retargeting-campaign-mistakes

Retargeting can be a highly effective method for filling your funnel and finding qualified customers. According to one study, retargeting campaigns can boost conversion rates by as much as 147%. However, retargeting campaigns do have the potential to backfire if you aren’t careful. At best, retargeting campaigns can have the highest ROI of any of your paid search campaigns, and at worst, poorly placed ads can offend your audience and be a PR nightmare. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your retargeting campaigns stay focused on the right audience for your business.

Identify Why Campaigns Aren’t Converting

Retargeting works best when it can identify and anticipate consumer browsing behavior, so it’s important to understand what the ideal journey to conversion will look like. You must also be able to anticipate any poor matches that you are likely to encounter as well. There are a variety of reasons that your ads might not be a good fit for the audience they reach, including:

  • Bad Product-Audience Fit – The audience you’re reaching might not be a perfect fit for your services. This is often the case where keywords can mean multiple things. Someone who searches for picture frames then gets hit with ads for eyeglass frames will waste your advertising resources and might annoy your audience.
  • Aspirational Searches – If your audience isn’t at the right point in their purchasing journey to make a commitment, your retargeting dollars may be wasted. They may be doing research and looking for information, without any intention to make a purchase yet. They may be looking for employment or education — for example, someone searching for “patent law school” would not actually be interested in finding a patent lawyer to represent them.
  • Inappropriate placement – Sometimes your ad placement isn’t a just poor fit — it’s offense. Serving ads for affordable vacation home rentals side-by-side with articles about a recent natural disaster in the same area, for instance, can trigger negative feelings in your audience and do damage to your brand beyond simple annoyance.

Unfortunately, the AdWords algorithm does not necessarily understand these contextual clues that what may seem like a good candidate for retargeting may actually be a poor fit for your business. Once you’ve identified potential reasons that someone would NOT want to see your ads, you can take action to avoid serving them retargeted ads.

Develop a Strong Negative Keywords List

Once you have a sense for why your retargeting campaigns aren’t resonating with your audience, you need to make sure that you minimize the instances where ads will be served in inappropriate circumstances. AdWords lets users compile negative keyword lists, which inform the AdWords algorithm about which search terms you do not want to have your ads served for. Keep in mind that including too many negative keywords can limit the reach of your ads and prevent people from seeing them, so building your negative keyword list should be done carefully.

We’ve compiled a list of common negative keywords below that every advertiser should be sure to add to their negative keywords list for retargeting campaigns.

Our Checklist of Negative Keywords for Retargeting Campaigns

  • death
  • obituary
  • terrorism
  • suicide
  • death
  • earthquake
  • tsunami
  • homicide
  • rape
  • war
  • bomb
  • murder
  • abuse
  • abused
  • accident
  • arrest
  • arrested
  • arson
  • assault
  • attack
  • avalanche
  • bomber
  • bombing
  • brutal
  • burglary
  • cancer
  • crash
  • crime
  • criminal
  • dead
  • deadly
  • die
  • dies
  • disease
  • drowned
  • drowning
  • drug
  • drugs
  • drunk
  • electrocution
  • extortion
  • fire
  • flood
  • floods
  • fraud
  • hurricane
  • kidnapped
  • kill
  • killed
  • killing
  • kills
  • manslaughter
  • molest
  • molestation
  • molester
  • molesting
  • murderer
  • pedophile
  • pedophilia
  • pimp
  • pimps
  • porn
  • pornography
  • possession
  • predator
  • predators
  • prostitution
  • robbery
  • shooting
  • shoplift
  • shoplifting
  • shot
  • solicitation
  • stroke
  • terrorist
  • theft
  • tornado
  • trafficking
  • tragedy
  • violence
  • violent
  • wreck
  • gun
  • weapon

Negative Keywords for Search Campaigns

And while we’re on the topic of negative keywords here is a negative keyword list you can use for your search campaigns also. It’s a good idea to review this and make sure this negative keyword list is appropriate for your circumstances.

