What are negative keywords in terms of search engine optimization? In a short answer, these are keywords that you can choose to not allow them to lead back to your website. So, when somebody searches for that word or words, your advertisement or website will not appear in the search results. Essentially, negative keywords further filter who will be seeing what you put out on the internet.
What is SEO?
First off, we need to understand what search engine optimization, or SEO, means. This is the process in which you give your website the best chance of being found on the internet. When people search for products or services your company provides, you want your website to be one of the first ones to pop up. This is achieved by making sure your website is optimized for those search results. Some of the ways to accomplish search engine optimization are to focus on keywords for your website that people will search for when they want to find your type of product or service. Another method is to have the correct headings and page length for your web pages. All of these methods and more will increase the visibility of your website, and bring it more web traffic.
What are Keywords?
Next, we want to clearly define what keywords are. These are words you want to focus on using repeatedly on your website, so when people search for them, your website will pop up. Say for example you run a dog grooming service. Some keywords you may want to focus on on your website would be dog, grooming, bath, salon, and other words associated with dogs and grooming. By having those words used throughout the pages on your website, people will be more likely to have your website pop up when searching for a dog grooming service. It is important to understand keywords, because we are going to be discussing the opposite of them throughout this article.
As we have previously discussed, keywords that are negative are the opposite of regular keywords. A keyword that is negative means that when that word is typed into a search bar, your website and web pages will not appear when it is searched for. Using these keywords are important, as you can filter out who can view your website for the incorrect purpose.
Negative keywords can be beneficial in making sure your advertisements do not pop up everywhere and annoy or bore people. By making sure your advertisements and website appear only in relevant situations, you can make sure people who are actually interested in your products and services are the ones seeing your company. For instance, if you make the keyword free into a negative one, then when people type in the word free as an adjective, then nothing from your company will appear in the search results. Choosing which keywords you want to be negative is important for building a negative keyword list, which will be discussed later on in this article.
How to Find Negative Keywords
So how do you choose which keywords you will make negative? You can start by using Google’s Keyword Planner. Normally, this planner helps you choose which keywords to use, and which ones to exclude. But by typing in keywords that can be related to your website, you can use that list to find out which keywords should be negative. From that list, you can decide which keywords should not be directed to your website, thus making them negative keywords.
Another method for finding any potential negative keywords is by using the Google Ads search term report, or just simply using the search bar. Both of these options show you what people are searching for the most, and what keywords they are using in those searches. The Google ads search term can let you see the conversion rate for keywords. This makes it easier to choose which to exclude. And by simply typing keywords into a Google search, you can see what pops up that is informational and not a sales opportunity, allowing you to avoid those words that lead to informative websites. This can allow you to focus only on words that people use when trying to buy a product or service. Finding out which keywords to make negative is an important part in learning what exactly are negative keywords.
Negative Keywords List
So now that you have found some negative keywords, you would now want to make a comprehensive list of your negative keywords. After compiling a list of any keyword you may want to be negative, you can then go through that list and try to build off of it. Be creative in thinking of what other keywords would not relate to your website. This can mean considering all of the possibilities of people searching for anything remotely related to your goods and services.
Going back to the dog grooming service example, even though showers, razors, and tweezers are all a part of grooming, you would not want your website appearing when those topics are searched for. This is because your company does not sell or manufacture any of them, you may just use them in your work. This would be the start of building a negative keywords list.
After initially getting a list of words that you want your website to avoid, then break that list down even more. This is a great way to think of any words that may somehow relate to your website or advertisements, even though they are not what you do. For instance, if you run a tire company, even though tires and cars are closely related, you would not want somebody who is searching for cars to find your website. This is a great way to save money. It means you will not waste clicks on advertisements for people looking for the wrong thing. Or, not clicking on your ad or website because it is irrelevant, harming your conversion rate. Negative keywords are also cheaper to bid on then regular ones, meaning having a large negative keywords list can save you money in the long run.
As for what are negative keywords, we now need to focus on the match types. Knowing which match types do what is important for building a negative keywords list. The three match types are exact match, phrase match, and broad match. An exact match means that the keyword that is negative will not lead to your website or advertisement only if it is typed in exactly as is. This means if razor is searched, it will not lead back to your website. A phrase match means that the razor will not show up in a situation such as where can I buy a razor. It may lead to the dog grooming website if one asks how to use a razor or another sentence along those lines, but for any transactional questions, it will not. Broad match means that any instance of the word razor in any sentence will insure your dog grooming website will not appear. Learning how to use these match types is essential in building a negative keywords list.
Negative Keyword Generator
Learning how to utilize a keyword generator is an important step in understanding what negative keywords are. A negative keyword generator is a great tool in determining which keywords you should make negative. You can see what words your competitors are using as keywords that are negative. This is a great starting point in formulating your own strategy for keywords and negative keywords. Most of these negative keyword generator services cost money, but it will be money well spent for your company. This software will do a lot of the work for you. It determines for you what your negative keywords are. By gaining access to your competitor’s strategies, you are essentially building up a list of negative keywords.
A negative keyword generator may cost a decent amount of money. However, it will also save you a ton from people unnecessarily clicking on your advertisements and website. In the long run, it could prove to be a very cost effective strategy for your business. It will also save you lots of time doing the research yourself. It will not require you to constantly ensure your research is up to date. The generator will do it for you. A negative keyword generator is a great way to create a large negative keyword list. Then, you can easily apply that list to your website and advertisements.
Get Help with SEO at SEO Design Chicago
So now we have an answer to what negative keywords are in a search engine optimization sense. Learning how to utilize keywords that are negative is just as important as learning about regular keywords. They both are incredibly cost effective ways at maximizing your online campaigns and website. Do you still have questions? For more help with keywords and search engine optimization, contact us at SEO Design Chicago. We provide a variety of SEO and keyword research services.