Google AdWords PPC management: routing negative keywords

Insights | 16 Jul, 2014

Senior PPC Manager Richard Hartley discusses routing negative keywords to stop duplicate keywords going against each other in the same auction.

Video transcript

Hi there. My name is Rich. I'm Senior PPC Manager here at Jellyfish, and I'm going to talk to you today about routing negative keywords. So, if you've seen my previous video about match-type negatives, you'll know we use negative keywords to make sure that the exact keyword gets shown over the phrase and the phrase keyword over the broad.

Now, that's all well and good when the keyword text is exactly the same, but there are going to be occasions where you have different keyword texts in your account that could still be eligible for the same auction. Let's just take an example of how that would work. Say, for instance, you sell Canon cameras. You're going to have a certain amount of generic keywords in your account, like, for instance, 'Canon cameras,' on phrase but then you're also going to have quite specific keywords in your account that refer to the specific product you sell, for instance, 'Canon Camera 700D.' However, for that specific search query, both these keywords have little to show, because it contains the phrase, 'Canon Cameras,' which could trigger the generic.

Now, it is generally not good for the advertiser when Google has to decide which keyword to use. They'll do it based on quality score and ad rank, but there are occasions where they might be tempted to serve the generic over the specific. For instance, maybe it's got a history of high click-through rate. Maybe it's just got a higher bid for whatever reason. Or maybe you've paused your keywords that refer to that specific product because maybe you're out of stock and you're thinking that pausing those keywords is going to block your ads from showing totally, when actually all that's going to happen is the generics are just going to come into its place.

So what we need is some sort of system to force Google to show the most relevant ad as much as possible, making sure we've got that specific ad title there that refers to that specific product wherever it is searched, sending users through to the most specific landing page, optimising your click-through and conversion rate as much as possible.

So the way it's done is quite simple. You would just split out the generics from the specifics into different ad groups. Then we would add the specific keywords as negative keywords for the generic ad group. Let's just have a look at how this would work. So same example again - we've got, 'Canon Cameras,' on phrase in its own ad group and then we've got, 'Canon Cameras 700D,' in its own ad group. Then that keywords text is added as a negative keyword for the generic. We could even go a step further and just add, '700D,' as the negative keyword for the generic ad group. That would totally block the ads from showing whenever that part of the search query is entered. So that may sound a little bit complicated, and it does mean that sometimes you're going to have to think about your naming convention so you know which level of granularity your keywords are, just how specific they are.

It also can get a bit complicated when you've got multiple layers of granularity as well. So take this example. Say you've got cameras being sold in multiple colors, so, 'Canon Camera 700D black,' might be a keyword that you'd have in your account. So we'd then split that out into a third ad group. Have that by itself, and phrase match. We then add that as a negative keyword, with a slightly less specific one - just, 'Canon Camera 700D.' Then we would add them both, as negative keywords for the really generic ad group that just contains, 'Canon Cameras.' We could also just add, 'Black,' and, '700D,' to make sure that all happens nice and easily. So, as I said, you're going to have to think about your naming convention, finding some way to label to you as an account manager which level of granularity is there. It just makes your account easier to manage and your life a lot easier.

Great. Thanks for watching. 

Please enter a valid Name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Please enter a valid Phone.
Please enter a valid Company Name.
  • Select Service
  • Analytics
  • Brand
  • Consultancy
  • Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Display
  • DoubleClick Partnership
  • Email
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Social
  • UX
  • Video
  • Websites
  • All Services