Google Ads Negative Keyword Blueprint

Google Ads Negative Keyword Blueprint

Google Ads Negative Keyword Blueprint

Negative keywords are an often-overlooked tool you can use in Google Ads to push your campaigns from mediocre to performing better than you could have hoped. Why labour for hours over keywords and campaigns if you aren’t going to fully utilise all Google Ads has to offer? The truth is, most businesses don’t. So, in this article, I’m going to guide you through how to successfully build a negative keyword list and how to use them to maximise your CTR (click-through-rate) and ROI (return-on-investment) so you can stop leaving money on the table.

The Basics

I assume since you’re here reading about negative keywords that you know how Google Ads works generally, but if you don’t, Google Ads works like an auction: you bid on keywords to get your ad in front of interested audiences. If you’ve set it up properly with the right keywords and ad, you should be seeing results. If you need to get these basics established, you can read our other article about creating a successful Google Ads campaign.   

But… that usually also means it shows up for close searches. These searches are by people who aren’t interested in your offer and that means you are paying for them too. So, how do we stop this? That’s where negative keywords come in.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords help you keep your campaigns streamlined by showing your ads only to relevant search impressions.

Let me show you through an example – so imagine you run a business that sells activewear for plus-sized women. Potential customers may search for “plus sized activewear” or “plus-sized workout clothes”, so it’s likely you would bid on these words as part of your campaigns.

So, if you are bidding on keywords like “plus-sized activewear”, you won’t want your ads to show up to people searching for “plus sized dresses”, since the CTR and conversion rate will be that much lower. We want to a smaller net with more specificity. So, you would want to take keywords like “dresses”, “skirts”, “jeans” and list them in your negative keywords. In this case, you tell Google what search queries are not relevant to your campaigns and will prevent you from paying for uninterested impressions.

Research, Research, Research

You should spend some time really thinking about your major keywords and what other search terms people may be combining this with so you can add any irrelevant terms to your negative keywords list. Remember to think outside the box as you make your list. Consider whether your product shares its name with any popular book, movie or game titles as well as logical search terms.

Another great way to narrow your search with negative keywords is to check out the results for your major keywords, and if you see anything irrelevant there then you can add those words to your negative keywords list, and spy on your competitor’s results for any more possible negative terms.

As you do this, check out how much traffic each keyword gets on Google. If there’s a keyword that is almost relevant and it is the one bringing in the most traffic, think twice before eliminating it. Similarly, if you know your product becomes more popular at certain times of year don’t eliminate something by accident because it’s summer and the traffic bolsters when it gets cold.

How Do I Add Words to the List?

As of March 2019, you’ll find the link to negative keywords under the Keywords tab, but Google has a guide so you may want to double check if the interface has had an update since. Take your time as you enter them to ensure you eliminate the right search queries, especially if you’re using and combining different match types, which you can read more about below.

How Should I Use Them on My Campaigns?

You can use a general list of negative keywords on all the campaigns within your account. This works great if, for example, your product has another meaning for people, and you want to apply that negative keyword to every campaign you’ll ever create. If you have a keyword that is relevant to a whole campaign but you want to filter it to apply to just one ad group, you can do this by applying negative keywords at the ad group level.

Match Types for More Control

If you want to ensure that two of your campaigns for different products don’t conflict you can use the exact terms you’ve used in one for negative keywords for the other. This is especially useful if you want to do some intense testing on your campaigns and you don’t want any cross contamination. But you shouldn’t just copy and paste them from one into the other because you may have some more general keywords in that campaign that work for your second campaign, and if you exclude those you are shooting yourself in the foot. 

There are three match type options for negative keywords: broad, phrase and exact and can be set at both the campaign level and the ad group level. Your match types can conflict with one another, even if they aren’t exact duplicate terms, and you can learn more about that here.

Introduce Your New Negative Keywords Slowly

Even if you’re starting a brand-new campaign, you may want to hold back from applying absolutely every negative keyword you can think of right from the word go. Instead, break the list down into the least related to some that are closer to your search and introduce them slowly, so you don’t choke your campaign the moment it starts. Give each new introduction a few weeks to prove themselves before you move on, so you always know what’s working and what’s affecting your campaign negatively.

Negative keywords are a fantastic way to ensure you are getting the most from your time and money with your campaigns, so your ads are only shown to your ideal customers. Remember to give your campaigns time and review them regularly to test and tweak. Negative keywords can give you a little more control over something that can feel like taking a gamble, but as you become more experienced, you’ll know Google Ads inside out.

Get a free health check by one of our experts today to find out how to build on your online success using Google Ads.

