In order to raise your quality score and prevent ‘bad’ traffic to your website through Google AdWords, you’re going to add some negative keywords at some point. “How can traffic be bad?” you might be thinking at this point, and I hear you. Consider this, if you’re selling bags of coffee beans on your webstore, there’s a chance people can find you with a search of “coffee maker” unless you specify otherwise. Of course, you don’t want people going to your site thinking that they can buy a coffee maker, that’s what I mean when I say ‘bad’ traffic.
What I suggest is that you review your keywords and think of any other words that could be associated with them and add them as negative keywords right away, you’ll surprised at how much lower your cost per acquisition can be. One of the first campaigns I ran as an intern-PPC-guy included the word ‘traffic’ as a keyword (it was about web analytics so we were talking about tracking web traffic, etc.) and I got tons of clicks, but hardly any conversions. When I asked my boss to look over my campaign to see if he could offer any insight, all he told me was that I was going to kick myself in the head when I realized what the problem was. He pulled up my search terms for the campaign and sure enough, it was littered with queries for road conditions from all over the world, from Australia to South Africa, Switzerland to Vancouver and everything in between.
Silly me, thinking that an ad for website traffic analytics would clearly deter people who were looking for traffic reports and road conditions! I removed those keywords and immediately improved my cost per acquisition as well as my conversion rate.
The cool thing about the search query report is that you can add negative keywords right from the report. Just select the queries that you don’t want people to find you with and press the add negative keyword button. I’d recommend doing this every few days as a part of your AdWords management routine depending on how much traffic you’re getting. It’s also going to save you a ton of money in the long run, or at least help spend your budget much more appropriately.
It’s important to note that when adding negative keywords, you’ll most likely want to use phrase or exact match types, otherwise you’ll accidentally alienate keywords you want to show for. I’ll use the coffee maker example again, if you turned the broad match “coffee maker” into a negative, you’d lose every search including the word coffee. Obviously you don’t want that to happen, so you’d only make the exact and phrase match versions a negative keyword.
The earlier and more frequently you begin to use negative keywords, the easier it is to manage as you grow so don’t wait too long to start using these tips on your campaigns.