The Beginner’s Guide to Using Negative Keywords to Better Your PPC CampaignsNegative Keywords

Whether you’re a newbie to Google Ads or you’ve been running your PPC campaigns for some time, you’ve probably spent a bunch of time considering which keywords will generate the most clicks and greatest conversions. While picking your keywords is pretty straight forward, there’s more to negative keywords than meets the eye.

In today’s article, we will be detailing what negative keywords are, why they’re useful and how to find your own.

What’s a Negative Keyword?

Negative keywords allow you to filter who sees your ad based on what they type in the search engine.

You can use them to ensure that your ad does not appear for a specific keyword. By preventing your ad from appearing in irrelevant searches, you’ll be saving money, pointless clicks and time.

Why Are Negative Keywords Useful?

A lot of search terms that you think might represent your product might be vaguer than you think.

For instance …

  • – You might want to bid on “chair” so people looking for a dining chair will find you.
  • – But a consumer’s search query features the word “chair” but they’re actually looking for high chair
  • – Your ad features dining chairs and the user mistakenly clicks on your ad
  • – Your charged for the click
  • – The consumer realises they’re on the wrong website and leaves
  • – To prevent this, consider adding the wrong styles of chair to your negative keyword list

Another example would be adding “free” as a negative keyword, so your ad won’t show for search queries containing the term “free”.

While our examples are pretty generic, it highlights how keywords can mean more than one thing to different consumers.

They can play an important part in boosting your ROI, you’ll be maximising your PPC spend and eliminating unprofitable traffic.

How to Find Your Own Negative Keywords

1. Manually Search

Create a list of the keywords you’re advertising on or ones that you’re considering advertising on.

Go to google and start searching for each keyword on your list. What else is being advertised? What appears organically? Are the results similar to your product / service or are they completely unrelated?

Are there any words in the ads that would be useful negative keywords? For example, if you’re a house cleaning service and you type the term “cleaning service” in to your search engine, you could consider adding these to your negative keyword list:

  • – Car (car cleaning service)
  • – Hotel (hotel cleaning service)
  • – Window (cleaning service)
  • – Office (cleaning service)

Negative Keywords

2. Google Suggest

When you’re doing your manual searches, you’ll notice that google guesses your complete search term. What Google suggests may be good negative keywords to add to your list, take a look at our example below:

Negative Keywords

3. Use Word Stream’s Free Negative Keyword Tool

Simply enter a topic and the tool will generate a list of possible negative keywords for you to try. Click NO to add them to your list of negative keywords, enter your email and export your new list. Click YES to remove a keyword from the list to narrow down your results and to make it easier for you to review.

Use the tool here.

4. Google Keyword Planner

Simply type in your keyword and Google will device a list of keyword suggestions, accompanied with their estimation for competition and suggested bid amounts.

Unsure what Google Keyword Planner is? Catch up – About Google Keyword Planner

Businesses should spend as much time researching and compiling a list of negative keywords as they do their actual keywords.

If you see success with your current list of negative keywords, keep expanding it so you’re only reaching your exact target audience.

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Why not check out our Digital Marketing Terms Glossary?

About the author: 

Marie Harwood is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Different Gravy Digital, Hale, Cheshire.

Different Gravy Digital are a full service Digital Marketing Agency operating in the Hospitality & Leisure, Financial Services, Legal & Property sectors.  Products and services range from; 3D & 360° Tours, Website Design & Build, Social Media, Video Production, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content Creation, Email Marketing, Online Feedback / Review Systems and Paid Advertising (Google, Bing and Social Media).

Contact Details:

0161 706 000

120a Ashley Road, Hale, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2UN