In the vast and competitive world of online advertising, Google Ads stands out as one of the most powerful platforms for reaching potential customers. However, simply creating an ad campaign and selecting keywords may not be enough to optimize your advertising efforts. This is where negative keywords come into play. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore the significance of negative keywords in Google Ads and provide you with a comprehensive list of common negative keywords to enhance your campaigns.
1: What is a Negative Keywords List?
When running a Google Ads campaign, you have the ability to specify certain keywords that you want your ads to appear for. However, a negative keywords list allows you to exclude specific keywords or phrases that are irrelevant to your business. By doing so, you can prevent your ads from displaying to users who are not likely to convert or who are searching for something unrelated to your product or service.
2: Why Should One Care About Negative Keywords?
Including negative keywords in your campaign can have several benefits. Firstly, it helps you refine your targeting and ensures that your ads are shown to a more relevant audience. By excluding irrelevant search queries, you can increase the chances of reaching potential customers who are genuinely interested in your offerings.
Moreover, adding negative keywords can significantly improve the efficiency of your ad spend. When your ads are displayed to users who are unlikely to convert, it leads to wasted clicks and budget depletion. By utilizing negative keywords effectively, you can reduce unnecessary ad impressions and focus your budget on reaching qualified leads.
3: How to Apply Negative Keywords
Google Ads allows you to apply negative keywords at different levels of your campaign structure. Let’s explore the three primary levels where you can implement negative keywords:
- Account Level: Applying negative keywords at the account level ensures that they are excluded from all campaigns within the account. This is useful when you have a specific set of keywords that are irrelevant across multiple campaigns.
- Click on the “Tools & Settings” icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
- Under the “Setup” section, select “Negative keyword lists.”
- Click on the blue plus button to create a new negative keyword list.
- Give your list a descriptive name and add the irrelevant keywords that you want to exclude.
- Save the list.
- Once you have created the negative keyword list at the account level, it will automatically be excluded from all campaigns within the account.
- Campaign Level: Applying negative keywords at the campaign level allows you to exclude certain keywords only for a specific campaign. This is particularly useful when you have unique keywords that are irrelevant to a specific product or service you are promoting.
- Select the campaign to which you want to add negative keywords.
- Click on the “Keywords” tab.
- Scroll down to the “Negative keywords” section and click on the “Add” button.
- Enter the irrelevant keywords that you want to exclude from this specific campaign.
- Save your changes.
The negative keywords you add at the campaign level will only apply to the selected campaign, ensuring that your ads are not triggered by those specific keywords in that particular campaign.
- Ad Group Level: Applying negative keywords at the ad group level enables you to exclude keywords for a specific ad group within a campaign. This level of specificity helps ensure that your ads are displayed only for the most relevant search queries.
- Go to the “Campaigns” tab and select the campaign containing the ad group where you want to add negative keywords.
- Click on the “Ad groups” tab.
- Choose the ad group to which you want to apply negative keywords.
- Click on the “Keywords” tab within the selected ad group.
- Scroll down to the “Negative keywords” section and click on the “Add” button.
- Enter the irrelevant keywords that you want to exclude from this specific ad group.
- Save your changes.
By adding negative keywords at the ad group level, you ensure that your ads within that particular ad group are not displayed for search queries containing those specific keywords, allowing for a more refined targeting approach.
Remember to regularly review and update your negative keyword lists at each level to ensure that your campaigns are optimized for relevancy and efficiency.
4: How to Identify if a Keyword is Actually Negative
Identifying negative keywords requires a thorough analysis of your campaign’s performance and an understanding of your target audience. Here are a few tips to help you determine if a keyword is negative or not:
a) Analyze Search Terms Report: Google Ads provides a Search Terms Report that displays the actual search queries triggering your ads. Review this report regularly to identify irrelevant queries that can be added as negative keywords.
b) Review Click-Through Rate (CTR): If a particular keyword has a high number of impressions but a low CTR, it may indicate that the keyword is not attracting the right audience. Consider adding it as a negative keyword to refine your targeting.
c) Monitor Conversion Rate: If a keyword consistently generates clicks but fails to convert into leads or sales, it may be an indication that the keyword is not relevant to your business. Adding it as a negative keyword can help eliminate unnecessary ad spend.
