Google AdWords Negative Match – Using It Properly?

September 3rd, 2008 by Kristie McDonald

It is important to understand Google’s Negative Matching features in order to best refine your searches.

The negative match feature in Google ensures that your ads do not show when the search term entered includes certain keywords or phrases.  Google AdWordsFor example, one of the most common negative keywords we use is “free”.  If you are selling a new video game, chances are you are not going to want to appear when a user types in “free video games”.  In order to guarantee that you don’t show up for that phrase, you should include “free” as a negative keyword.

Similar to Google’s regular match types, you can include a negative keyword and select a match type of negative broad, negative exact or negative phrase.  With proper PPC Management extremely important to understand these match types so that you do not accidentally prevent your ads from showing on important keywords.

Negative Exact Match
When you select negative exact match, your ad will not show if the search term matches this keyword phrase exactly.  Nothing before, after or in the middle.

This match type is particularly useful if a subset of your important keyword phrase would not be appropriate.

With the video game example, we may decide to include the keyword phrase video game in our campaign, but we might add “video” as a negative exact match so that we do not show up for any searches on just the word “video”.

Negative Phrase Match
When you select negative phrase match, your ad will not show if the search term contains the keyword phrase in the proper order.

For example, if you have a negative phrase match keyword of “video camera” and a user enters the search term of “buy a video camera”, your ad will not show.  However, if they enter “camera with video”, your ad could show.

Negative Broad Match
When you select negative broad match, your ad will not show if the search term matches or contains the keyword phrase in any order and if the search term is a synonym or considered relevant to the phrase.

This, of course, is very vague and negative broad match should be use very, very carefully.

When we use broad match on a keyword phrase, we run the risk of showing our ad on a search term that is not really relevant, despite what the Google algorithm thinks.  But we are able to see the actual results in the search query report and make adjustments to the account.

However, when we use negative broad match, we run the much higher risk of our ad NOT showing for a search term that really would have been relevant.

And I never want my clients to be “missing” when their potential customers are looking for them!

Learn how to use these match types properly to make sure your ads are showing at the right time and not showing when they would be irrelevant.

Google AdWords Broad Match

July 15th, 2008 by Kristie McDonald

Do you understand what is happening when Broad Match is selected as the match type for your keyword terms in Google AdWords? It is important to be clear so you can manage the cost of these terms carefully. You should also be aware that this is the default setting.

Here is Google’s Definition:
With broad match, your ad shows when the search query matches the keyword phrase in any order. But in addition, “Your ads could also show for singular/plural forms, synonyms, and other relevant variations.”

PPC AdvertisingBasically, Google displays your ad for any search terms that they have determined (via sophisticated algorithms) are relevant to your keyword.

This can be useful in many cases. It will help you to cast a wide net and be shown on search terms that you never thought of but are highly relevant. It does not replace a good Keyword Research effort but It definitely has a place in a campaign’s start-up strategy.

But you need to watch broad-match terms very carefully. There are a couple of things you can do to keep a keen eye on your broad match terms.

Conversion Tracking
First, I highly recommend you use this match type with conversion tracking implemented. Otherwise, not only do you have no idea what your visitor typed in, you also have no idea whether it’s working for you.

Keyword Report
Look at your broad match terms for impressions and click-through-rate (CTR). Do the numbers seem reasonable to you? Are you seeing a large portion of your spend for the month on broad match terms?

Search Query Report
Make sure to check the Search Query report periodically. This report will tell you the search terms that Google is finding relevant. It does not tell you which broad-match keyword the search term was “matched” to, but it gives you a good idea of

  1. Negative terms to be added to your campaign
  2. Good search terms that were missing from your original list

As you begin to add these new search terms to your campaign, you will begin to see a reduction in your impressions and traffic for the broad term as it is redirected to the more targeted terms. This makes it easier to manage your costs.

Let me give you an example of “broad match gone wrong”. We had a campaign where we were broad matching the term “cat problems”. That term was showing a very large number of impressions. What I found is that our ads were showing for “car problems” “car crashes” and “car troubleshooting” – and what’s worse? People were clicking on our ad that was clearly geared towards solving cat problems!

We caught it, put negatives in the account and all is well.

But what if don’t have a professional PPC manager that is monitoring your account and you aren’t looking closely? You can start to see a really low CTR which hurts your quality score and increases your CPC or worse, you could spend a lot of money on wasted clicks.

This is just one of the many things we are constantly monitoring here at JumpFly to be sure our clients are spending their marketing dollars wisely.

Google AdWords Negative and Embedded Match

June 19th, 2008 by Mike Tatge

In this final article on Google AdWords matching options I will discuss Negative Match and Embedded Match. If you would like to read my previous Blog’s on matching options you may click here for Broad Match, here for Phrase Match, and here for Exact Match.

PPC AdvertisingAccording to Google “Negative-matched keywords prevent your ad from appearing when a search includes a keyword that isn’t relevant to your ad”. In other words, your ad will not appear when a negative keywords you’ve entered is included in a user’s search query.

Negative Match keywords can be used on a campaign wide level, or simply an AdGroup level. The campaign Negative Match keyword would effect all keywords in the campaign, while the AdGroup level Negative Match only affects keywords in the same AdGroup.

For example, let’s say that I sell “Blue Widgets”. Occasionally, people may search to rent these items by typing in “Rent Blue Widgets”. Since I only sell them, and do not rent them, “rent” would be an excellent Negative Match keyword. This means anytime somebody typed in “Rent” with any of the search phrases in my keyword list, my ad would NOT show.

Now, let’s assume that while I may not “rent” the “blue widgets”, however I do rent “red widgets”. If I had “rent” as a campaign level Negative Match keyword it would prevent my ad from showing on “rent blue widgets” “rent red widgets” etc. In this case, it would be best if the Negative Match keyword “rent” was only used at the AdGroup level, in the “Blue Widget” AdGroup, and not in the “Red Widget” AdGroup.

Embedded Match is even more targeted, and allows you to prevent your ad from appearing in relation certain Phrase or Exact Matches.

For example, let’s say you own a toy store and sell “Star Wars Toys”. You may very well not want your ad to show for “Star Wars” however if you simply chose “Star Wars” as a Negative Match, you would loose all those great keywords like “Star Wars Toys” “Star Wars Dolls”.

The solutions is to use the embedded match option of a negative and exact match on -[star wars]. This way your ads would appear for all of those appropriate keywords like “Star Wars Toys” and “Star Wars Dolls”, however not for the Exact Match of “Star Wars”.

Choosing the correct matching options of keywords and the appropriate use of Negative Match and Embedded Match are all part of a well managed JumpFly PPC Advertising campaign.

What inappropriate keywords are triggering your ad copy?