Day 6: Negative Keywords

Negative Keywords 101 – Stop Losing Money

As an affiliate marketer, you need to understand that testing and tweaking is the name of the game. Does the thought of losing money sound appealing?

If not, then you should definitely use the “negative keywords” feature AdWords puts at your disposal wisely.

Most people play the affiliate marketing game just like they play the lottery and that’s just plain wrong! Luck has absolutely nothing to do with anything and as any successful affiliate marketer will tell you, numbers talk.

All you have to do is listen.

The Basics
So what exactly are negative keywords all about?

Simply put: whenever you’re adding a negative keyword to your ad group, you’re practically telling Google not to display your ad when people search for that specific term.

Let’s assume that you’re bidding on broad matched keywords and use “magazines” as an example. By adding “-free” as a negative keyword, your ad will not appear when people search for terms that contain the word “free” (“free magazines”, “best free magazines” and so on).

Adding negative keywords is a piece of cake.

It’s just like adding regular keywords, the only exception is represented by the fact that you will be adding the character “-” in front of the negative keyword you want to eliminate from the equation.

Which Keywords to Eliminate?
There are basically two approaches: using your brain and testing.

First of all, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the conversions won’t exactly be spectacular if you want people to buy your product and have ads that appear when people search for terms that contain the word “free”.

People who are using the word “free” are far less likely to buy something and the same thing goes for all sorts of other terms. In this case, common sense and a notepad document are the only ingredients you need.

There are, however, situations when you have to do more than just use your brain in order to figure out which keywords you need to eliminate.

Testing is your only option. If you suspect that certain keywords aren’t performing well and want to know for sure, all you need to do is add them as negative keywords and then create a separate ad group for them.

Track absolutely everything, take advantage of incredible tools such as Bevo Media Tracker.

People used to pay a lot of money for custom-made tools back in the day but nowadays, you can take tracking to the next level tools without having to pay much!

Eliminating Profitable Keywords?
While it may sound strange, eliminating profitable keywords is unfortunately a part of the game if your budget is limited.

Let’s assume that you’re seeing a 150% ROI from keyword A and a 450% ROI from keyword B, both of them with a lot of volume. Let’s also assume that you’re paying $2/click and have a budget of only $15,000.

A lot of affiliate marketers are dealing with such situations and eliminating keyword A is the only logical thing to do.

If you have enough money at your disposal to milk both keywords to the maximum, even better! If not, you have to focus on the most profitable one.

If, on the other hand, you have let’s say one keyword with a 150% ROI and another one with a 180% ROI, you should think things through carefully.

Do you have enough data to be certain be certain that dropping the 150% one is a good idea?

450% vs. 150% is one thing, 150% vs. 180% represents a totally different situation and things are no longer obvious.

It all boils down to understanding that affiliate marketing represents…

An Exact Science AND an Art
On the one hand, data is your most important ally but on the other hand, you’ll have to go with your gut feeling every now and then.

Experience and imagination are two extremely important factors which make it obvious that affiliate marketing is an art as well.

It’s impossible to make a lot of money via AdWords Search if you’re not able to find and eliminate negative keywords. At the end of the day, it’s really not all that complicated once you get the hang of things.

There’s obviously more to being a successful affiliate marketer than just mastering negative keywords, but let’s take it one step at a time.

This is probably one of the most important and at the same time easiest affiliate marketing lessons out there: be sure to keep that in mind!

In our next email to you, we’ll show you how to write killer ad copy. Stay tuned for Day 7…

Until then,

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