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How Negative Keywords in Google Ads Can Maximize Your Campaign Performance

Using negative keywords in Google Ads to maximize your campaign performance depends heavily on your expertise.

One of the most accessible advertising platforms taking the lead today is Google Ads. You can set up your ad by choosing your location, writing up your ad, picking up some keywords, and funding your account.

That is indeed a summarized process, but if carefully done, your ad will be out there reaching relevant prospects in no time.

It is then crucial that you know that the pay-per-click feature can turn against you and be a downer to your marketing budget if your Google Ads campaign is not run correctly.

How does this happen? One very common way is through Keywords. Your perfect keyword may be triggering phrases that could sabotage your campaign performance.

So, what is the solution? You get to save ad spend and maximize your campaign performance by using negative keywords in your Google Ads campaign.

Negative Keywords removes irrelevant search queries from your ad groups, leaving only important keywords that matter.

This article will show you what negative keywords are, how they work, why they are essential, and how to build up better and powerful negative keyword lists.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords hinder your ads from showing up in specific search queries. It can be used to cut down on other terms that might get clicks and cost you money.

Negative keywords are used such that if it doesn’t apply to your business, your ad won’t come up. It is one of the most effective ways to curb phrases that eat up your budget and getting your ad to your targeted market.

If you need to stop all wasted spend related to your keyword, your best chance of retrieving and getting your money back is to use negative keywords in Google Ads.

As a marketer, it is at your advantage to make this feature available on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, or you will keep losing money.

Here is an example of how negative keywords work; if you sold “eggs” and you put in “Easter eggs” as the negative keyword, Google Ads will not bring up your ad when the phrase “Easter eggs” is searched for, like: “Chocolate easter eggs,” “Easter eggs for children,” and “how to make easter eggs.”

This applies to the Display Network, too, and your ad will not appear on sites if your negative keyword matches the site’s content.

Negative keywords are added to the campaign, account, or/and ad group level. And to understand how they function is to make a difference.

How Do Negative Keywords Work?

Targeting all your business-related keywords is probably not the best idea, and it is not a very smart way of using Google Ads. What you need is for your ads to appear only when relevant searches where users are more likely to click and convert. That is where the negative keyword comes in.

As an advertiser, it is understandable to go for search terms similar to your keywords, but you must know that the idea of a similar search term must also revolve around your specific product.

Because negative keywords are programmed not to match up to close variants, an example is “Easter egg” and “Easter eggs.” If a negative broad match keyword is “Easter egg,” the probability it might appear in “Easter eggs” is very high.

In Display and Video campaigns, negative keywords work a little differently compared to Search. You are also limited to 5,000 negative keywords, and depending on if your keywords are in ad groups or targeting methods, your ad may appear with excluded terms.

The Three Types of Negative Keywords

The three main types of negative keywords include; Negative broad match, Phrase Match, and Exact match.

Broad Match

Broad match negative keywords will cause your advert to stop being shown if any keywords closely related to the term are searched. Whenever “Easter eggs” is searched for, your ad will no longer come up, no matter the searched sentence.

Phrase Match

Although similar to board match, it is necessary that when phrase match is used, there should be no word between your keyword and any phrase used for your ad to pop up.

Your advert will cease to appear in searches like “cheap Easter eggs,” “best Easter eggs to buy,” “best Easter eggs recipe.” However, it will come up in searches like “best places to buy eggs for Easter.”

Exact Match

Exact match keywords will only show up when the precise term is searched for in a specific order. For example. your ads won’t come up for “Easter trees” but will show up in searches like “eggs for Easter.”

How to Find Negative Keywords

Still do not know what negative keywords to use to be your Google Ads campaign? Check out these steps:

Google Search Use Common Negatives

Use Google and search for common negative keywords, and you will find a list of negative keywords for all niches. You can then sieve out the keywords you will need.

Analyze Your Search Terms Report

The best and most prominent Google Ads data is that of your own data, and you must make sure all your search terms reports are studied to identify ad spend leaks and fix them too.

The search terms report includes the terms people had once or twice searched for, and it triggered your ads. This data can be used as ideas for negative keywords, especially the report’s unrelated terms.

Do not forget that negative keyword match types will not match with variants, and you must make those variants are included in your list of negatives.

Use Google Autocomplete

Google’s autocompleting search feature will bring up terms related to your keyword, even the irrelevant terms. You can either do a manual search that will take forever or use keyword tools like SEMrush, SEO PowerSuite, or Mangools KWFinder to speed up the process.

How to Build a Negative Keyword List Using Google Ads Editor

Here are the summarized steps on how to build a negative keyword list using Google Ads Editor:

  • When at Google Ads Editor, ensure you have gathered the recent and necessary changes to make. Scroll down to the ‘Manage’ bar and locate ‘Keywords and Targeting.’

  • Click on the tab, and it will bring up an extensive range of keyword and targeting options, but since you plan to use Negative Keyword, click on ‘Keywords,’ then ‘Negative.’

  • Click on ‘Add Negative Keyword,’ you can then choose the level you want it assigned to.

  • The Ad group level will have it assigned to the specific group selected only, and the Campaign level giving them to the precise campaign.

  • After the level has been selected, you will be allowed to delete, add, and edit your negative keyword into whatever type.

After adding all negative keywords, click on ‘Post,’ this will put out all changes to your account, triggering and all negative keywords will be presented as your negative keyword list.


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