Adwords Scrabble

Google Adwords – Avoid Unwanted Search Terms

Sarah Hind Blog, Google Adwords

How to Avoid Clicks From Irrelevant Search Terms

Google Adwords is often a company’s primary marketing source. Whilst some have a more modest budget, some businesses will spend tens of thousands of pounds every month. Whatever your Adword’s budget, don’t waste it on clicks from irrelevant search terms.

If you’re selling high quality leather shoes, you don’t want clicks for ‘running shoes’, ‘cheap leather shoes’ or ‘second hand leather shoes’. To exclude these search terms, you can either add them as a negative keyword or change your match types.

Negative Keywords

It is easy to add negative keywords to your Adwords campaigns. Go to the relevant campaign or Ad Group, click the Keywords tab and then the Negative Keywords Tab. Add broad words that you know won’t appear in relevant searches (eg. ‘cheap’) or [exact search terms] by putting square brackets around them. You can also click on the Search Terms tab and tick all the search terms you want to exclude & then ‘Add as negative keyword’.

If you have keywords to exclude over numerous campaigns, you can create keyword lists which can then easily be applied. Go to ‘Shared Library’ (bottom left nav on Adwords), then ‘Campaign Negative Keywords’ and ‘Add List’.

Make sure you go through your search terms regularly and continually add any irrelevant clicks to the negative keyword lists. Also make sure you don’t add any negative keywords which may stop wanted clicks, especially if your products or services change.

Match Types

If you have few products or services, you could choose to be very particular about matching search terms. Google will add your search terms as a broad match as standard. This means that if you enter the keyword ‘leather shoes’ on your campaign, you could also be shown for searches ‘cheap leather shoes’ or maybe even ‘cheap leather trainers’ if Google sees ‘trainers’ as a relevant variation. Far too many businesses lose money this way and we regularly see big businesses appear at the top of Google for totally irrelevant search terms, just because the search contains one relevant keyword.

To be really specific, you could add your keywords as [exact matches] by putting square brackets around each search term you enter on the keywords list. You would then only show for that exact search. This would mean adding a lot of search terms, such as [high quality leather shoes], [buy leather shoes], [where to buy leather shoes], [men’s leather shoes] [leather shoes for men], etc. Google will do some of the work for you though – if you put a few keywords in you can then go through their suggested keywords on the right and add them in. Once they’re saved, tick the boxes next to them & change the match type to exact.

The next choice, with a little less work involved would be “phrase match” by adding speech marks around the search terms on the keywords list. Your keywords must be in the search term, in that order, but can have other words at either side of them, for example “leather shoes” could show on searches for ‘brown leather shoes’ & ‘cheap leather shoes’ (unless you have added these as a negative keyword!)

You can also use +broad +match +modifier by adding a plus sign before each keyword in the search term. The keywords must then appear in the search term but in any order.

Is it Worth it?

Yes! If you’re wasting budget on unnecessary clicks it certainly is. You should look at Analytics regularly to see which keywords work for you and exclude any that are wasting your budget.

We Can Help

If it all sounds like too much work, we can help. Take a look at our Google Adwords page or give us a ring on 01994 484430 to discuss your Adwords requirements.