How to Use Negative Keywords in PPC with @ogletree #vcbuzz

How to Use Negative Keywords in PPC with @ogletree #vcbuzz

PPC is one of the most effective ways to get traffic.

It is intent-based (unlike social media ads) and fast (unlike SEO).

Yet, too many businesses don’t understand how to use it correctly without investing too much money and are not seeing great results.

Using negative keywords is by far the most effective way to make your PPC ads less expensive and more effective. Here’s how!

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About @ogletree

David Ogletree @ogletree is the director of paid search at WrightIMC, a Dallas-based full-service digital marketing agency.

He is a full-stack marketer and has worked in every stage of the online marketing process for more than 25 years at agencies and as an independent contractor on small local businesses to Fortune 500 companies selling services and products.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I started working in IT back in 1997. In 2003 my company asked me to figure out how websites ranked in search engines. I joined Webmasterworld & spent a lot of time learning SEO. IT was starting to get boring and marketing was so much more interesting.

I saw they had a conference called Pubcon & the next one was in London, so I got a ticket and went to London. I met lots of cool people that are still friends today. I decided that digital marketing was for me and never looked back.

Before I did IT I used to train blind people how to use computers for the state of TX.

For those who do not know I am legally blind. I normally use a white came when I go to conferences.

Q2 To someone who isn’t a professional PPC expert, please explain what negative keywords are?

In short they block your ads from showing for search queries that you do not want to show up for. In Paid Search you enter phrases that you want to rank for.

The search engines will show your ads for those phrases, but they will show them for lots of other phrases that are like the phrase you entered.

Sometimes this is good, but when it is not you need to enter negative keywords to block your ad from showing for search queries that you don’t want to pay for.

I mostly use Phrase Match. Exact match is good when you have terms that get a lot of traffic. Google can charge you more for using exact. I only use exact when I need a different bid than phrase.

Q3 What is the first step in starting to utilize negative keywords in your PPC strategy?

The best strategy is to be proactive & find keywords to add. Use the Google Ads keyword Planner & other 3rd party tools to find keywords that might come up when people search the keywords you want to bid on.

Do a search for general negative keyword lists and industry specific keyword lists. Don’t just use a list without going through it. Don’t add negative keywords unless you’re positive it is something you don’t want to bid on.

For example if you sell shoes but not boots. It is easy to block good keywords that look like bad keywords.

If you already have an active campaign you would constantly monitor your search query reports and use N-gram tools.

If you have not seen it I wrote about some detailed ways to use negative keywords at SEL.

There are lots of reasons to use negative keywords. As @MontseCano said you can use them in regards to your reputation. Other ways are things you don’t do or get rid of keywords that are not converting.

N-gram tools give you data on specific keywords or phrases that are in your search queries. For example it can give you stats for all search queries that included the word “red” or “large red” I use Adalysis for that

Q4 Can a PPC strategy be handled in-house or does it require a professional?

It is best to use a professional. It can be done in-house, but you would want to make sure that person has had training & periodic audits. This person should also be given enough time to manage the account.

No matter who manages a PPC account a company owner should be paying attention to how the account is performing. A company owner should always know their numbers. I have to train company owners all the time about what they should be watching.

Things to know are: What is your profit margin? What is the lifetime value of a customer?, What is your true cost per acquisition (CPA), which factors in lifetime value, advertising costs, advertising management costs? Are you correctly tracking everything?

A professional with years of experience is going to catch things a less experienced person may not. I have spent years making mistakes and learning from them.

Q5 What are your favorite PPC tools?

I use Adalysis, SEM Rush, Excel and Google Ads Editor.

I am a programmer so I write my own stuff in PHP or Google Ads scripts. I wrote my own tool to manage Shopping Feeds because I didn’t see the point in paying a high monthly fee for a service.

I constantly think outside the box & I’m able to solve problems no one else could because of that. If I can’t do something the normal way I don’t stop until I have thought of all the weird ways I could do it.

Our previous PPC chats:


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