What we do

Click ROI is a Southampton based boutique digital marketing agency specialising in Paid Search and Facebook advertising. Our experienced team with former Facebook and Google employees provide fully managed Pay Per Click services including research, strategy and account creation, landing page development, management and reporting with a focus on your specific business goals and KPIs. Get in touch today, gain an unfair advantage in digital marketing and leverage our experience to maximise your ROI from paid advertising.

Improve Your Facebook Relevance Score for Amazing Results

Improve Your Facebook Relevance Score for Amazing Results

Improve Your Facebook Relevance Score for Amazing Results

We’ve already discussed how you can dominate Google Ads with improved quality score, and any ads platform worth its salt will provide you measurable data in which you can improve your advertising.

For Facebook, relevance score is Google Ads’ quality score equivalent, with some key differences.

The basics of Facebook advertising are simple but vital to learn. Facebook relevance score is a little trickier to comprehend, so in this post, we discuss how you can improve your Facebook relevance score for amazing results.

Relevance Score Explained

So first off, Facebook relevance score measures how good your content is, and how much engagement your ads are likely to receive. However, there are also other factors such as your campaign objectives, targeted audience and customer need for your product/service. Like Google Ads, this score is important to get absolutely right if you want to pay less per click and your ads to show more frequently to your target audience.

Also, like Google, Facebook scores your relevancy out of 10, with 10 being superhero content and 1 being…well, not great content, and it’s probably not relevant to your audience, and no one likes to be at 1!

A lower score means more money out of your pocket – plus, if your audience doesn’t find your ads relevant, exciting, or interesting, it means you’ll be paying out a lot for very little – if any – return.

So, you want to aim for over 7, ideally, to gain a good return on investment.

Try to not worry too much if your ads fall between 5 and 7 on the scale – most ads score around 6 or 7 – but there are ways you can improve this score, so pay close attention to these next few points.

Relevance Score: The Not-So-Secret Recipe for Success

Once you know the elements of success on Facebook it’s a simple case then of testing, refining, and seeing what’s converting.

The key difference here between relevance score and Google Ads quality score is that Facebook is a little more of a guessing game in terms of expected response to your ads, not cold-hard clicks and conversions (though quality score also doesn’t have a clear-cut method to success).

Your ad first needs to receive 500 impressions before being scored. Because this doesn’t depend on actual engagement with your ad (likes, shares, etc.) you could have half as many impressions and twice as many likes but your ad still won’t be given a relevance score until it hits that important 500 impression count.

So, how does Facebook know your ad is relevant if people don’t actually need to engage with your content before it’s scored?

It’s based on a few main factors. One of these being your goal, and another your target audience. If, for example, you sell a beverage targeted to young people, but your audience is set to adults over 40, your relevance score will sit lower on the scale than you’d like.

Of course, this is a very simple example, and it can take a few times before you really know what works for you.

But that’s not all!

Once you get your score (hoping it’s a high one), you’ll need to keep on top of your ad game on an almost daily basis, because that’s how quickly Facebook refreshes its relevance score data. Once you start to see your score dropping, that’s when you should consider switching up your content. Please, don’t forget that before any content change you need to ensure that your campaigns and page have been set up properly and you’re using the correct objective, audience.

Improving Your Relevance Score: What to Focus On

If you’ve created ads and received a high relevance score, then congratulations! For the majority, though, that score can be hard to achieve if you don’t first know what you need to be focusing on.

The two main aspects to improve for amazing results are your target audience and your content.

Find Out Who Your Target Audience Is

Find out who your target audience is by considering what type of people buy your products and services. It goes without saying that selling makeup and beauty products to men probably won’t get a very high relevance score!

When it comes to audiences think about what their problems are (and equally as important, how they might already be solving them) but also what they might be doing daily.

Carry out a ‘perfect persona’ exercise and map who your ideal customer is. Look at your current customers and ask yourself how you gained them, how you helped them, and if there are any problems they still have that you could solve with a new customer.

It can also be useful to look at your current competitors, and as well as find out what they’re doing well, think about what they’re not doing well – this is the perfect time for you to explore that potential gap.

The more detailed you can be with your audience, the better your score. You can also target custom audiences based on people who have already engaged with your website. This can be anyone who’s clicked on your previous ads, but not converted, and also people who have visited and engaged with your website several times – but for whatever reason, are still not a customer. You can also source lookalike audiences from your past website visitors too and test audiences to see which performs better.

Make sure you exclude prospects who have converted, so they don’t continue to see the same ad again, but also remember to include your converters on any relevant ads in the future – after all, your best buyers are your current customers!

