Understand Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are a very important element for the success of any AdWords Accounts, especially for search network.

What is Negative Keyword?

I am sure you won’t open the door for everyone who rings the doorbell, you certainly filter out between wanted and unwanted people. Similarly, In AdWords, we can’t allow all keywords to trigger ads. With the help of negative keyword, we filter out all unwanted queries.

With the help of negative keyword, we can weed out all irrelevant terms to trigger our ads. Adding unwanted queries in negative lists helps you reach the targeted audience.

Where can we add Negative Keyword?

We can add negative keywords at the campaign level and ad group level.

Campaign Level: By adding a keyword in campaign level we can block queries from the whole campaign. When we add any keyword in negative lists at campaign level it won’t show for any term in a campaign.

Adgroup Level: By adding negative keyword at adgroup level we can block queries from particular adgroup. When we add any keyword in negative lists at adgroup level it won’t show for any term in particular adgroup whereas other adgroups in the campaign will trigger ads.

Shared Library: When you click on “Shared Library”, you will see an option on the left-hand side “Campaign Negative Keywords”. Here you can make a list of campaign negative keywords and assign campaigns to apply these negative keywords.

What are the benefits of adding Negative Keyword?

Whenever I have friends party in my apartment, my friends help me clean out the house and helps me keep things in place. Similarly, when we add a negative keyword in AdWords account, it helps us keep the campaign clean which means right keywords trigger our ads. It also helps to maintain the relevancy which further helps improve ROI, QS, Avg CPC, CTR, and Conversion Rate.

As AdWords is all about reaching the right audience at the right time and on the right device. Negative keywords allow us to reach targeted audience. It also helps reduce the cost of the campaign by weeding out unwanted queries.

Negative Keywords Match Types

Don’t forget negative keywords do have match types similar to the positive keywords. The only difference is we have four match types for Positive keyword whereas only three works with the negative keyword. BMM (Broad Match Modifier) doesn’t work when added as a negative keyword. BMM meant to work as a positive keyword only. Exact, Phrase and Broad can be added as positive as well as negative.

Let’s take a quick look at how match types work with Negative Keywords:

Exact Match: When you want to restrict the exact term to trigger your ad, choose exact match negative keyword.

For example, Advertiser doesn’t want to show ads on exact term top level companies, in this case, you need to add [top level companies] in negative lists. Keep in mind that it will only stop showing ads when someone types exactly this query. Your ads will show on a query such as top level companies in India.

Phrase Match: When you want to restrict queries in exact same sequence to trigger your ad, choose a phrase match negative keyword.

For example, Advertiser doesn’t want to show ads on any keyword which has a top level in the same sequence, in this case, you need to add “top level” in negative lists. Keep in mind that it will only stop showing ads when someone type query which contains top level (in the same order). Your ads will show on a query such as level of top companies, level top companies etc.

Broad Match: When you want to restrict all queries that contain the negative term to trigger your ad, choose broad negative.

For example, Advertiser doesn’t want to show ads on any keyword which has a level, in this case, you need to add a level in negative lists. Keep in mind that it will stop showing ads on all queries which contain level in it such as top level, level company etc.

Tip: Whenever you add negative keyword always remember to add singular, plurals, synonyms, misspells etc. Google only block queries which are added by you.

Where to find Negative Keyword?

Search Query Report: Examine search query report to find out negative keywords. This report can be found in your AdWords campaign.

Keyword Planner: When you look for positive keywords, you can look for negative keywords too. Keyword Planner doesn’t have any option to search negatives, you need to select from the list which is suggested while looking for a positive keyword.

Opportunities Tab: Keyword suggestions in opportunities tab that are not related, can be added as negative.

Google SERP: When you do research on Google search engine page, you see keywords appears in search bar drop down. Also, you see related searches at the bottom of the page, you can add irrelevant queries as negative.

Thought

Remove Negative and Bring Positive!

About Neha Gupta

I am Neha Gupta, SEM Expert – Paid Advertisement Consultant | Google AdWords Top Contributor| Google AdWords Trainer! I am Independent Paid Search Consultant and Google AdWords Trainer in Delhi. I currently reside in Delhi, India, and love traveling.

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