Category Archives: Paid Search

Paid Search: Using Negative Match

Negative match is an option in paid search (talking about Google Adwords today) where you can choose keywords or related keywords that you do not want your ad to show up for. For some people, you may be thinking, “why would I not want to show up for something? I want to show up for everything!” A good amount of advertisers out there use broad match when setting up their keywords and I’m sure some even use exact match or phrase match, but probably few use negative match.

When you use broad match for a keyword, your ad will end up showing up for a lot of different searches that are similar or even related to your keyword. This is not always good because the searcher may be looking for something completely different than what you are offering. And if by chance these people don’t realize that you don’t offer what they want until they click your ad, you will be wasting and losing a lot of money that could be spent on more qualified traffic.

Here are a couple examples of when you might want to implement negative match on keywords:
Example 1
Your Site: Features places to surf in Hawaii
Broad Match Keyword: Hawaii surfing
You may show up for “Hawaii surfing lessons” or “Hawaii surf rentals”
Negative Match: “-lessons” or “-rentals”

Example 2
Your Site: Las Vegas buffet
Broad Match Keyword: Las Vegas buffets
You may show up for “Las Vegas hotels” or “Las Vegas shows”
Negative Match: “-hotels” or “-shows”

Analyze your AdWords Search Queries Report to see what keyword variations trigger your ad. Utilize this to clean up your keyword list and save money!

Yahoo Search Marketing Tries Out Favicons

Favicons are the little icon that shows up in your browser next to the address bar. For example, if you look up at your address bar right now, you’ll probably see this:

That little B in the orange box is Blogger’s favicon. It’s showing up because we are using them to host this blog that you’re reading now. If you visit our website,, you’ll see this as our favicon:

Favicons are an excellent way for brands to distinguish themselves and establish an identity of their own. Yahoo Search Marketing, earlier this month, started a test of showing an advertisers favicon in their Search Marketing ad. This is great because it will let customers know whether or not the site you are going to is the true owner of the brand or company you are looking for. For example, here is Nike’s ad:
Notice the favicon of the famous Nike logo we all know. This way if I was looking to shop from the authentic Nike site, I could. The other listings that show up on a search for Nike are Zappos, Kohl’s, Finish Line, and a few others. They would each have their own favicon.

While Yahoo Search Marketing is just rolling this feature out to certain advertisers during its testing period, I think it’s a move in the right direction. This will help customers when they shop as they will be able to easily identify your brand. Establish your logo, your look, keep it consistent, and use it everywhere. This way, people will learn to recognize you just by your logo or favicon.

On another note, have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Paid and Organic Search Complement Each Other

Speak to any online advertising expert or agency and chances are they will tell you how much more beneficial it is to use both organic and paid search together. There are obvious advantages to both paid and organic search, but leveraging your campaigns off the other, you can build a powerful search campaign.

Using paid search, you have more control over your listing including placement, ad copy, and landing pages. With these options, you can run a lot of tests to determine what works best for you. Paid search also allows you to gain search visibility immediately whereas organic visibility can take months to appear. Some of the disadvantages of paid search include cost. Every time your ad is clicked on, you are required to play regardless if you sold something or gained a lead from them. Paid search can easily become very costly if not managed carefully and on a consistent basis.

Organic search on the other hand comes at no cost. Users can click you listing as much as they want and you don’t have to pay a single cent. Users are also more inclined to click on organic listings than they are to click on sponsored ads. Disadvantages include the fact that your ranking is not guaranteed and it is a long term and continual process to see results. Organic search includes a lot of research and fine-tuning and also involves factors (ie. algorithm changes) that you have no control over.

However, with some careful planning, you can utilize learnings from organic for paid search and vice versa. Paid search allows you to quickly gauge what type of traffic you would get for a certain keyword. If you are getting a significant amount of traffic for a certain term and a decent amount of orders or leads from it, then it would be wise to target that keyword in your organic search. Also, if there is a particular keyword that has very high competition in the natural listings, it may be worthwhile to attract traffic for sales and leads through paid search instead.

Many agencies and professionals have also done studies on how much more likely a user is to click on your site if you have top placements in both paid and organic search. Paid search can also be used initially to push traffic to newly developed organic portions of the website. Using both paid and organic, you can get a good view of the long-tail terms users are looking for. This can help you greatly when developing new landing pages and copy specific to those users.

These are just a few ways paid and organic search go together hand-in-hand. If you’re looking for ways to improve your paid and/or organic search, then employing some of the tactics mentioned above is a great place to start.