Google AdWords: Using Ad Groups, Negative Keywords, and Bidding on Your Brand

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Google AdWords: Using Ad Groups, Negative Keywords, and Bidding on Your Brand

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Written by Houston Golden
February 27, 2017
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Most Google AdWords beginners lose big. Do you know why?

It’s complicated to optimize your campaigns, and the interface doesn’t make it any easier. With that said, a couple of tips can make all the difference. And with 40,000 Google search queries every second on average, there’s a lot of money to be made with Google AdWords. This is one opportunity you don’t want to miss.

To take advantage of this opportunity, you need to optimize your ad groups, insert negative keywords, and fight your competitors when bidding on your brand:

Streamline Keywords with Copy

The most common mistake I see with Google AdWords is not using ad groups to streamline copy with keywords. Rather than streamline, people will put all their keywords under one ad group containing one ad. This mistake costs companies millions of dollars every year.

Your Google ads should always match the keyword searched. In fact, the closer the ad copy is to the keyword the higher quality score you’ll receive resulting in a lower cost per conversion and a better ad position.

BAMF Article Google AdWords Article Image

If you don’t break up your Google AdWords campaigns with streamlined copy and ads, then you can’t advertise for features and different lines of products. For example, if the retail chain, REI, included all their keywords under generic ad copy such as “Buy Outdoor Gear” rather than having ads matching the individual REI products people search for, then they’d lose a lot of money. Imagine searching “rei tents” to then see an REI ad saying “Buy Outdoor Gear.” It’s enticing, but not specific.

Good thing REI break ups their keywords to match the copy of their ads:

BAMF Article Google AdWords Article Image

To keep your Google AdWords campaigns in check, I would avoid using more than fifteen keywords per an ad group. And as a rule of thumb, never add Google AdWords’ keyword suggestions to your ad group without doing research. Most of the time, the keywords they suggest will hurt your ROI.

Insert Negative Keywords

Negative keywords ensure your ads get shown to people who search with the most relevant intent. Moreover, they help you save money by narrowing your focus on only quality searches.

Here’s an example:

You’re selling yoga mats, so you decide to bid on the keyword “mats.” As a result, your ad shows up next to Bed Bath & Beyond’s advertisement for doormats. If someone searches “mats,” then sees your ad and clicks on it, it will drive up your Google AdWords bill even though they have zero intention of purchasing.

To remedy this issue, you want to add negative keywords to the campaign level. This means your campaign won’t show any of your ads to those keywords. You can also add negative keywords to the ad group level, so ads under that ad group won’t show for those keywords.

BAMF Article Google AdWords Article Image

To get more specific on your negative keyword targeting, you want to pair your keywords with broad match,  exact match, or phrase match.

BAMF Article Google AdWords Article Image

A broad negative match means your ads won’t show on searches that include your negative keywords as misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations. For example, if the negative keyword is “hiking boots,” then any search containing “hiking” or “boots” won’t trigger your ads.

A phrase negative match means your ads won’t show on searches that include your keywords, and close variations of those keywords. For example, if the negative keyword is “hiking boots,” then any search with the keywords intact will not show your ads such as “where can I buy hiking boots.”

An exact negative match means your ads won’t show on searches that include only those exact keywords. For example, if the negative keyword is “hiking boots,” then any exact search with those exact keywords will not trigger your ads.

Bid on Your Own  Brand

People think because they have great website SEO, they don’t need to advertise using branded keywords. Big mistake.

If you don’t advertise for your branded keywords, then competitors will steal your traffic. They’ll not only do this for your company name but for the features of your product, too.

Even if you rank first organically, a competitor can advertise right above your organic result. A perfect example is the email marketing and onboarding software company, Autopilot. Notice how Intercom is trying to steal their traffic. Because Autopilot knows this, they bid on their branded keywords to ensure they remain the first result:

BAMF Article Google AdWords Article Image

When it comes to bidding on branded keywords, it’s common practice to spend more because people who organically search for your company are high-quality visitors; therefore, more likely to convert.

With these three Google AdWords tactics, you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll with your campaigns. It takes time to optimize at each step, but it’s worth it because if you don’t do it, your competitor will.

 

 

 

About the Author

The name’s Houston Golden. I’m the Founder & CEO of BAMF ― a company I’ve grown from $0 (yes, really) to well over $4M in revenue over a span of 3 years.
How did I do it? Well, it’s quite simple, really. I’ve helped hundreds of business owners and executives get major traction (because when they win, we win). I tell you how on this blog.
Growth hacking is a state of mind. Follow along as I explore and expose the unknown growth strategies and tactics that will change the way you think about marketing.

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