The top 10 categories that may be considered negatives to your business are (in no particular order):
- Santa’s Workshop, now while most websites may want to use the name Santa in their ads, they may not have anything on their site that would support that term itself so bidding on it may not be the best strategy. Terms could include things like the name Santa, or elves, or the north pole.
- Education, this would include terms like Christmas history, the meaning of Christmas, facts, traditions, and so on.
- Media, this could be searches like Christmas music, lyrics, movies, dvd’s, films, radio etc.
- Food, anything from Christmas dinner, recipes, crackers and cookie exchanges.
- Clothing, queries like Christmas aprons, socks, sweaters, ties.
- Décor, here we saw everything from Christmas trees, centerpieces, to napkins, to wreaths, angels, ornaments and more.
- Toys & Activities, things like crafts, games, colouring pages that kind of thing
- The Written Word, people searching for things like Christmas poems, bible verses, cards, greetings, jokes and so on.
- Travel & Events, anything from Sante Fe to the Rockette’s was found in this category.
- A mish mash Other Category, which would include Brand names, personalized gifts, funny gifts to norad.
Here’s the complete list of Negative Keywords For Christmas Search Campaigns. Hopefully you’ll find them useful.
The reason I put this together is that in last week’s episode of Marketing Geeks I talked about Boxing Day searches in Canada. After we launched the episode I received a lot of great feedback and was asked by a few people if I could explore searches around Christmas. So that’s what I did.
Every year my clients will want to run a campaign around Christmas terms that will reach people who are looking for ideas of what to buy for their loved ones. In these campaigns we’ll target keywords like “Christmas gift ideas”, “cool Christmas gifts”, that kind of thing. but choosing and bidding on the terms you want your ads to show for is not enough.
When we look at unrefined queries around the Christmas theme we find that it generated 218,436,550 searches in December 2010 alone, which is a huge number and when there’s that much opportunity most marketers will want to be present. But trying to target all of these searches is likely to lower your click through rate and increase the cost per click.
In the past I’ve talked about negative keywords and this is a situation that demands them. Some of you may not know what negative keywords are so let me quickly explain what they are.
Negative keywords are keywords that you place in your paid search campaigns that act as stop words. Every AdWords campaign should include them because you’ll want to filter when your ad is shown for ambiguous or undesired terms.
One of the most common negative keywords is the word free.
Let’s say you sell TV’s, when the word free is used as a negative keyword it would stop your ad from being shown to anyone looking for a free TV or even free tv shows.
Removing these unwanted impressions is a good thing because when you do that it only places your ad in front of relevant queries. This is important because when this happens that decrease in impressions will likely increase your click through rate which is major factor in determining what you pay per click for each keyword. The higher your click through rate the better your average cost per click will be.
So to go back to the Christmas theme keywords and the 200 million plus queries that will likely happen again this December.
When you start to refine what people are searching there are several categories your business may not have any interest in and you’ll want to add the terms within these categories as negative keywords. That’s why it’s important to review all 10 categories.
Every business is different so use your discretion when choosing your negatives. The rule of thumb I use to determine whether or not you should use the term as a negative is to answer this question. Do I have a page on the website I’m sending traffic to that supports this concept? If you do, great expand on that theme get more traffic, if not add it to the negatives and save your self wasted impressions.
When you remove all of these terms from the 200 million search results it cuts the impressions almost in half, but by adding the terms as negatives ensures that when you bid on things like Christmas gift ideas, it’s not being matched to irrelevant search queries Santa Norad Tracker.
Just so you know, Christmas themed searches typically start in November but some terms are searched year round like the single keyword, “Christmas”, which had as little as 301,000 searches during the spring to the peak where it reached 16,600,000 queries last December. Competition is low to moderate most of the year and heats up in the last couple of months and the average cost per click, $1.29 on Google AdWords (Canada, English, Desktop/Laptop).
Let me know what you think and if you have any other negative christmas themed keywords I’d be interested in seeing them.