Negative Keywords: Your Search Marketing Trump Card

In today’s digital marketing world, everything revolves around keywords and “getting found.” Search engines run the Internet, making it all the more important to show up in search results.

There are two ways to show up in Google search results: organic search and paid search. While there are a lot of factors that affect how you rank organically on Google, paid search is very cut and dry.

Google uses an “ad auction” bidding system for paid search called AdWords. You bid on certain keywords, so that you show up at the top when someone searches for those terms. But while everyone is optimizing their AdWords account with keywords related to their products, not as many people are optimizing for negative keywords.

Negative keywords tell Google which search queries are not relevant to your business. As a result, you don’t rack up ad impressions for irrelevant searches.

For example, let’s say you’re an orthodontist. You obviously don’t want to show up for “general dentist” searches; negative keywords prevent that from happening.

The same principle also applies to phrases. If you’re an orthodontist in Miami, you can add “orthodontists in New York” and other irrelevant phrases to your list.

Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner can help you pick the best negative keywords. When you search for a term such as “orthodontist in Miami,” you’ll see a list of related keyword searches along with some data on their search volume and competition. If you see words on the list that don’t apply to your products or services, you should strongly consider adding them to your negative keyword list.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a chess match that can cost you a lot of money if done incorrectly. Luckily, there are a lot of tools that can get you in front of the right people – and away from the wrong people.

For more information on setting up effective SEM campaigns, contact Wax Custom Communications today at 305-350-5700 or visit

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