We rarely see Google AdWords campaigns that are making use of this incredibly effective technique to boost AdWords profitability. It’s not difficult and is so easily overlooked.

Do you know the exact search phrases that people are searching on that are triggering your ads?

Not your keywords that you are bidding on, but the actual search term. For example, you may be bidding on “courier Sydney” but the actual search term triggering your ad could be “overnight courier Sydney to Brisbane” or maybe “bicycle courier Sydney”.

This is incredibly powerful information. And unless you enjoy setting fire to your money, it needs to be acted on!

If you were getting lots of searches on “overnight courier service”, you should add that as a new keyword (with variations) in a separate ad group, and write new ad copy focused just on that phrase, explaining why you’re the best overnight courier service on the planet.

You could also create a new web page that talks specifically about this service and its benefits. It goes without saying that you should be sending this ad group’s traffic directly to this page (not to your home page).

Perhaps you don’t offer “bicycle courier” services, but people are clicking your ad thinking you may offer this service. Wasted Clicks = Wasted Cash = Not Much Fun

There are also people searching for “bicycle courier” services but who are reading your ad and seeing that you don’t offer these services, and are not clicking the ad. You may think this is ok as you haven’t paid for the click.

That is true. However, for every time your ad makes an impression, and doesn’t get clicked you’re hurting your click-through rate (ie Clicks/Impressions). Lower click-through rates decrease your Quality Score. Lower Quality Scores increase your costs (a topic for another blog post).

So, all in all, it really pays to stop your ads showing for these irrelevant search terms. You need to add “bicycle” as a negative keyword.

This stops any search term that includes “bicycle” from triggering an ad. (Click the <KEYWORD> tab in the main Google AdWords console, then scroll right to the bottom, and click the blue hyperlink named – funnily enough – “Negative Keywords”.)

A quick recap of this great strategy:

Step 1: Run the Search Query Report in the Google AdWords reporting tab

Step 2: Identify the new (relevant) keywords that you’re not bidding on

Step 3: Create new ad groups & ad copy for these new keywords

Step 4: Identify keywords you do not want your ad to show, and add them as negative keywords.

If this article has been useful, or you have a question, we would love to know.

Browse through our Google Adwords services to learn about our management and training solutions.

By Philip Shaw


Stay In The Know


Cut the clutter and stay on top of important news like this. We handpick the single most noteworthy news of the week and send it directly to subscribers. Join the club to stay in the know…

1 Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *