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How To Not Waste Money on a PPC (Pay Per Click) Campaign
I have done hundreds of analyses on Google Adwords campaigns that were being managed either by other PPC companies or the clients themselves. Doing so I have noticed a mistake people make continually, either because they don’t know what they are doing or they are being lazy. This mistake results in wasted money and a low quality campaign. Below is a list of the things I noticed.
Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are words you don’t want showing up for your ad. For example, a heating and A/C company wouldn’t want to show up for the search term “car ac repair”. In this case we would single out “car” as the negative keyword.
I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars being wasted in PPC campaigns from poor negative keyword planning. Most campaigns don’t even have them – and if they do I typically see a max of 5-10.
By not having the right negative keywords, not only are you wasting money on bad searches, but you are driving your cost per click up from having a low quality ad. For example, using the heating/AC company above, by showing your residential AC repair ads as “car AC repair” and getting clicks (because let’s face it, people won’t always read what they click), you get traffic to your site but high bounces because people suddenly realize you don’t fix car AC’s.
Never Go Live With a Campaign Without Negative Keywords
With a brand new campaign you should add at least 50 negative keywords to begin with.
What I like to do is write them down on a notepad as I come across them doing my regular keyword research. I have some generic ones that I use in most cases like:
free
define
pictures
videos
employment
(unless those keywords fit in the targeting of course)
Will I Know Every Negative Keyword That Will be Searched From the Start ? No.
But coming up with these negatives before a campaign is live is just the beginning. Where this tool becomes of most value is monitoring your campaigns weekly and seeing what people actually search in the Search Term report. For example, a law office could run their ads for a week and then see these terms were actually searched during that time:
cheap lawyer
law offices hiring part time
law website ideas
It’s okay if you forgot to add the negatives that would have blocked these, because the important thing is that you are monitoring them now and caught it within a week. So you go and add “cheap”, “hiring”, “part time” and “website” as negative keywords to your campaign. From now on your ad won’t show for these types of searches.
There are many other ways you can use negative keywords, but these simple steps can save you hundreds of dollars you might be wasting right now. These are some very helpful tips to not waste money using Pay Per Click.

So go add negative keywords now! And make sure you continually monitor your campaigns for more to add in the future!

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