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Negative Keywords – Success & Failure

Today, a tale of two clients and their Negative Keywords. A story of success and failure, and the reason why….

Client #1:

Terrence spends $70,000 a month on AdWords (quite profitably, I might add) and one day last month his webmaster printed out the web stats that show all the different search phrases that actually brought people to his website.

He spent some time combing through the list and made a huge list of negative keywords.

The next month his sales stayed exactly the same and his spend dropped to $40,000 a month. 40% down, overnight.

Hey, it doesn’t matter whether you’re spending $70,000 or just $70 per month, a 40% cost reduction is a big deal! This guy was already dominating his market… and now he’s unstoppable.

Client #2:

William spends $9,000 a month on AdWords, also quite profitably, thank you very much. He did pretty much the same thing – a big exhaustive list of negative keywords – and he dropped his spend down to $6,000.

But his sales dropped even MORE than that. 33% cost savings, and maybe 40% dent in sales. Oops… better get rid of those negative keywords.

OK…. so what was going on?

Here’s the difference: Terrence, who saved a ton of dough, identified a number of completely different itches that people want to scratch, with very similar keywords. Identify the negative keywords because THOSE people ain’t NEVER gonna buy.

William’s product has very broad appeal in a market where potential buyers could come from almost anywhere. They could even come from outside the niche and still be interested. William needs to buy as much traffic as he can reasonably get and not really worry too much about the negative keywords – actually only a few.

Situations where negative keywords stop wasted clicks – very common. Everybody should have negative keywords. Situations where negative keywords hurt – less common. But it happens. When you make major changes, pay close attention and be ready to back off if the strategy isn’t working.

Written by Perry Marshall

http://www.perrymarshall.com/

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Related PPC Posts:

  1. Adding Negative Keywords to your Adwords Campaign
  2. Writing Good PPC Ads
  3. Setting Up Adwords Conversion Tracking

Category: Google Adwords, MSN Adcenter, Yahoo Search Marketing

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2 Responses

  1. TechuilaSMO says:

    Good point. It stands to reason that when you go to add negative keywords to a campaign, you should be as precise as possible. Adding negatives in exact match rather than broad match may be more time consuming but it’s a good way to filter out the bad traffic while not choking the good traffic.

  2. Brett Keeler says:

    So much money is wasted on not having negative keywords in your account. And a lot of people running their own PPC don’t even know you can have negatives.

    I’ve done audits for clients where they are literally wasting thousands of dollars a month on completely irrelevant keywords. Broad match keywords can kill an account that doesn’t have negative keywords!!!

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