bidding on Los Vegas real estate market report and I had a phrase match selected. And so if somebody typed in anything with that phrase it was coming up. Maybe it was Los Vegas real estate market stats or data or anything like that. Well, what they’re showing me is that people are typing in the phrase Los Vegas real estate market. So I can go ahead and add that as an exact match phrase because people are repeating that over and over again. In fact, 553 clicks on Los Vegas real estate market. So I went ahead and set up a new ad group called Los Vegas real estate market and I added that.

Now, here’s one I haven’t done anything with yet. And this is a really good example. So, single story homes for sale in Los Vegas. The ad group is Southwest Los Vegas homes. So, here’s what we’re noticing is, oh, okay. When people type in single story homes for sale in Los Vegas it is returning my ad group for Southwest Los Vegas homes. Well, to me these aren’t a great match. Single story homes is very specific. Southwest homes is very specific. But what it does tell me is people are looking for single story homes for sale in Los Vegas. So if I haven’t already an ad group called single story homes for sale in Los Vegas then I would want to go ahead and start an ad group for that phrase.

And I might say, “Okay. Well, people are interested in Southwest Los Vegas. Why don’t I go in and add another ad group called single story homes for sale in Southwest Los Vegas.” And see how many clicks that actually gets. So what I can do here is I can actually click on that and I can add it as a keyword or I can add it as a negative keyword. So if I add it as a keyword, then I’m going to chose here’s the keyword phrase, here’s where I want them to land. This is the final URL. Here’s what I’m willing to pay for that and here’s the ad group. But in my case, I don’t like that because it’s too generic. So instead, I would go in and create a new ad group, a new ad and place that new keyword phrase, which I’m going to do for you in another video not in this one because I want to focus just specifically on how to add negative keyword.

So then we’ll keep going down here. Real estate Los Vegas, so I’m going to add that one. Let me find one that might not be appropriate. So what I’m going to do instead is I’m going to sort this by lowest clicks to highest clicks so that I can show you one.

Okay, Panorama Towers that’s appropriate. Let me just scan here for a second. Horse Properties, Horse Properties, those are all fine. Ranches those are fine. So things that I have added to my negative keywords are things like mobile homes, rentals, for sale by owner. Anything like that that I don’t have.

Well, this one’s actually a really good one. See where it says, “Handyman properties for sale in Los Vegas.” I love that one and I would go create a new ad for that because for some reason handyman properties is coming up under horse property. But what if I start a new ad campaign called fixer uppers and I add handyman properties for sale in Los Vegas under my fixer upper ad. So that would be very appropriate. And again, we’re going to come back to creating those ads. Horse permit, those are all still good.

We’ve done such a good job narrowing this down that we see less and less keyword phrases that aren’t appropriate. Okay this was a good one. “Horses for sale Los Vegas,” and I’ve already excluded it. So what’s happening is I, as a real estate agent, this particular website we sell real estate and we have horse property for sale. So these are properties that either have horse property features like stalls or hot walkers or arenas. Or they’re just permitted. They’re in the zoning that permits horses here in Los Vegas. But somebody was looking for horses for sale. Well, I don’t want to pay for that because if somebody’s looking for horses for sale and they click my ad, that’s not really appropriate. Now, somebody else might say, “Oh, I still want to run that ad because if somebody’s looking to buy a horse they might also look at horse property and they’re probably only going to click it if they’re interested in horse property. So somebody else might leave it up there. You have to decide what’s right for you.

But in my case, it was a negative and so I checked it off. And then you go to negative keywords and you add it right here. And you can actually make a list of them or you can add them right from your list here. I think we had, “Horses for sale.” Yeah, it looks like because I’ve already added it it’s not coming up again.

Okay let’s go back to search terms and let me see if I can find anymore. I’m looking at these ones here that say none. A lot of great ideas I’m getting just from scanning this today though. And I look forward to showing you how to create the new ads.

Houses in Los Vegas that you can have horses rental property. That one’s still okay. Los Vegas homes with a barn. Definitely still okay. Okay, here we go. Montana horse ranch. Obviously, that is not relevant to Los Vegas. I don’t want to advertise for a Montana horse ranch so I’m going to add that to my negative keywords. So all I do is click this. Up here add as negative keyword. Then it will say, “Do you want to add that negative keyword to just this group or to your entire campaign or to a negative keyword list?” We’re going to add this to the entire campaign because I never want to pay for a Montana horse ranch for sale. And I’m going to click save.

And that is all there is to it. Now, that doesn’t mean that more phrases around the word Montana won’t pop up but that exact phrase, whatever it was we just looked at. Montana horses for sale, won’t come up again in that combination with that exact match search and we won’t pay for it again.

So if you’re not looking at your negative keywords, you could be potentially paying for keywords that don’t have anything to do with you and aren’t going to benefit you. And you don’t want that. And also, if you’re not looking at the keywords, you’re not getting inspiration and ideas for new ad groups, which we’re going to talk about in another video.

So that’s what we needed to over today for negative keywords in your Google AdWords account.

Lori Ballen is a real estate marketing genius. She has a wealth of knowledge and loves to share it with everyone….she doesn’t hold anything back.

I have learned so much from her and still have tons of things to implement. I have already made money using her systems and techniques.

Thank you Lori and keep thinking out side of the box for us!

Jillian Von Ohlen, Keller Williams Treasure Coast
Jillian Von Ohlen

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