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Negative Keywords in your Pay Per Click(PPC) SEM strategy

Pay per click (PPC) is a way to advertise your webpage through services like Google AdWords and YahooAds to reach consumer that are searching for products or services such as the ones you offer. It is also a great way to waste valuable marketing dollars if used improperly, even though search engine strive to prevent your doing so. For example, Google AdWords lets you set a daily budget, put a maximum cost per click, target your ads geographically. As if it were not enough, gives you lots of information about how the system works; however you can still manage to spend unnecessary money, most of the time without knowing so.
One of the tips for preventing this from happening is to use negative keywords when you don’t want you ad to appear or when it just doesn’t make sense. Here is an example:

– If the objective of your campaign is to sell video cards for PC then your keywords could be “video card for PC” (This is too generic by the way, but is just as an example). The problem here is that you may appear (depending on your bid for the keywords and competition) under the following search terms:
o video card for PC free
o video card for PC drivers
o sell video card for PC
o repair video card for PC
o compatibility of video card for PC
o etc..

As you may have noticed, probably none of those queries will end up as a sale of your PC cards just because the user is not looking to buy, moreover, their click on your ad will cost you some green.
To prevent this from happening, you can use negative keywords. If one of your negative keywords appears on the user’s query your ad will simply not appear. The way you set this up in your Google campaign is to use a dash “-“ before a keyword.

I recommend you to use the following keywords if the objective of your campaign is selling a product or service:
-free
-information
-“what is”
-“how to”
-definition

If the objective of your campaign is to generate leads or to get people to subscribe to a newsletter, even to drive traffic to your site, then those negative keywords should change, but I will let you guys think about it, I don’t want to ruin all the fun for you.

Latter on this blog I will write about wild cards and other search variations.

Have fun, and if you just like spending money, better buy me dinner! Google has enough already!

F.