Getting creative with content

In terms of your ad creative, remember how quickly users scroll on Facebook – you want your ad to be very eye-catching. Try to leave out all the nitty-gritty details of what you’re offering and stick to the unique selling points of your product or service.

Like your audience, keep your content as relevant as possible. Pin-point your audience’s needs and address them with a clear, sharp call to action. You can also try injecting a ‘buy now!’ approach if that’s appropriate to your business. Limited offers are always a winner, so try testing these with less-urgent calls to action to see what works best.

What works best on Facebook? Video and animation! There are dozens of tools out there that allow you to create your own animations at little cost. Experiment with animated content, static content and ads formats (dynamic ads, carousal ads etc.) and you’ll be surprised at how much your engagement and conversion rate increases!

You can also leverage your audience location to really make your ad as relevant as possible. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, try directing your audience to their nearest one with a voucher or discount if they buy within a specific time frame.

But don’t dismiss written content – the headline of your ad is the perfect place to grab your audience’s attention. Coupled with a great unmissable design, your ad could have a very good chance of gaining a high relevance score.

Where to Show Your Ads

Like Google Ads, where to show your ads can be a really important contributor to improving your relevance score.

Facebook has the additional benefit of Instagram, which can work wonders for your brand, depending on what type of business you have. Ads can also be shown on desktop, mobile, at the side of the newsfeed, or directly in the newsfeed as users scroll. It really depends on who you are, what you’re selling, and most importantly, who your audience is.

When to Show Your Ads

If you’re not sure, try experimenting with a few different time slots to see what gains the best results. Generally, you should think about who your target audience is and what they’re likely to be doing during the day. Students, for example, can have varying schedules, whereas office works are more likely to access Facebook during their lunch hour and on evenings and weekends.

Don’t stop with one ad

It might be tempting to create one ad and leave it running – because it’s worked well in terms of engagement and/or conversions. But Facebook users will get easily bored with the same advertisement, and increasingly Facebook will start to lower your relevance score. For this reason, create 2-3 different campaigns and run some A/B tests on copy, image, ad format, CTA and review them on a weekly basis to see performance improvements. Keep your content fresh and update your ads regularly. This is also a good time to test different creatives to see what works the best. Remember with testing to only change one thing at a time, so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

Wrapping up

Don’t get too worked up about your relevance score, it’s important but don’t dismiss other vital metrics such as click-through-rate and conversion rate – and while 10 is an amazing result you can get good conversions from a lower score, it just might mean you’ll be paying more for that conversion – and advertising on Facebook to gain customers and/or followers is better than doing nothing at all!

As long as you’re aiming for that top 10 score, even if you settle somewhere around 7 or 8, you can still expect to see some amazing results.

Top Tips Run Down

  1. Build your audience and be specific
  2. Create amazing content
  3. Target your audience
  4. See what’s working and optimise
  5. Test, test, and test again!
  6. Enjoy fantastic results with Facebook Ads

If you want to go even further with Facebook advertising, contact us for a free health check by our former Facebook employee.

What we do

Click ROI is a Southampton based boutique digital marketing agency specialising in Paid Search and Facebook advertising. Our experienced team with former Facebook and Google employees provide fully managed Pay Per Click services including research, strategy and account creation, landing page development, management and reporting with a focus on your specific business goals and KPIs. Get in touch today, gain an unfair advantage in digital marketing and leverage our experience to maximise your ROI from paid advertising.

The Best Tips for A Better Landing Page Experience

The Best Tips for A Better Landing Page Experience

The Best Tips for A Better Landing Page Experience

Optimising landing pages can be a tricky business. What works for one company might not work for another, and what works for you once might not ever work again! But fear not, in this article I discuss the best tips for a better landing page experience.

Less is more – no, really!

It’s very tempting to want to place every feature, benefit, and pricing model of your products and services on your landing page. This is because you want your landing page to be as persuasive as possible, and how can your potential customers get the full picture of what you sell if you don’t include everything, right?

Wrong! When it comes to a killer landing page less really is more. Use the best parts of your products or services and, in a few words, tell your prospect why they should buy from you. The more powerful your landing page the bigger the impact on your potential customers.

Top tip: Absolutely A/B test your landing page – let your prospects tell you what works best!

Practice Conciseness

Ever wandered onto a website only to find yourself still there 15 minutes later, trying to figure out what it is they actually do? Don’t be that person!

Practice conciseness on your landing page. Don’t be afraid to be direct in what you’re selling – you only have a limited amount of time to draw your audience in, and if they can’t work out what you’re selling them they’ll just as quickly leave your page.

