PPC Strategy – Using Location Exclusions & Negative Keywords

Stop wasting my clients’ money.

You’re probably asking yourself how you’re wasting my clients’ money. After all, it’s not your responsibility to make sure that I’m doing everything I can to make the most of my clients’ budgets.

If only this were the case.

Let’s say – for the sake of argument – that I have a client, Wee Cheatem & Howe, in Kookamunga, a Family Law practice that specializes in Divorce Law. Here are two ways that you’re killing me, plus you and yours:
1.You are using Broad + Phrase Match Keywords with few or no Negative Keywords.
Law Firms have many practice areas: Accident, Bankruptcy, Corporate, Disability, Divorce, Environmental, Injury, Malpractice, Real Estate, Tax, Workers Comp, Wrongful Death, and more.
My client only shows up when someone is searching for a Divorce Lawyer because I’m using Negative Keywords to avoid other types of practices. Your client shows up in search results for all imaginable practice areas because you are not using Negative Keywords.
Think of it this way:  if my client is a Divorce Lawyer, do I really want them to generate Impressions for Injury Attorney? Maybe, but only if they handle cases for hurt feelings!  (Believe it or not, Ripley, there is Search Query Volume for the Keyword how to avoid hurt feelings when your friends divorce).
2. You are not using Geo-targeting or Location Exclusions.
If you are a Local Business and not using Geo-targeting, you’re wasting your client’s do-re-mi plus mine; if you are not using Location Exclusions or Negative Keywords to avoid irrelevant Impressions or Clicks, you are costing us both money.
A few more examples:

  • A Houston Plumber promising same-day, emergency service should not show up in Chicago or Palm Springs Search Results.
  • A local Dental Practice in London, England has no business having their Ads served up across the Continental U.S.
  • An Insurance Company that is unlicensed to sell its products in all 50 states, shouldn’t be displaying Ads in all 50 states.
  • Indiana Law Firms that are not licensed to practice law in Kentucky or Michigan, should not be in the Top Four Ad Positions in these other states’ SERPs.
  • A service-oriented firm that can only operate within the mainland US of A, should not generate 25% of their click volume from Alaska, Hawaii, or overseas, especially in Fredonia and Sylvania!


2 Ways This Costs Both Our Clients More

  1. If you are generating Impressions outside of your Target Area, you are almost certainly lowering CTR, which leads to increased CPCs, or worse, you are actually generating clicks within geographic areas you cannot possibly serve.
  2. If your Max CPC Bids are ridiculously high, you may routinely show up in search results above my client (no matter how well the account is optimized), forcing me to increase bids and pay higher CPCs in order to remain competitive in Kookamunga.

In Kookamunga, we have no interest in competing against Arnie Becker, Divorce Lawyer, of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney & Kuzak in L.A., so we take action to avoid doing so.

In such cases, your three best friends in AdWords are the Search Terms, Geographic and User Locations Reports.

Even though EverEffect is a small firm, our clients have saved over $2 million in wasted spend over the last four years, just from our aggressive implementation of Negative Keywords and Location Targeting Exclusions.


EverEffect Founder & President Thomas Heed specializes in Strategic Planning, Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing (Program Development, Implementation, and Control), Factor Analysis, M&A and Writing/Producing/Directing for Video & Film. When we EverEffect folks get together to discuss business, anything is in the mix and everything is up for a talk-through … industry trends, creative strategies, favorite campaigns, tricky projects, compelling statistical evidence … Then we share it all with you on the EverEffect Blog. If you’re curious about what we’re thinking, give our posts a read. Or give us a call for a face-to-face.

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