5: Does Match Type Matter While Applying Negative Keywords?
Section 5: Does Match Type Matter While Applying Negative Keywords?
When it comes to applying negative keywords, understanding how match types work is essential for ensuring that your ads are excluded from irrelevant searches or placements. Let’s explore the role of match types when it comes to negative keywords in different campaign types:
For Search Campaigns:
Negative keywords in search campaigns should be chosen based on search terms that are similar to your targeted keywords but may attract customers looking for a different product or service. Match types for negative keywords in search campaigns include:
- Negative Broad Match: This is the default match type for negative keywords. When using negative broad match, your ad won’t show if the search query contains all the terms of your negative keyword, regardless of their order. For example, if your negative broad match keyword is “cheap hotels,” your ad won’t show for the search “cheap hotels,” but it may still appear for searches like “hotels on a budget” or “affordable accommodations.”
- Negative Phrase Match: With negative phrase match, your ad won’t show if the search query contains the exact keyword terms in the same order. Additional words in the search query won’t trigger your ad as long as all the keyword terms are included in the same order. For example, if your negative phrase match keyword is “luxury hotels,” your ad won’t show for the search “luxury hotels,” but it will show for searches like “best luxury hotels” or “luxury hotels in Paris.”
- Negative Exact Match: Negative exact match ensures that your ad won’t show if the search query contains the exact keyword terms, in the same order, without any additional words. For example, if your negative exact match keyword is “all-inclusive resorts,” your ad won’t show for the search “all-inclusive resorts,” but it may still appear for searches like “best resorts with all-inclusive packages.”
For Display and Video Campaigns:
Negative keywords in display and video campaigns help you avoid displaying your ads on unrelated sites or videos. While match types function differently in these campaign types, the goal remains the same—to exclude irrelevant placements. Here’s how negative keywords work for display and video campaigns:
Negative Keywords as Exact Topics: When you add negative keywords in display and video campaigns, your ads won’t show on pages or videos that match the exact topic of your negative keywords, even if the specific keywords or phrases are not explicitly present. For example, if you have a negative keyword set for “cat food,” your ads won’t appear on pages or videos specifically about cat food, even if the exact phrase “cat food” is not mentioned. This ensures that your ads are not displayed in contexts that are unrelated to your product or service.
Understanding match types for negative keywords in different campaign types allows you to fine-tune your targeting and exclude irrelevant searches or placements. By utilizing the appropriate match types, you can maximize the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns and improve the overall performance of your ads.
6: Download Our Comprehensive List of Common Negative Keywords for Google Ads Optimization
Before we conclude, we understand the value of having a comprehensive list of negative keywords to enhance your Google Ads campaigns. To provide you with a ready-to-use resource, we have prepared a downloadable negative keywords list. This list contains a wide range of common negative keywords that you can easily implement to refine your targeting, improve ad performance, and maximize your return on investment.
Download the negative keywords list and take your Google Ads strategy to the next level.
Negative keywords are a crucial tool for optimizing your Google Ads campaigns. By carefully curating a negative keywords list, you can refine your targeting, improve ad performance, and maximize your return on investment. Regularly review your campaign’s performance, analyze search terms, and stay attentive to the needs and preferences of your target audience to continually enhance your negative keywords list.
Incorporating negative keywords into your Google Ads strategy may take some time and effort, but the benefits are well worth it. By excluding irrelevant search queries, you can ensure that your ads are displayed to users who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, ultimately driving higher click-through rates, conversions, and overall campaign success. So, don’t overlook the power of negative keywords—use them wisely and watch your Google Ads campaigns thrive!