Top tip: Write exactly what you’re selling or what your business does in your headline, and then expand from there, adding superfluous words as appropriate – but don’t over-do it!

Create A Path and Lead Your Prospects Down It

Just like placing with too much information on your landing page, it’s also tempting to include various links to various parts of your website or use several calls to action. Limit the actions you want your prospects to take to just one – so, create a path and lead your prospects down it. You’ll soon see your conversion rate skyrocket!

Top tip: If you’re having trouble converting try changing call to action language – for example, ‘free’ is usually a better incentive than ‘book’ or ‘contact’.

Be Consistent

This is very important – your call to action, copy, headline, and images, must all say the same thing – not necessarily in the same way, but everything on your landing page, right down to the slug (what comes after the needs to be consistent.

The main reason for this is eliminating distraction and reducing bounce rates. If your URL says ‘free demo’ but your call to action is ‘buy now’ the conversion rate of your landing page will severely reduce. Find out what action you want your prospects or customers to do and stick to it.

Top tip: Treat your landing page like one separate campaign or brand to really focus on conversions.

Make Your Call to Action Button Enticing

Play around with wording and design to make your call to action button enticing. It will be difficult for you to want to ‘break’ the design and have a button that completely stands apart from the rest of the page but that’s exactly what you want your CTA to do – stand out!

Try using more personal language to really increase conversions. Swapping out ‘get a demo’ for ‘call me back’, for example, can drastically improve conversions. Making your call to action more personable makes your prospects feel like they are far more involved in the buying process from the beginning.

Top tip: If you see a lot of visitors to your page but not equivalent conversions, try testing your CTA buttons to see if this number increases.

Don’t Do All the Talking

Have you ever bought a product just because the director of the company said you should? Never? Exactly! When it comes to selling your products and services, don’t do all the talking. Gather testimonials, reviews, and case studies from your existing customers. The likelihood of prospects taking action when similar users have provided a recommendation is far higher than without reviews and testimonials.

Top tip: Don’t be afraid of a little negativity in a review, particularly if it’s a number out of 5 (say 4/5 review) – this provides trust and honesty compared to stellar reviews across the board – it will read like those reviews were written by your employees!

Be Clear on Your Pricing

I know, pricing on your landing page can seem like a big red flag to your competitors, so it can be tempting to leave this off. But pricing for your customers lets them know your offering and provides them with options. Tiered pricing models tell your prospects that you can cater to them – and they can take action immediately, without waiting for a quote.

Top tip: Don’t be afraid to put your pricing on your landing page, even if it’s higher than your competitors’ – it will eradicate fruitless leads and provide a level of quality to your prospects.

Offer ends today!

Providing a sense of urgency if your prospects feel like they’ll be missing out if they don’t buy right now then your conversion rate can increase dramatically. Create a sense of urgency by including copy such as ‘limited number available’ or ‘ends today!’

Top tip: If your products or services don’t work with time-limited offers try offering additional gated content instead, such as a whitepaper or eBook.

Consider Multi-Step Forms

If you’re seeing a lot of visitors on your landing page and they’re staying on there for a while but still not converting, you might need to consider using multi-step forms.

Multi-step doesn’t work for everyone. If you want to offer a plumbing service, for example, it’s generally expected that a contact number to request this is needed. But if you’re selling a different product, such as car insurance or home improvement products, you might find more success converting if you have less demanding forms.

Top tip: Try asking your prospects open-ended questions on a form first, such as ‘how many company cars does your company own?’ before then asking for more personal details such as name and telephone number.

So that concludes my best tips for a better landing page experience. Remember to test one element at a time, so you know what works best!

For more advice on landing page optimisation, request a free no obligation landing page health check.

What we do

Click ROI is a Southampton based boutique digital marketing agency specialising in Paid Search and Facebook advertising. Our experienced team with former Facebook and Google employees provide fully managed Pay Per Click services including research, strategy and account creation, landing page development, management and reporting with a focus on your specific business goals and KPIs. Get in touch today, gain an unfair advantage in digital marketing and leverage our experience to maximise your ROI from paid advertising.

Dominate Google Ads with Improved Quality Score

Dominate Google Ads with Improved Quality Score

Dominate Google Ads with Improved Quality Score

Google Ads is all about bidding, right? So, all you need to do to get to the top of the search is bid the highest!

If only it were that easy.

Over the past number of years, Google has become incredibly intuitive when it comes to user experience. Bidding more for a keyword will place your ad higher than your competitor, but Google also places relevance on your keywords – use them incorrectly, and you’ll quickly see costly ads and little conversions.

