Save Your Marketing Budget with Negative Keywords

Almost every pay-per-click advertising campaign has room for optimization. Today, let’s focus on one simple way to save money with your Google AdWords campaigns: adding negative keywords. A negative keyword prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.

For instance, it’s incredibly important to list negative keywords for my clients who are professional speakers. Otherwise, our ads would display for searches such as “Sony speakers for sale,” or “Public speaking tips.”

How to Add Negative Keywords to Your Google AdWords Campaigns

First, you’ll need to identify which keywords result in undesirable clicks to your ads. Fortunately, Google has a tool for that. In the Keywords tab, look at the Search Terms sub-tab, shown below:

Save Your Marketing Budget with Negative Keywords

Google describes this report as follows:

“Learn how customers are finding your ad. With the Search terms report, you can see the actual searches people entered on Google Search and other Search Network sites that triggered your ad and led to a click. Depending on your keyword match types, this list might include terms other than exact matches to your keywords.”

When I ran this report for a veterinary hospital, I found a few stray clicks from searches for things like “cat declawing” and “ear cropping” – services my client definitely doesn’t provide!  Also, several searches indicated clicks that might not results in optimal clients, such as “free vet clinic.” And there was a weird “def leppard” result. (Sometimes running this report can be really funny– except your advertising budget isn’t laughing.)

To add the negative keywords, click on the Negative Keywords sub tab, then click the big red +KEYWORDS button:

Save Your Marketing Budget with Negative Keywords

All done! Enjoy your savings.

Suggested Negative Keywords to Get You Started

Different industries usually require different negative keywords, but here are a few general suggestions I use for most of my clients:

  • Cheap
  • Free
  • DIY
  • How to
  • Learn to
  • Profanity and explicit language

Add some negative keywords and watch your AdWords reports to track your results. You should save money and also receive more relevant clicks from potential customers.

What is the Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network is part of Google’s advertising universe. Businesses place text, image or video ads on websites that partner with Google. The Display Network can be an effective way to reach potential customers who are interested in your products or services but aren’t actively searching for them.

Here are three examples, two from the New York Times and one from a travel website:

Google Display Network Example

image ad example

image ad example

While Google’s Search ads appear in search results, Display Network ads appear on websites. Both kinds of advertising are pay-per-click, meaning businesses pay for the ad when someone clicks on it.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of advertising on Google’s Display Network.

Use Demographic Targeting with Display Network Ads

Demographic targeting is the key to success with Display Network ads. Google offers a variety of targeting options. Here’s a small sample:

sample demigraphic topics

Display Network ads require careful demographic targeting to ensure only people who could become your customers click on your ads. A campaign’s list of excluded demographic interests can be just as important as the topics that are included. For most businesses, I recommend their exclusions list include some of the following:

Sample demographic exclusions

Create Image and Video Ads to Get the Most Impact

Last month, I wrote “How to Extend Your Reach with Google Image and Video Ads.” While text ads are the go-to format for search advertising, image and video ads are much more suited for display advertising. With search advertising, customers are already searching for your product. With display advertising, you need to work harder to earn their attention. Display ads should be as attractive and interesting as advertisements you would run in a magazine.

Get More Ideas

Google has several case studies for how brands like Jordan, Yankee Candle and have used the Display Network, which you can check out here.

Have questions? Email me at

Extend Your Reach with Google Image and Video Ads

Most businesses know about Search Advertising with Google AdWords, and use the service fairly effectively to advertise to potential customers searching for products and services like theirs. Fewer take advantage of Google’s complementary Display Network, which promotes ads on websites whose readers match the demographics of your customers.

To see if your business is already advertising on the Display Network and to edit your target demographic settings, visit the Settings page for each campaign. You can see that Zoo in a Jungle Marketing’s campaign type is set to Search and Display Networks.

Google Display Network

Any text ads you’ve created will automatically be placed on the Display Network. To fully take advantage of advertising on the Display Network, businesses should create image and video ads as well.

Google Image Ads

To create Google image ads, use the display ad builder, which is accessed from your list of ads:

Creating a Google Image Ad

The ad builder allows you to create the text for your ads, upload images and choose colors.

Writing your Google Image Ad

It’s very important that your ad design is tweaked to fit all the different ad sizes offered by Google. Your average cost per click will be lower if your ads can display on any website in the Display Network. Most websites will only allow one or two of the ad sizes ti display on their pages.

