Negative keywords aren’t usually thought of as having a positive effect on small business SEO. But, we’ve recently been testing negative keywords for SEO on a couple of different campaigns and have some interesting early results to report: negative keywords might boost small business SEO.
Negative keywords may boost your small business SEO
This counterintuitive finding is due to the fact that negative keywords can be associated with black hat SEO, bad customer reviews, or intentionally limiting on-page SEO – and intentionally limiting business.
This is false.
Negative keywords in some SEO and SEM campaigns may be useful for customer acquisition and for increased customer lifetime value.
For example, we’ve been working on an appliance repair campaign. Our company is an authorized dealer of 4 major brands. But their technicians can service almost anything, even the generic department store brands.
However, they have better access to parts from the brands they have relationships with.
Our research discovered that the average lifetime value of a customer who owns (for example) an oven and range from the authorized dealer is higher than a customer who owns any other type of oven and range. Why?
The primary reason is trust. Homeowners trust contractors who deal with manufacturers on an authoritative basis. “Authorized Dealer” is a signal to the homeowner that the contractor is trusted by the manufacturer. That’s similar to the trust that we have in social recommendations on sites like Angie’s List or Thumbtack, by the way.
Another important reason is that every service tech is a sales rep. Not just for your company, but for the brand and the manufacturer. And it’s no secret that a customer who owns a Wolf oven / range isn’t going to replace that with a Kenmore. So being an authorized dealer of Wolf products will bring in more money per customer.
Using negative keywords to boost small business SEO
If you only deal in Wolf and Subzero appliances but your on-page SEO is targeting generic keywords like “range” and “refrigerator,” your site may be appearing when customers search for “range repair” and “refrigerator service.”
If you work with Subzero, do you want to spend time fixing a Maytag?
Now, imagine you’re in the middle of a PPC or SEM campaign. Everyone who clicks through your ad costs you money. But when our Maytag owner finds your website full of Subzero products, you’re not getting that sale. So you’ve wasted money on a generic keyword.
Use negative keywords in your campaign to reduce irrelevant clicks.
Designate brands you don’t work with as negative keywords.
Designate unprofitable repair jobs as negative keywords.
Designate irrelevant generic keywords as negative keywords.
Negative keywords. Positive SEO
Negative keywords may help your small business SEO by focusing customer searches on relevant terms. If you don’t work with a brand, excluding it from your SEO won’t cost you anything. It might even save money and time in the long run.
Need help? We’re here to answer questions, help you strategize, and work hard to execute your negative keyword SEO. Just click here to learn more.