In less than a year, we have seen significant shifts in search trends and online behavior that no one could have predicted. With approximately 100,000 businesses permanently closed and thousands more still temporarily closed or limited due to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s understandable that business owners need to trim – or even eliminate – their marketing budgets to stay afloat.

While it’s simply not an option for many businesses to have a digital marketing budget, those that can manage to keep a few campaigns running should. And, with a few smart strategies, those businesses staying present online are sure to stay ahead of competitors and be in a better position to profit in 2021. Whether your business’s marketing budget is large or small, the best thing you can do to optimize your campaigns is to spend your budget on what you know is working and aggressively eliminate anything that likely won’t lead to results.

How Can Negative Keywords Help Businesses Save Money on Marketing?

Over the last nine months, our team has seen an increase in search queries containing terms like “stimulus”, “essential”, and the names of political leaders and medical experts. While these searches are certainly relevant to citizens looking for information about health and safety, financial security, and other news, they are not relevant searches for many advertisers.

When a business runs a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to target keywords that people use when searching for that business’s products or services. If your ad shows for queries that do not match what you are trying to target, that can lead to lower click-through rates and poor quality scores. When you factor in a global pandemic, presidential election, and a civil rights movement, you are more likely to see irrelevant searches sneak through. So, how do you stop your ads from showing on these queries?

If a search query contains something that your business does not sell or offer, you can add that search – along with any variations that might lead to similar results – to your negative keywords list. This will then prevent your ads from appearing as a result of those keywords. If your ad does not show for those keywords, then that is money spent on relevant searches and not on miscellaneous queries.

Any term that is not relevant to your business and your goals should be added to your negative keywords list immediately. While we can’t tell you exactly what you should and should not include on your negative keyword list, we have compiled keywords that many businesses will want to avoid, or that most platforms, like Google, do not even allow advertisements for. Even if you have not seen some of these terms in your search query reports, we recommend adding them to your negative keywords list in order to guarantee your budget is protected. Recent updates to Google’s search query reports make it difficult to view all of the actual queries, even if they cost you money.

After updating your negative keywords list, be sure to continuously keep a close eye on search query reports, keywords, and negative keywords. Whenever you or your marketing team discover queries that are not relevant, make it a habit to add those to your negative keywords list.

Terms to Add to Your Negative Keywords List

covid
covid-19
covid19
covid 19
corona
coronavirus
corona virus
essential
essential business
stimulus
stimulus check
trump
president trump
donald trump
president donald trump
biden
joe biden
pence
harris
fauci
dr fauci
drfauci
dr.fauci
doctor fauci
ppe
personal protective equipment
protest
fires
bubble

What terms do you recommend adding to our negative keywords lists? Let us know on Twitter!

Founded in 2010, Click Control Marketing helps business owners grow their revenue through the use of paid search, social media marketing, and web development. With our full suite of digital marketing services and dedicated team, we provide only excellence when researching testing, and implementing strategies for our clients.