Google Image Ads in all sizes

Google Video Ads

Google video ads can be displayed on Google’s partner websites or YouTube sponsored videos. Businesses can use any video you have already uploaded to YouTube (make sure you own the copyright to the videos). To create a Google video ad, choose the display ad builder:

Creating a Google Video Ad

Select Video in Media and Channels, then choose either TrueView In-display or TrueView in-search:

Choosing your video format

Next, you’ll have the opportunity to select a video from your YouTube Channel, write a description of the video, and your ad is complete:

Choose a video ad from your YouTube channel

I encourage businesses to experiment with the Display Network using image and video ads. You’ll extend your advertising reach, and clicks through the Display Network typically are less expensive than clicks from Search Advertising. Questions? Email me –



Marketing Podcast: The Future of Search Marketing

My article two weeks ago, “The Diversification of Search (and Your Marketing Budget),” seems to be coming true faster than I had anticipated. In this marketing podcast with Dave Weatherholt, I detail the recent news of Microsoft increasing user privacy in the new Internet Explorer 10– and how that will impact business’s search engine marketing campaigns, like Google AdWords.

Download or listen below:

The Future of Search Marketing

Marketing Podcast: The Future of Search Marketing (4.4 MB)

This segment first aired during “Getting Down to Business” on Alaska’s Fox News Talk 1020.

PPC Advertising Online

Pay-per-click advertising with Google, Bing and Facebook

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising online can be a very cost-effective addition to marketing plans – most of us know that. But the world of PPC advertising is expanding into new opportunities. Lately, many business owners have asked me about different kinds of PPC advertising, with questions like, “What about Facebook?” or “Is Bing worth it?” It seems time for me to publicly address some of these questions for my readers.

Google PPC

Google PPC advertising is the must-have for any online advertising strategy. Google enjoys 65.4% market share of internet searches. Being on the page when your customer is searching for your product is incredibly valuable. To learn more about the general benefits of PPC advertising, read my article “Building Your Website Traffic.”

Bing and Yahoo! PPC

Microsoft manages the search results and PPC advertising for both Bing and Yahoo! through its Microsoft AdCenter. In February, Bing had 13.6% market share for online search, and Yahoo! had 16.1%. Combined, the search engines represent 29.7% of all internet searches. It is worthwhile to advertise to 30% of your customer base, and the strategies used for Google PPC advertising will apply to Bing and Yahoo!.

In my experience, you will face less competition advertising with Bing and Yahoo!, for two reasons. 1. Fewer businesses think of devoting marketing resources to these search engines. 2.The Microsoft AdCenter is difficult to use, and its reporting is much less intuitive than Google’s.

Facebook PPC

Facebook is a relatively new player in the PPC advertising arena, and their approach is quite different from the search engines’ way of advertising. First of all, you don’t have to pay per click; you can pay per impression. Paying for impressions is more traditional marketing language, so I believe Facebook offers the option to make marketers more comfortable. PPC advertising is attractive because you only pay when someone shows interest in your ad – not just if it showed on the screen. Here are some other ways Facebook advertising is different:

  • Demographics instead of search. Facebook users aren’t searching for what they seek. Instead they list interests, post updates and engage in conversations. Facebook uses this demographic information to display ads they think might interest the user. Facebook allows advertisers quite a bit of granularity in choosing demographics like age, geographic location, sex and relationship status. Search engines simply don’t have all of this information.
  • Interests instead of keywords. With a search engine, finding perfect keywords is crucial to a successful PPC campaign. But with Facebook advertising, it’s all about likes and interests. As an advertiser, you identify the interests of the people you would like to reach, and Facebook makes suggestions, as shown in the picture below:
  • Facebook page instead of your website. You can send visitors to your Facebook page instead of your website.  I recommend creating and maintaining a page for your business if you are going to advertise on Facebook. Facebook users like to stay on the site, and you will receive more value from your ads if a visitor “likes” your page and receives your regular updates. It’s important to regularly update your business page, so people stay interested (but don’t update it too frequently, or people will “hide” you!). Many marketers might balk at sending visitors to their Facebook page instead of their website- don’t we want to increase our website stats? Website stats are important, but only because we hope to turn visitors into customers. The best way to turn Facebook users into customers is by engaging them on the site they visit every day.
  • Ads and pages have to be associated with a personal profile. You need to set up a profile in order to set up a business page in order to set up an ad directing people to that page. Don’t blame me for the complexity; blame Facebook.

Do you have more questions about PPC advertising online? Send me an email –