You set up your first campaigns on AdWords. You researched all the different options. You avoided the pitfall of AdWords Express and you launch your campaign.
You are selling Widgets. The finest Widgets in the industry. You read all the blog posts and know everything there is to know about how to choose the top keywords related to your Widgets.
Your ad copy is great, your call to actions are on point, and from all your research you are pretty sure you will place near the top.
Then something happens:
A month goes by and you aren't getting as many good leads as you thought you should be getting. You go in and look at your campaigns and everything looks right. You are getting a good number of clicks. People just aren't buying like you thought they would.
Perplexed you click on the little button labeled Search Terms.
There are searches for "blue widgets", "red widgets near me", "widgets for sale", etc. Further down the page, you start seeing "cheap widgets", "how to make your own widgets", "free widgets", etc.
You have just made an expensive mistake, but an incredibly common one. You didn't set any negative keywords.
Negative keywords are keywords you don't want your ads to show for. Some keywords you should add to all of your campaigns if you're selling a service are:
If you're selling a product:
There are many others but those are good safe words to block right from the start. The goal is to avoid price shoppers so you don't spend money on people who are not looking to buy. Some you won't know until it's too late.
If you are advertising for a restoration company who cleans up smoke damage. You may not know to add "smoking" to your negative keywords, until you get a search for "how does smoking affect your body."
In this case, you should probably add smoking as a negative keyword and maybe consider changing smoke damage to an exact match or more restrictive match type. You probably just fell victim to broad match and now you are paying $5 for someone who wasn't even looking for your services.
Now that you've set up some negative keywords and are stopping unwanted clicks from people who aren't even looking for what your selling. It's time to go over to campaigns and then demographics.
Look at age and gender. If you own a business that primarily caters to women it may be a good idea to narrow and target your advertising to women.
Or take a look at how old your average conversion is. Some will be Unknown, but there can be some interesting and useful insights. For instance, if it costs $20 to convert a 34-year-old at 12%, but $12 to convert a 60-year-old at 34% CTR.
Armed with this info, you can adjust your bid to increase when dealing with the younger harder to convert demographic. This may not always be a good idea. But, since you know it's cheaper to convert the 60-year-old you can divert that budget to the harder to convert customer and increase your conversions all around.
Or go the opposite direction. Reduce the bid for the harder to convert audience so your ad moves further down the page. That way you are more likely to only get noticed by those who are really interested in your products or services and are actually reading the copy on the search results.
You don't want to pay for people who are just clicking on the top of the page.
Where does your customer live? If you are selling in a particular city you need to limit the locations where your ads will show.
By default, your ads will try to show to the whole US. This is a costly mistake. You will be amazed how fast you can blow through your daily budget by advertising to the entire country when you only work in a small area.
To set this up go to your Campaign and then settings. Then Locations. Enter the location you want to advertise in. Zip code, city, county, state, etc. Don't forget to save your selection.
These are just a few of the options you have to narrow your audience and start attracting more serious buyers. Let us know if you have questions. We'd love to help.