Google Ads Negative Keywords & How to Use Them

Google Ads Negative Keywords & How to Use Them

A carefully strategized PPC campaign that includes negative keywords offers an improved click-through rate (CTR). A CTR is the percentage of people who accessed your ad and clicked on it. Negative keywords in PPC campaigns help improve conversion rate, i.e., the percentage of people who clicked on your ad and converted. Another benefit of using negative keywords in PPC campaigns is an improved quality score (A Google AdWords quality score determines the performance of your ads and the amount you need to pay for each ad).

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What are negative keywords?

If you want to prevent your ad from being featured in the search engine (whenever searchers enter a certain word or phrase), include negative keywords in your ad. When you use negative keywords, no one searching with that specific phrase will come across your ad. This is what Google refers to as a negative match.

By including negative keywords in your ad campaign, you are informing Google that you do not want your ad to appear for the negative keyword that you have included in your campaign or ad group. So, Google will not feature your ad for related searches. When your negative keywords match a site’s content, your ad will not be featured on the site.

Negative keywords ensure that your ads reach only the potential targets.

How to add negative keywords to your ad campaigns?

Google suggests adding negative keywords to your Search and Display Network campaigns so that your campaigns do not target sites with those terms in their content.

We will discuss how to add, remove, or edit negative keywords to your Search and Display Networks.

Negative keywords are more precise on the Search Network in comparison with the Display Network as your ad is likely to be featured on sites that include these terms. Google recommends including a maximum of 5,000 negative keywords when it comes to Display ads.

Google offers improvements in Google Ads with its content exclusions settings so that you can opt out of showing your ads on websites, videos, or mobile apps that are unrelated to your brand.

Types of negative keywords:

Below are the different types of negative keywords that you can add to your ad campaign:

  1. Negative broad match

    The default type for negative keywords is the negative broad match. Regardless of whether the terms are in the same order or not, your ad will not be displayed if all the negative keywords are included in the search. However, your ad will appear when some of the keyword terms are searched.

  2. Negative exact match

    If the search contains the same keyword terms in the same order (with no extra words), your ad will not be featured. However, if additional words are included with the search terms, your ad will be displayed.

  3. Negative phrase match

    Your ad will not be featured if the search has the same keyword terms in the same order. Though the search may include extra words, the ad will not be displayed (unless the search contains all the same keywords in the same order).

Your negative keywords are most likely to be broad matches when it comes to Display and Video campaigns. How do you make the match by including a new or an existing negative keyword list in your ad campaign?

  • Log in to your Ads account
  • Look for keywords from the page menu on the left (click Keywords)
  • Next, look for Negative keywords (and click)
  • Find the push button (and click)

Adding negative keywords:

  • You can either create an entirely new list or add negative keywords.
  • Next, you can decide if you want to include negative keywords in your ad campaign or group.
  • Once you have decided to add negative keywords, choose the ad campaign or group to which you want to add the list of negative keywords.
  • You need to be careful when adding keywords; you can include only one keyword per line.
  • If your negative keywords overlap your regular keywords, these will prevent your ads from being featured (when it comes to Display and Video campaigns, the negative keywords that you include will be used as an exact match and you cannot alter the matches).
  • There would be an option to include your negative keywords as part of a new or an existing negative keyword list. After adding the negative keywords to your preferred list, you can then add the list to your ad campaign.
  • Next, you have to save these keywords to the list, name the list, or if it is an existing list, you need not enter a name for the list.
  • Finally, save your changes.

When you choose an existing negative keyword list, follow the below steps:

  • You may click “Use negative keyword list”.
  • Next, select the ad campaign to which you want to apply the list of negative keywords.
  • Start checking the boxes of the negative keywords lists that you want to include.
  • Next, save your changes.

How to add or remove negative keywords from various campaigns simultaneously?

  • On the left, from the Page menu, select Campaigns.
  • Next to the campaigns, you will find a box; check the box.
  • Look for “Edit”. Choose “Edit targeting.”
  • Click “Add negative keyword lists” and start adding negative keyword lists by checking the box next to the lists and then clicking “Apply.”
  • If you wish to remove any negative keyword lists, you can click “Remove negative keyword lists” by checking the box next to the lists (that you intend to remove from your campaigns) and then click “Apply.”

Closing thoughts

One of the ideal ways to include negative keywords is by choosing what you want to exclude from being targeted. When you choose negative keywords for your campaigns, be sure to include search terms that are the same as your keywords.

Proper management of negative keywords will help keep your keyword research clean. This will help spend your budget on clicks and impressions that are relevant.

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