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Google Adwords and Negative Keywords

Aug 28, 2007
Let's start off quickly. Here is the formula that I use to quickly bring in high quality traffic through Google Adwords.

1. Create my ad.
2. Use 5-10 keyword phrases that are very targeted and highly-searched for.
3. Add 20-50 negative keywords that describe what I am NOT looking for.
4. Watch the traffic come in.

Now I want to explain a bit further.

1. Create my ad.

Now, I am no expert on creating Google Adwords ads. Having said that, the ads I write typically bring in 1-3% click-through rates (sometimes better), which is much higher than most people get.

The secret is to talk about the results of whatever you are promoting, and not the features (and not even the benefits). You have very little space to talk to you the visitor, so you have to use it wisely. I will give you an example to illustrate.

Here is a typical ad:

Lose Weight Quickly
Discover the secrets of weight loss
the government doesn't tell you.
http://www.Example.com

Not a bad ad, but it could be much better. Let's look at a "results" ad:

Loses 10 Pounds Weekly
Discover the secrets of weight loss
the government doesn't tell you.
http://www.Example.com

There is a subtle but important difference here. The headline is now "Loses 10 Pounds Weekly." The word "loses" implies the program does all the work.

Notice how it doesn't say "Lose 10 Pounds Weekly." That implies that you have to work and isn't as appealing. However, what you want is clicks from people who are looking for what you have to sell, so even though they don't want to do the work, they do want the results.

Here are some more examples of result-driven headlines:

Makes $1000 Per Week
Teaches Spanish Quickly
Improves Your Golf Swing
Lowers Your Cholesterol

You can see where I am going with this.

Now, if enough people read this and use it, the technique will not work as much. That's ok. There will always be other techniques that will work. The trick is to write a compelling ad, no matter how you do it.

2. Use 5-10 keyword phrases that are very targeted and highly-searched for.

This should be easy. You can use Google's Keyword Selector to find them. Make sure that they are highly searched for or this method won't work as well. Also, make sure that they describe your target audience quite well, as this will determine whether your offer will convert well.

3. Add 20-50 negative keywords that describe what I am NOT looking for.

This is the step that makes all the difference. A negative keyword is a keyword that you don't want your ad displayed for.

For example, if "weight loss" is one of your keyword phrases and "pill" is a negative keyword, your ad will show up when somebody searches for "weight loss" but not when they search for "weight loss pill."

This is extremely effective for narrowing down who you are looking for, thus increasing your click-through rate and in turn lowering your costs and getting more traffic.

The easiest way to find negative keywords is to once again use Google's Keyword Selector using your main keyword phrases. Examine all of the many keyword phrases that come up and find every single word that describes customers that you are not looking for.

Let's do an example.

We'll use the weight loss example again. When we search for the term weight loss the following terms come up:

weight loss
weight loss pills
weight loss diet
weight loss diets
weight loss tips
atkins weight loss
weight loss calories
weight loss foods
weight loss supplements
fast weight loss
and many more...

Now, let's say that your product talks about natural weight loss. That means that you want people looking for ways to naturally lose weight, not those looking for pills or supplements. Just from the list above we can add the following negative keywords:

-pills
-supplements
-atkins

If we continue down the long list on the Google tool we can easily find dozens of examples of negative keywords. Simply add these to the list and all of a sudden your ad will be more effective!

Why? Well, think of it this way - your competitors are mostly just using keyword selection tools to generate thousands of keywords. That means that they aren't looking at each individually (at least most people wouldn't) and they are using all sorts of poorly optimized keywords.

That means that their ads are going to be shown for keywords that will not get clicks, and their click-through rates will drop. However, your click-through rates will be much higher, even though you are getting less views. That means that your ad will display at a higher position for a lower cost, and will give you higher profits!

Also, your offer will convert better as those people who do click on the ads are exactly what you are looking for.

So we get:

-higher click-through rates
-lower cost per click
-higher sales conversion

And thus:

-higher profits

Which leads to the last step of our complicated formula:

4. Watch the traffic come in.

So, yeah, watch the traffic.

It's nice.
About the Author
Matthew Glanfield helps people start their own online Internet marketing businesses. Get answers to your questions by visiting his Internet Marketing blog at http://www.bboinstitute.com
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