“Cat harnesses” – the importance of negative keywords and a few basic tips


Posted by TP 4th January 2013 Studio news

Studio news

We’ve all had times (especially with new campaigns), where you nip in to the recent keyword searches to see if you can exclude or add anything and you find an absolute gem of a negative keyword hidden amongst the rest.

Negative keywords allow your campaign to be as relevant and as specific as possible, through disabling your ad to appear when that keyword is contained in the Google search query.

We’ve had a little look through our negative keyword history and picked out a couple of our favourites…

Cat Harness “anti fall cat balcony harness”

At Clickoo we deal with a leading company in work environment protection equipment including, you guessed it, safety harnesses. As much as we would love to be able to save all those poor kitties from an accident involving a balcony, the client was paying for clicks relating to something they do not sell. As much as you can try and predict what people may be searching for that you could exclude, sometimes such things never cross your mind until you see them in front of you!

“samurai mask”

The same company also sells breathing masks, and with a keyword in common, ‘samurai’ also seems to have slipped through the net here!
As cool as samurai gear may be, again here it is not ideal for the client to be paying for clicks which are never going to result in a sale.

As you can see, although providing a great talking point for the day, it is always worth having a look through your recent keyword searches periodically to filter out the irrelevant stuff – just because you don’t think of it doesn’t mean somebody else won’t!

Here are a few Clickoo basic tips for negative keywords and how to avoid spending too much on irrelevant searches:

  1.  The word ‘review’ does not really indicate that a Google search will result in a sale. As such, we remove these as they will impact negatively upon the cost/conversion rate.
  2.  No doubt you’ve already seen the amount of hilarious auto-fill searches generated when you type in ‘who’, ‘why’, ‘where’ or ‘how’ into Google:

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 17.35.38

You will practically never find a relevant search including question words, as the user is most of the time looking for the answer to a very specific question.


“where do I fit a smoke detector”

This sort of search would generate an impression for a campaign advertising smoke detectors, and potentially a click.
We remove question words to save budget and to reduce cost/conversion rate.

Be intuitive. Try and predict searches that may generate an impression that will be linked but not be relevant.


You manage a campaign advertising hair extensions.
Potentially we may come across search terms such as ‘allergic reactions’, ‘shampoo’, ‘dye’ and ‘wig’.

Going through an agency allows you to be more proactive about your negative keyword lists, and allows you to optimise your campaigns to be as profitable as possible.

For those of you out there with existing campaigns and you think your ROI could be better, Clickoo are offering a FREE Campaign Healthcheck!

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