AdWords Tips

Help, My Search Query Report Has Bieber Fever! Plus 5 Tips for Setting Negatives

By Erin Sagin January 29, 2013 Posted In: AdWords Tips Comments: 12

 

negative keyword tips

Imagine you’re managing a campaign for a product that sends videos over optical fiber. Would you think to set “Justin Bieber” as a negative keyword? I know I wouldn’t. As it turns out, this is one of the best moves my client, Rolands, has made.

Rolands oversees paid search for AD Net, a Taiwanese manufacturer of Formosa cables. A few weeks ago, as he was mining his search query data, he noticed that his ads were showing to searchers looking for videos of Justin Bieber—not exactly his target audience!

He quickly realized that Google considered “Bieber” to be a misspelling of “fiber,” which is one of the most prominent keywords in his account. There were so many variations of Bieber queries that Rolands found himself “cleaning Biebers for the next few weeks.”

Justin Bieber Queries

If you’re lucky, your keywords aren’t matching to one of the most commonly searched pop singers on Google. That said, we should all be utilizing negatives to help ensure our ads are only being shown to qualified searchers. Google can get pretty aggressive with its broad matching, and you don’t want to end up paying for a Belieber’s clicks.

Here are my 5 top tips for adding negative keywords:

  1. Keep an eye on your search query reports. This is a great way to find out what searchers are looking for when Google serves your ad. If you see words in your search query report that you know are not a good fit for your account, set them as negatives before you run the risk of showing for them again.
  1. Know your negative match types. The match type that you assign to a negative keyword has an enormous impact on what traffic it blocks. As a general rule of thumb, use broad match negatives to disqualify any query that contains your negative keyword. Use phrase and exact match negatives to disqualify queries that contain long-tail, more specific negative keywords.
  1. Explore negative keyword options before your campaign goes live. The more negatives you set before a campaign goes live, the more cash you’ll save right off the bat. There are many tools out there to help you find potential negatives, based on your current keyword choices. Check out WordStream’s free negative keyword tool.
  1. Remember that you can apply multi-level negatives. Chances are, you will identify some negatives that are good fits across multiple ad groups or campaigns.
  1. Don’t go overboard! Negatives are an important aspect of any PPC campaign, but an improperly used negative can hurt your account. As you set each negative, be sure that, should a searcher use that term, it is highly unlikely that they would convert on your site.

Erin Sagin is a Customer Success Manager at WordStream. In addition to conducting software training and consulting calls for clients, she also helps to maintain our usability testing program. Originally from Western Maryland, Erin majored in International Studies with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean at Kenyon College. When she’s able to take a break from PPC, you’ll find her hula hooping or planning her next trip to Latin America.

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Comments

Tuesday January 29, 2013

Victor (not verified) Said:

Rolands works for a Taiwanese firm? That's pretty awesome. Those navigational negative keywords seem pretty scary... talk about money saved and quality score improved!

Tuesday January 29, 2013

Rolands (not verified) Said:

Hi Victor,

Yes, I am the the one with story behind this, and I can definetly tell that besides Justin Bieber I managed to filter out a lot similar search queries, and rarely I do have a day when I do not use Wordtream's negative keyword tool. Like we are manufacturing EPON equipment (for fiber to home), and it turned out that it's also a Epoxy Resin, and even a brand for a Golf. I understand that it could be done by google's internal tools, but Negative Keyword Suggestion tool is really very inteligent, and I had learned even all the models for those Epoxy Resins. Result? For a same amount of conversions, we pay considerably less. 

 

 

 

Tuesday January 29, 2013

Larry Kim Said:

wow even your search query report is a belieber!

Tuesday January 29, 2013

Iniquitous Inc (not verified) Said:

I am always amazed at the power of negative keywords in an Adwords campaign!  He saved that company a ton of money...

Thursday January 31, 2013

Charles Meaden (not verified) Said:

Out of interest, what type of phrase match was the client using for the word fiber - was it broad match

Thursday January 31, 2013

Erin (not verified) Said:

Hi Charles--you are correct.  There were several terms containing "fiber" that were set to broad.  Google can be pretty liberal with broad match :)

Thursday January 31, 2013

Michael (not verified) Said:

This might be a mistaked from match type like above. Broad Match can do weird things.

What about the new mispellings and other variants that was set to default on all accounts about 6 months ago?

This could lower the work needed on these type of accounts that have very short keywords that are likely to fire easily.

Thursday January 31, 2013

Manuel (not verified) Said:

Hi
I would like your help to limit this big problem:
“understand which search queries that have created impression but zero click”

google adwords NOT let you know what are the search queries that generated impressions but zero clicks?

for example, in the last 30 days my campaign A
has created a total of 1591 impressions,
but 792 of these impressions have NOT received clicks

adwords show me only the keywords that have generated at least 1 click

Unfortunately, so almost 50% of the impressions I do not understand for what search query my ads have been published

This dramatically lowers CTR, of my campaign

how can I reduce this problem?

how can I with adwors and analytics to better understand what search queries have generated impressions but zero clicks?

 

Thursday January 31, 2013

Dat To (not verified) Said:

Awesome post Erin with great tips! It's surprising how much negative keywords is undervalued. It's one of the most important elements of setting up a ppc campaign. It's the part that is sside by side when doing keyword research finding out what searchers are typing in search to find our Clients' services. But you are right, don't go crazy and constrict too much traffic. Certain Clients with more restrictive budgets need more restrictive negative keyword lists and restrictive match types, just depends sometimes. One of the most frustrating thing about negative keywords is that there is a small percentage that get through to trigger your ads and waste click spend. I found over a dozen instances over last 8mths or so where what came into search query reports SHOULDN'T have because i had the negative word in that keyword phrase in that campaign- but it still came through!! Talked to an Adwords Rep about it a few times but they speak like lawyers and you can't get a straight answer but from finding these costly mistakes on Google's part we know that just because you entered the negative word doesn't mean that it will not trigger ads 100% of the time. 

Friday February 01, 2013

Ray Hrach (not verified) Said:

Good points.  Your example also shows why you should always change the default keyword matching setting to "do not include close variants".

Sunday February 03, 2013

Rolands (not verified) Said:

Words like "always", IMO, are not applicable to this topic. There's cases where it works well, and benefit for it overtrumps loss caused from Bieber fever factor. I will not switch off close match variants because our campaigns target all countries and all languages, and you never know, how some term is spelled there. Same fiber in UK, and Australia and some countries in Africa are spelled as Fibre, and Latinamerica - Fibra. After all that's why there's a wordstream to find leakages right?

 

 

Saturday February 09, 2013

Manuel (not verified) Said:

Hi
I would like your help to limit this big problem:
“understand which search queries that have created impression but zero click”

google adwords NOT let you know what are the search queries that generated impressions but zero clicks?

for example, in the last 30 days my campaign A
has created a total of 1591 impressions,
but 792 of these impressions have NOT received clicks

adwords show me only the keywords that have generated at least 1 click

Unfortunately, so almost 50% of the impressions I do not understand for what search query my ads have been published

This dramatically lowers CTR, of my campaign

how can I reduce this problem?

how can I with adwors and analytics to better understand what search queries have generated impressions but zero clicks?

 

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