Negative keywords are supposed to be an advertiser’s best friends, but some advertisers are afraid to add them to their account. The major reason is that they are frightened to lose traffic.
However, you shouldn’t hesitate to add negative keywords to your account, because they prevent your ad from showing to people searching for products or services you don’t offer. They also filter out people who are probably not that interested in your business. Hence, negative keywords can help you improve your CTR, reduce your costs and potentially increase your ROI.
How to find negative keywords:
- Search term report
This report contains the exact word or set of words a customer entered that triggered your ads. It can give you insights in which keywords to add as negatives.
- Analyse own Keywords
Perform a basic google search of your primary keywords. What shows up on the first page and seems irrelevant to your business can be added as negative keywords.
Account, Campaign and Ad group level negative keywords:
- Account level
If you want to share a set of negative keywords across two or more campaigns, it is recommended to use the shared library. This will help you to better manage your negative keywords and save time instead of manually copy/pasting each set of negative keywords campaign per campaign. I recommend you to add generic keywords you don’t want your ads to appear for.
You can find your shared library in the left panel of your adwords account.
- Campaign level
When you add negative keywords at the campaign level you must make sure they don’t interfere with the keywords of the different adgroups within your campaign. If you are not sure it may be better to use them at the adgroup level. A good example of negative keywords at the campaign level are probably products that you don’t sell within that particular campaign.
- Adgroup level
Negative keywords at the adgroup level go with specific keywords or products. For example, if you have an adgroup that promotes trousers for men then you should put “women” as a negative keyword in the match type phrase. This is to avoid that any search term with “women” in it will trigger your ads in the trousers adgroup for men to appear. The different match types you can use will be further discussed in the following section.
Negative keywords and match types
Just as with regular keywords, negative keywords exist in three different match types.
- Broad match: if you use negative broad match you will filter out any search term that is related to your keyword.
- Phrase match: negative keywords in phrase match give you more control as they will only filter out search terms that contain the negative keyword in the same order you entered it.
- Exact match: with negative Exact Match you filter out search terms that exactly match your negative keywords.
I hope this article will help you to manage your negative keyword lists.