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Saving money with negative matches

I’m going to bring you a series of tips from time to time over the next few weeks about running Google AdWords campaigns. Now, you’re probably thinking: “Why would you do that Chris, when one of the most active areas of your business is in managing AdWords for people? Aren’t you supposed to jealously guard all that knowledge?” But here’s the thing: most industrial and scientific companies who use us to run their AdWords campaigns do so because we can relieve you of this complex task possibly for no cost; it’s immaterial whether you’re AdWords experts or whether you have no interest in anything other than the results. Some of our best clients know nothing about AdWords, other than that it gets terrific results. But others are extremely knowledgeable about the intricacies of broad matches and many-per-click cost-per-conversions.

Today’s tip is to do with “negative match keywords”, a rather underused feature of AdWords. Instead of simply specifying the Google searches which you want your advert to appear alongside, you can also specify the searches for which you don’t want your advert to appear. How does this work? Let’s take an example. You’re advertising against the term “blue widgets”, and getting plenty of impressions of the ad, and a decent click-through rate. But if you look at the actual search terms used for your click-throughs (it’s all there in the reports), you might find some completely irrelevant ones, like “jobs making blue widgets”. Why did people click on your ad when the ad made it quite clear that your website wasn’t going to meet their needs? It doesn’t matter. It cost you money. Yet by setting the word “jobs” as a “negative”, you won’t even show at all for “jobs making blue widgets”. Using this technique to refine your click-throughs can save you a lot of money.

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