Think Negative and Make Those Clicks Count


Are you overemphasizing the positive when building keyword strategies? Quite possibly. It’s entirely understandable. Every brand strives to identify the power keywords, those gems designed to increase visibility and boost rankings. After all, the closer to the top, the more likely to be seen and clicked. The problem is, during any search query, your brand could get found for the wrong reason.

How can this be? Getting discovered is the prime objective in the SEO world, isn’t it? Not always. Example: let’s say you’re a retailer of fine cheeses, which you generously make available in both the imported and domestic varieties. Your business has just launched a Pay-Per-Click campaign promoting its best domestic stock. Therefore, you want to remain cleanly off the radar of gourmets combing the words ‘imported’ and ‘fine cheeses’ during searches. These are persons of non-interest.

The solution? Designate ‘imported’ a negative keyword. Once the designation is established, you’ll be invisible to the import searchers. Repeat this process for all other keywords that should be separate from your main search phrase.

How is the negativity achieved? Google makes it easy with a built-in tool. Simply go to engine’s Keyword Planner and choose ‘Keywords and Targeting’. A few simple steps later, your negative keyword(s) will be tucked away and blocked from search results via Google technology. You’ll be a no-show to anyone using that restricted term.

Negative keywords have a twofold purpose. First, they improve search result accuracy, limiting visibility to only those phrases considered relevant to your campaign. Second, by narrowing down searchers in a Pay-Per-Click campaign, the designation is an effective cost cutter. Brands aren’t left footing the bill for hundreds of wasted clicks. All in all, excellent reasons to embrace the negativity.

If you have questions or comments about implementing negative keywords, or any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way. You can connect with the Young Company team at 949-376-8404 or And be sure to follow us for the latest brand marketing news and tips.