200+ Negative Keywords for B2B PPC Campaigns ~ Search Marketing and Internet Marketing Blog Online

200+ Negative Keywords for B2B PPC Campaigns


If you are a B2B pay per click advertiser this is a must read! Actually, even folks reaching the B2C market can surely pull some ideas from this list as well. As a paid search engine advertiser, I use negative keywords extensively in my Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns and/or Ad Groups to weed out unwanted clicks and an un-targeted audience.

Negative keywords are words and phrases that you do not want searchers to associate with your products and services (see Google’s AdWords blog for some high-level information on this topic).

When you add negative keywords to your PPC campaigns your ads will not be served if those words are part of the user’s search query.

Not only does this benefit you by directly saving money on wasted clicks, it also improves the click through rate (CTR) of your keywords/ads, which helps improve your ad quality scores in Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Improved quality scores can help you with bidding strategies by allowing you to bid less than a competitor and maintain a high/higher ad positions on a search results page.

Andy Komack, through 6 years of pay per click advertising, has put together quite an impressive list of negative keywords for various types of B2B search marketing campaigns and I have found this list to be an extremely important tool in building my own campaigns.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and each company has its own unique market positioning. So, do not use this list of negative keywords indiscriminately!!! The list of B2B negative keywords below is meant to be a resource for you, and a starting point when you are deciding which words you do not want associated with your ads.

Avoiding Job Seekers
Prevent your ads from appearing for common employment and career-related searches:

career
careers
employment
hiring
intern
interns
internship
internships
job
jobs
recruiter
recruiting
resume
resumes
salaries
salary

Reference Keywords
Don’t waste money on people looking for information that is only loosely related to your products/services or industry:

about
definition
diagram
example
examples
history
map
maps
sample
samples
what are
what is

No Research & Stats
Assuming you have a limited advertising budget, avoid people doing research, and make sure your are using your advertising $$ to generate sales and qualified leads:

association
associations
book
books
case studies
case study
guide
guides
journal
journals
magazine
magazines
metrics
news
research
review
reviews
statistics
stats
success stories
success story
tutorial
tutorials
white paper
white papers

We Don’t Provide Education
Prevent your ads from being shown to people looking for classes and education:

class
classes
college
colleges
course
courses
education
school
schools
training
universities
university

No Bargains
These negative keywords will help if you are positioned as a premium provider. If you do want visitors for these keyword concepts, create an additional campaign or ad group to focus on these discount concepts, and specifically bid on keywords that contain these words. And then make sure to add this list of negative keywords to the campaigns or ad groups that do not target the discount audience:

bargain
cheap
clearance
close out
close outs
closeout
closeouts
discount
discounted
free
inexpensive
liquidation
odd lots
overstock
remainder
remainders

Avoiding Price Shoppers
You may want visitors to your site looking for pricing and/or quotes, but if not, make sure to add in these words as negative keywords to avoid prospects who may be more concerned with price than with quality or service:

price
prices
pricing
quote
quotes

Avoiding DIY
In many industries there are “do-it-yourselfers” or hobbyists who are searching for information on how to take on a project themselves. It’s a good idea to screen out this audience if you do not cater to it:

craft
crafts
create
creating
hand made
handmade
home
homemade
how to
make
making

Selling Commercial Software
This is a tricky one. If you are a company selling commercial or enterprise software, a) you are likely to want to avoid the thousands of software developers who are looking for free resources, and b) you want to avoid confusion with consumers looking for tools and home-use products. Use this list as a starting point, but also brainstorm and use keyword suggestion tools to find potential negative keywords that are specific to your software space:

burn
burner
cd
code
community
desktop
developer
developers
disk
download (if you don’t have one)
downloads (if you don’t have any)
dvd
error
file
files
forum
free
freeware
game
games
gnu
hack
hacks
libraries
library
microsoft ( :) )
open source
public domain
retail
retail
retailer
retailers
shareware
shortcut
shortcuts
template
templates
tip
tips
video
windows

Manufacturing & Industrial
This is a very broad list of words, covering many different concepts related to manufacturing and industrial companies. Use this list to start the process of generating negative keywords specific to your industry, product lines, and business model.

antique
consumer
export
exporter
exporters
hobby
import
importer
importers
measurement
model
models
regulations
rent
rental
repair
repairs
retail
retailer
retailers
rules
safety
specifications
specs
standards
store
toy
toys
used
vintage

Product Materials
Obviously not all of these materials will apply to one business. I created this list of product materials as a reminder to screen out searches for product types that a company does not offer. One might wonder if it is OK to not screen for these in the hopes that someone will search for one type of product, but be convinced to buy a different type once they see what is available. Most B2B marketers have limited PPC budgets, so usually it is a better idea to only show your ads to people who don’t have a specific alternative to your products already in mind:

aluminum
ceramic
cotton
fabric
glass
gold
iron
leather
metal
paper
plastic
rubber
silver
stainless steel
steel
stone
vinyl
wood

Legal/Law
It is probably a good idea to prevent your ads from being shown to people looking for information related to legislation and regulations. There will be cases where this might not apply, especially if your product/service solves a regulatory/compliance issue (and if you have a landing page on your site that speaks to the legal issue AND provides a conversion action right there on the page):

act
act of
compliance
law
laws
legal
legislation
regulation
regulations

Other Negative Keywords B2B Marketers May Consider
Here are just a few more words that seem to come up in B2B search advertising campaigns…

club
clubs
consultants
consulting
gift
gifts
online
photo
photograph
photographs
picture
pictures
send
sending

Remember, the list above is not comprehensive, and does not apply to all B2B marketers.

While you're at it, check out this free trial for Market Samurai - it truely is one of the best keyword research tools available!

5 comments:

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