  • About
  • Affiliate
  • Affiliates
  • Analysis
  • Articles
  • Associates
  • Bargain
  • Budget
  • Career
  • Careers
  • Cheap
  • Cheaper
  • Cheapest
  • Class
  • Classes
  • Close outs
  • Closeouts
  • Colleges
  • Community
  • Complaint
  • Complaints
  • Consultants
  • Consulting
  • Course
  • Courses
  • Create
  • Define
  • Defined
  • Definition
  • Definitions
  • Developer
  • Developers
  • Diagram
  • DIY
  • Do it yourself
  • Download
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Error
  • Essay
  • Example
  • Examples
  • Fake
  • Free
  • Hack
  • Hacks
  • Hand made
  • Hire
  • Hiring
  • History
  • Hobby
  • How to
  • Inexpensive
  • Info
  • Information
  • Interns
  • Internship
  • Internships
  • Interview
  • Jobs
  • Journal
  • Journals
  • Laws
  • Lecture
  • Lectures
  • Libraries
  • Liquidation
  • Low budget
  • Low cost
  • Magazine
  • Magazines
  • Metrics
  • Naked
  • News
  • Newsletter
  • Obituary
  • Photo
  • Photograph
  • Photographs
  • Photo
  • Picture
  • Pictures
  • Porn
  • Preventing
  • Problem
  • Problems
  • Profession
  • Publication
  • Quotation
  • Quotations
  • Quotes
  • Recruiter
  • Recruiting
  • Regulations
  • Repairs
  • Replica
  • Research
  • Researches
  • Researching
  • Resume
  • Resumes
  • Review
  • Reviews
  • Rules
  • Safety
  • Salaries
  • Salary
  • Sample
  • Samples
  • School
  • Schools
  • Sex
  • Shortcut
  • Specifications
  • Specs
  • Stats
  • Studies
  • Success story
  • Template
  • Tip
  • Tips
  • Training
  • Tutorial
  • Tutorials
  • Universities
  • University
  • Used
  • Value
  • Video
  • What are
  • What is
  • White paper
  • White papers

 

Understand Context and Define Industry-Specific Negative Keywords

Context is incredibly important for successful retargeting campaigns, and understanding all of the potential scenarios in which someone might be served your ads is key. In addition to these general negative keywords, you may have to find industry-specific negative keywords. For some industries, pinpointing keywords that have potentially problematic use cases is critical to retargeting success. For instance, it’s important for airlines to avoid serving retargeting ads on articles about recent plane crashes, so keywords like “plane crash” should be added to your negative keywords list. Building a comprehensive list of negative keywords that are specific to your industry can be challenging. If you’re working with a PPC manager or consultant who has experience in your industry, they may be able to draw on past experiences to help you build out a list of industry-specific negative keywords more quickly and efficiently.

Utilize Site Category Exclusions on Display Network Ads

Sometimes going keyword by keyword isn’t enough to ensure that your ads are served appropriately. To make sure that your ads are only shown to the right audience, you can use site category exclusions to eliminate categories of websites that you are sure you don’t want your ads to be associated with on the Google Display Network.  This helpful feature lets you turn your ads off for broader categories of websites. This could include those with content on sensitive topics, such as death and tragedies, or with content that has been designated for mature audiences only. To adjust your site category exclusion settings, go to the “Display Network” tab of your AdWords dashboard and select “+Targeting.”

Refine Retargeting Campaigns with Webrageous

Webrageous’ team of PPC experts has experience managing the challenges of running successful retargeting campaigns. We can bring our expertise and experience to your campaigns and help you ensure that your campaigns won’t suffer from poor fit or inappropriate placements. Contact us today to learn more about our no-risk 60-day trial for PPC management, and we can start transforming your retargeting campaigns today. 

Image Source: stevepb via Pixabay