With Google basically removing the concept of a true exact match keyword a few months ago, negative keywords have become more important than ever. Just to clarify, when you advertise on Google Adwords, you now basically give Google a concept that you want to advertise for, but you don’t get to pick the specific keywords. In the past, you could, other than them adding plurals and close variants. Now you don’t really know what you will show up for.
Because of this, the always important and underrated negative keywords have become even more important. Basically, a negative keyword is a word you can put into your campaign or adgroup that tells Google that if that word is included in the search phrase, your ad should not show up. Since we have a lot less control over what we do show up for, we need to work from the other side and tell Google what we don’t want to show up for. Most people don’t even know that negative keywords exist, but you should learn about them and use them now. All Adwords professionals regularly monitor campaigns to look for new potential negative keywords to add based on performance or just relevance, but now you need to think even more about this right from the start. This link is a great article on some negatives to add to your campaigns from day 1 to avoid budget leaks and wasted money, but you should still continue to monitor and add things that pop up. You may want to consider competitor names and words that can turn your search campaigns into irrelevant ads.
For example, I once worked with a mold inspection company that was advertising for mold and found a considerable amount of their budget was going to advertise for searches for “cake molds”, “mouldings” and other “molds” that were not relevant. Though maybe not as straight forward, your industry may have similar potential budget drains. I recently cleaned up a campaign for a video production company that advertised for videos and Google was showing their ads for “adult videos” and “free videos” and an abundance of video terms that they would never want to be targeting.
Consider negatives from the get go and add the standards as well as hunt for more as they start to come in. You should do a deep analysis of your specific keywords you are showing up for each month to see what might be draining your budget, and eliminat them. Even campaigns running for years will see new ones pop up as technologies change or even the way we talk and search.
If you need help with an Adwords campaign review, please give us a call. You should always have your Adwords campaigns reviewed by someone that is concerned with your success, not with Google’s. I see a lot of business owners say that Google helped them set up their campaigns. Google is the one getting all of your spend. Do you really want to rely on them to set up how you spend it?