This is where keyword quality score comes in, and why it’s so important.

As a rule, the lower your keyword quality score the more you will pay for them. But this doesn’t mean that you’ll still rank highly – quality score is a direct factor to your ad rank, and if it’s lower than Google likes it to be then your ads could be placed lower in search – or not show at all.

Quality score is also indicative of your conversion rate. While it doesn’t directly affect your conversions if your keywords, ad copy and landing pages are not relevant to the user you’re not likely to convert them into a customer.

So how can you increase your quality score?

Start with keyword research

Keyword research is often cited as a ‘must-do’ action because it’s very important. What keywords you use need to be relevant to your products and services, as well as appearing in copy naturally to increase conversions.

Use a combination of long tail, broad, phrase and exact match keywords to optimise your ads successfully. Don’t use highly searched keywords that don’t reflect what you offer – this will drastically reduce your quality score and cost you more over time.

Don’t be tempted to pick keywords with a high search volume – these will no doubt have high benchmarks for bids, and as they’re likely to be broad search terms (e.g. dogs vs dog kennels in London), you’ll see a lot of irrelevant traffic, which is very costly and renders your ads ineffective.

Negative keywords are just as important!

Don’t forget negative keywords, they’re just as important as your relevant ones. Negative keywords can seriously harm your account if you don’t keep on top of them, pulling your quality score and keyword ranking down.

Pay attention to your broad and phrase match keywords to determine if they receive a high number of clicks from irrelevant search terms. If your landing page content doesn’t show what the user is looking for they will bounce from your page, making Google will see this as a red flag and start to bring your quality score down.

Optimise your ad copy

You only have a limited number of characters for your ad copy, so try to include your entire keyword and preferably at the beginning of your copy if you can (but don’t compromise on creativity or user experience!). If you have a call to action on your landing page, such as a free trial, you can offer it in your ad copy too, so your visitors know what their next step is going to be.

Don’t forget that ad copy should never be left dormant for very long – analyse it on a regular basis and tweak to get the best performance out of your ads. Keywords and their search volumes do shift often, so you may find you need to refine these within your copy to stay relevant and keep your keyword quality score high.

Optimise your landing pages

Often companies focus their attention on Google Ads and narrow their focus to ad copy, bidding, and keyword research.

Optimising your landing pages happens outside of the Google Ads platform, so it can be easy to dismiss these as a secondary or “nice to have” feature – some businesses might even be linking all their ads to just their homepage! Which is a recipe for disaster and only costs more time and money to rectify.

Landing page copy is trickier than your ad copy. You have a lot more freedom to write content, but this can lay the path for riskier SEO and PPC practices, such as keyword stuffing.

You only need to have your URL, H1 and body copy with your keyword, so don’t be tempted to include it in every paragraph. Remember that conversions happen because your visitor likes what they see on your page and not just because the keyword they use appears everywhere.

Once you’ve created your landing page look at it from a user’s point of view – have an external viewer look over it if necessary – and ensure that every touch point, from ad copy to the final conversion action, such as contacting you, is relevant, clear, concise and interesting.

Pay close attention to every part of Google Ads

You can have outstanding landing pages, call to actions, and creative ad copy that reads excellently. You can even have fantastic keywords that gain a lot of clicks, but all of this is irrelevant if your keyword quality score is low.

You’ll pay a lot more for keywords with a low quality score if there’s no connection between them and your URLs and landing pages. You’ll likely find that your landing page bounce rates are high, and your conversions low.

Ad copy, keywords, URLs and landing pages all need to fit nicely together and have consistency throughout to be successful.

And finally, the keyword quality score is about price – having a high score means you pay less per click, so it really is beneficial to optimise your keywords and landing pages.

Your quick start guide to dominating ads:

  • Research keywords relevant to your brand. Use a mix of broad, phrase, and exact match, ensuring you focus on both short and long tail terms
  • Incorporate them into your ad creatively – they shouldn’t feel forced
  • Optimise your landing pages with your keywords – you may need to create new landing pages
  • Analyse your work and continue to focus on optimising your ads to ensure success!

Get a free health check from one of our experts and get started with improving your keyword quality score today.

What we do

Click ROI is a Southampton based boutique digital marketing agency specialising in Paid Search and Facebook advertising. Our experienced team with former Facebook and Google employees provide fully managed Pay Per Click services including research, strategy and account creation, landing page development, management and reporting with a focus on your specific business goals and KPIs. Get in touch today, gain an unfair advantage in digital marketing and leverage our experience to maximise your ROI from paid advertising.

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