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What are negative keywords?

 

We guess that the best definition of negative keywords is published in Google Answer and it sounds like this: “A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase. This is also known as a negative match. For example, when you add “free” as a negative keyword to your campaign or ad group, you tell AdWords not to show your ad for any search containing the term “free.” On the Display Network, your ad is less likely to appear on a site when your negative keywords match the site’s content.”

The main goal of using negative keywords in Adwords campaigns is reducing the number of unrelevant visitors and as a result, reducing the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) from this channel.

 

What are negative keywords?

 

Types of negative keywords

 

We can distinguish the following types of negatives.

Depends on type of campaign, where keywords are using:

  • Search network campaign
  • Display network campaign
  • Video campaign

Depends on the account level where keywords are set:

  • Campaign level
  • Ad group level

Depends on type of match:

Broad match negative keywords

“This type is the default for your negative keywords. For negative broad match keywords, your ad won’t show if the search contains all your negative keyword terms, even if the terms are in a different order. Your ad may still show if the search contains only some of your keyword terms.”

For example, negative keyword in broad match should be added to the list as: running shoes

Negative keyword tool

Phrase match negative keywords

“For negative phrase match keywords, your ad won’t show if the search contains the exact keyword terms in the same order. The search may include additional words, but the ad won’t show as long as all the keyword terms are included in the search in the same order.”

Negative keyword in phrase match should be added to the list as: “running shoes”

Google Adwords negative keywords

Exact match negative keywords

“For negative exact match keywords, your ad won’t show if the search contains the exact keyword terms, in the same order, without extra words. Your ad may still show if the search contains the keyword terms with additional words.”

Negative keyword in exact match should be added to the list as: [running shoes]

Adwords negative keyword lists

How to find negative keywords?

There are exist follow ways to collect a comprehensive list of negative keywords:

1. Google Keyword Planner

Google Adwords Keyword Planner is the most used on the first steps before launching campaigns. It helps to add some the most popular negative keywords, but it’s not enough.

2. Google Search Console

Search Console is the second important source. If you have much organic traffic, it’s a big chance that you’ll find many valuable queries in Console for improving negative keyword lists in Adwords.

3. Google Adwords search terms statistics

All queries, that launch your keywords in ads, are collected in your account. So, every day, week or month you can expand your negative keywords list with new words, phrases.

 

 

4. Kparser

Kparser helps to find a big list of negative keywords depends on specific query. Generation of long tail keywords is one of the fastest methods to gather a list of negatives for ad group or campaing. For example, after collecting results for query running shoes, we’ve got 1170 phrases and 834 unique words. And your purpose is to collected as big as possible list of informational (not commercial) words to expand the list of negatives in Adwords. Look at the screen below. It’s really easy to check all words you find as negative keywords and press ‘Copy Negatives’. One click and all terms are in your clipborad, ready to be added to Adwords.

 

Free negative keyword tool

 

5. Templates

You can find many interesting templates of lists with negative keywords in the web. The main proses of such lists are follow:

  • You can add it before launching campaings
  • Basically such lists already divided on some categories (employment, education, research etc.)
Open the first 10-20 URLs from Google SERP by query ‘negative keywords template’ and combine as big list of negative keywords, as you need.

 

How to add negative keywords on different levels of Google Adwords account?

 

You can add negative keywords in Google Adwords using two main ways:

  • Create lists of negatives on account level and add specific list for campaign, ad group
  • Create specific lists within campaign, ad group

 

Negative keywords Adwords

 

What the way is better? The most convenient path is to create the list of the most general negatives on account level and add it to campaigns. Lists those are specific only for some campaign, ad group would be added on this specific level.

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