Most marketing professionals know keywords' importance to search engine marketing (SEM) efforts. Keywords help businesses gain a more prominent search engine results position (SERP) by signifying the topics your cover. When properly incorporated across a business's online assets, they can help increase traffic, conversions, and sales.
However, less attention goes to negative keywords, despite how they substantially improve SEM effectiveness. Negative keywords help dramatically improve SEM performance and efficiency, reduce costs, and protect brand health.
What Are Negative Keywords?
Negative keywords are specific keywords you exclude your business from during paid search campaigns. Put simply, negative keywords tell search engines to overlook them during searches. It allows you to narrow the results your ads appear during with greater specificity to be sure you reach the most interested people.
When you only use keywords, you may be casting too wide a net using vague keywords. For example, if you're a local apparel company specializing in children's clothing, using keywords like "clothing in Indiana" will also attract people looking for adult clothing. Using negative keywords focuses your SEM efforts to only those customers looking for your products and services.
Doing so can save you money and improve your conversion rate. But beyond improving sales, using negative keywords can help you avoid diluting your brand or paying for clicks from uninterested people.
If your children's clothing store repeatedly appears in search results for apparel stores, consumers looking for general apparel may stumble onto your site. The time it takes them to discover they are on the wrong site leaves a bad impression, which they may associate with your brand. While you may think it doesn't matter that you reached the wrong person, you want to avoid leaving any negative impressions. Someone who may not need your products or services at the time may need them later. Trying to reach them when they already had a negative experience makes it more challenging to convince them to purchase from you later.
Using Negative Keywords to Zero in on Your Audience
Identifying relevant and negative keywords can help you understand how the buying public perceives your product or service category and allow you to develop more compelling messaging. You can glean insights about defining your brand in other channels more clearly, as customers may use phrasing in your other ads to search for you. Negative keywords can help you refine your targeting and increase traffic from the right people.
To advertise your children's clothing store, you may decide to leverage radio and digital ads to attract local consumers. By evaluating your negative keywords, you'll have a better idea of how consumers search, which you can use to shape your messaging for your radio and digital ads. The more you can narrow down your keywords and negative keywords, the more effectively you can reach your intended audience and spur them to action.
Building Effective SEM Campaigns
Building effective SEM campaigns involve more than identifying and using the right keywords. You need an integrated online marketing communications campaign to build an SEM campaign that drives large volumes of qualified leads to your web page. Your keywords tie into your messaging on social media, your website, and other marketing channels such as radio, television, and outdoor.
To understand how to build an effective integrated digital advertising campaign, check out our negative keyword blog from our digital wing. It provides an even more in-depth look into digital marketing insights that can quickly help you generate leads, increase sales, and grow your business.