AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerHere’s the Negative News on Keywords

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Here’s the Negative News on Keywords

Some people always want to be positive, but in electrons and in keywords, negative goes a long way. I’m sure you’ve heard of keywords. Keywords are the words and phrases that make your content findable by search engines. Negative keywords help you not be found by search engines.

Customer service evaluation survey with smiley faces and pen.

According to Instapage, “Negative keywords are specific words or phrases that prevent ads from being displayed to anyone who is searching for that keyword.” Since you are paying for your keyword clicks, you don’t want someone clicking on your ad and then immediately bouncing out because they were not looking for what you offer.

For example, lets say you sell maintenance software. You don’t want to attract people who are searching for “free maintenance software.” They don’t want to pay. So why waste the clicks and money on them?

Think of a used car dealer; she may not want to use “new” car sales as a keyword phrase, even though it will generate a lot of clicks. It won’t be the right audience for which she is looking.

By assigning negative keywords, your campaigns can be more focused to search queries and then more successful. It is all about relevance. Sometimes you just have to go negative to build ROI.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.