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When it comes to a paid search (PPC) campaign, it’s not just important to make sure that your ads are seen. It’s important to make sure that they’re seen by the right people. Your goal is to ensure that the people who see and click on your ads are likely to connect with you and take action. Using negative keywords is an important way to do help optimize your campaign.

What are PPC “negative” keywords?

A negative keyword is a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase.

Depending on where your PPC ads are running, the negative keywords that you choose tell Google or Bing not to show your ad to anyone who is searching for that phrase.

For example, if you add “bachelor” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you’re telling Google (or Bing) not to show your ad for any search term containing “bachelor.” You might want to do this if your campaign was focused on PPC ads for a particular graduate degree program, for example.

Or, if you add “online” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you’re telling Google (or Bing) not to show your ad for any search term containing “online.” You might want to do this if your campaign is focused on an MBA that is not offered online, but strictly on-campus.

Why should PPC “negative” keywords be used?

Negative keywords are an important part of every campaign because they help make sure your ads only appear to people looking for exactly what you’re offering. This added level control can help you filter out unwanted impressions, increase your clickthrough rate (CTR), reduce your average cost-per-click (CPC), and increase your ROI.

At Elliance, negative keyword research is an ongoing process throughout our PPC campaign cycles. We’re constantly combing through analytics data to evaluate actual searched queries, and whether or not these are right fit. If you haven’t considered negative keywords already, you may want to do the same.

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