Negative Keywords in Google Ads

In addition to well researched and optimized keywords, choosing—and continuously adding negative keywords ensures that you get the most qualified traffic based on your campaign goals. Negative keywords are one of the most powerful, and under-used, tools you have in your Google Ads campaigns.

A negative keyword is a word, or phrase, that is meant to NOT trigger your ad if searched. Negative keywords are similar to regular keywords in that you can use them as exact match, modified broad match and broad match. They can be long or short-tail and you can be very specific in deciding what traffic you do not want to see your ad… and using your precious spend dollars.

The goal with any Google Ads campaign is to be an efficient, quality traffic conversion machine. Clicks and impressions that are not coming from the right clients just eat up your budget. Any keywords from searchers not really looking for your product or service are bad… and these “bad” (low-converting) keywords can be flagged easily within the Google Ads platform so no searchers with these keywords (or variants depending on the exact, modified broad or broad criteria) will be presented your ads.

Each situation varies, depending of the type of site, however a strategy can be easily developed to create a roadmap for good and bad keywords for your type of business. For example, retail sites often get traffic from educational searchers, job seekers, and competitor brands names because of the wealth of information provided to draw organic traffic. In these cases, we recommend question-key phrases to add to your negative keywork list such as “how to…” and “how much.”

If you are selling a product or service, you do not want to give away this information to people who are researching. You may also want to eliminate any searches that request “cheap” or “discount” unless this is the market you are in. Generally, it may also be a good idea to eliminate direct competitor name searches, since if someone if searching for them by name, they likely will ultimately go with them, even if they click on your ad out of curiosity—causing you to spend a few dollars in the process.

Negative keywords are easy to incorporate into your PPC account and if you monitor the searches that result in your ads showing, overtime you will see what additional keywords to add to that list. Take that opportunity to add negative keywords, so you don’t lose that click next time! Constant and consistent maintenance of your campaigns will provide insight into keywords to mark as negative and save you those precious spend dollars. As always, DirectiveGroup is here to help build your business with everything from strategy to execution.

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Author: Kim Figor

Kim Figor has over 13 years’ experience in a plethora of marketing disciplines that encompass SEO & Paid Search Online Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Marketing Communications, and Project Management. Her educational background includes a BABM and MBA in Marketing as well as Certifications in AdCenter, Adwords and Market Motive (Paid Search, Display, SEO, and Conversions). In addition to working at Google, where she assisted thousands of companies succeed online, Kim has been a key player in the start-up and growth of several technology and marketing companies. Kim’s exceptional analytical skills relating to online marketing has proven to be instrumental in the success of online campaigns for companies in all industries and sizes.