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E135: Campaign Optimization – Hammering Negative Keywords

by Sean Boyce

When you launch a Google search ads campaign that’s going to rank for not just your keyword or phrase but options like it as well.  Some of them won’t be relevant to your B2B SaaS.  Let’s discuss how to further optimize your campaign to solve this problem with something called negative keywords.

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Episode Transcript
 Hey folks, Sean here, and today what I want to talk to you about is further optimizing your Google search ad campaigns with respect to negative keywords. Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I like Google search ads for attempting to validate as much as you can about your unique value proposition for your B2B SaaS, especially in the early days.

It is a relatively quick and cost effective way to see whether or not. You can cost effectively convert impressions to clicks to users and to customers. If you’re able to do that and you’re able to do that in a way that produces a positive return or even enables you to break even maybe on your first or second month’s, uh, volume of revenue, then you’ve got great traction.

And this can be positive momentum that you need in order to continue to grow and scale from here. It also set you up further than down the road to invest in. Content marketing and a whole bunch of other things that we’re gonna talk about as well. But for today’s episode, I want to talk about negative keywords.

Now, when I say negative keywords, what I mean is. After you set up a search campaign, what that’s ultimately gonna do is gonna require you to pick a keyword word or phrase. But you’re also gonna rank for other combinations that are similarly related to that keyword word or phrase. But not all of them are gonna be relevant, and this is where negative keywords come into play.

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So, for example, for my podcast show notes tool, that’s what I wanna rank for. I wanna rank for people looking for. Help creating show notes. What I don’t wanna rank for is people are looking for help starting a podcast because it’s not what my tool does, it doesn’t provide any value for those folks. So B, before I created essentially my negative keyword list in Google search ads, I was.

Ultimately getting traffic to my site, that was not as accurate as it could be. I was, people were finding me, I was getting impressions and sometimes even clicks, but that of which I was paying for related to that traffic in terms of what they were searching for, which isn’t relevant to my tool, was something that was zapping my budget.

So it was something that I was paying for, but I was never gonna get. Any results out of that? Definitely more than likely no usage or revenue. Once those people wound up on my site or saw my ad and didn’t click on it, uh, saw my site and realized that the tool doesn’t do anything for them. That is wasted budget.

So in order to optimize this, what you wanna do is you wanna hammer your negative keywords. And what I mean by that is you want to create a list of negative keywords that you want to continually update as you are going in there and and monitoring your ad campaign in terms of how well it’s performing, to make sure that you’re not ranking for any keywords that are not relevant to whatever it is your tool does.

Now this is gonna happen automatically, so you need to continually. Monitor to make sure that you’re not falling into this trap as well too, because it’s going to zap your budget and it’s only gonna be sending you bad traffic that you’re gonna have to pay for. So make sure you do your research on negative keywords and that you maintain that as you’re looking to further optimize your campaign, especially if this is one of your more effective channels, uh, and in the beginning when you’re trying to ultimately validate that unique value proposition.

This traffic could be really important because the more you optimize it, the the better it’s gonna perform.