Negative Keywords helps you save on your ad spend by only showing your ads to those who are interested in them. It helps you boost your PPC strategy and achieve more conversions by driving dependable traffic.

The impact of negative keywords is highly dependent on the negative keywords you chose and the match type assigned. In this post, we’ll go over some of the best practices for using negative keywords to their full potential.

So here they are:

Finding Negative Keywords from your Search Terms report

Search terms report is the best source for finding out negative keywords. Regularly reviewing your search phrases will provide you with insight into which search terms are triggering your ads. You’ll eventually have to decide which of those terms to include as negative keywords and which to keep.

Adding terms related to your negative keywords will further prevent your ad from showing for irrelevant searches. So it is a wise step to find similar terms to block the search term altogether

Adding all variants as negative keywords

While adding a keyword as a negative keyword you might want to add its close variants as negative keyword too. Negative keywords don’t consider close variants, so if you want to block your ad from showing for the keyword altogether, add them too. Close variants are any misspelling, similarities and singular or plural form of your keyword.

Redirecting to correct campaign/ ad group

You might have observed that sometimes same search query can get matched to keywords across multiple campaigns. Using negative keywords ensures that the search query gets matched to the most relevant keyword and as a result relevant ad gets shown. This step not only improves the quality score, but it also raises the likelihood of the visitor converting because his query received the desired answers.

Conflicting with bidded keywords

If you are handling an account with multiple campaigns you might skip noticing that a negative keyword you added is conflicting with a bidded keyword. What it means is, your negative keyword is blocking an ad from showing for a keyword you are bidding on. This needs to be immediately corrected to avoid missing out on any relevant clicks to your ads.

For e.g. if you have added a negative keyword free and simultaneously you are running an ad with the keyword sugar free juice, then your ad gets blocked. Google in such a case raises an alert. So, before adding a negative keyword you might want to re-check your existing keywords list too.

Create Negative Keyword Lists

If you have a list of keywords that is applicable to all your campaigns, and will never match your brand’s objective, then instead of individually adding those keywords to each campaign, create a negative keyword list in your Shared Library.

Choosing appropriate match types

 if you do not wish to show for search terms as buy sugar free juice for free or free sugar free juice, adding free as a broad match negative keyword will block all relevant search queries from showing your ad. In this case, it is better to add the entire search query as an exact or phrase match negative keyword.

Let us just dig into this a little more. Now choosing what match type suits your negative keyword, ideally depends on the range of terms that you wish to block. Considering that you are certain about blocking the term, here are a few things that you can keep in mind while making the decision:

  • Single Word Keywords: If the negative keyword is a single word, it shows that you are certain not to show your ad for that particular keyword. In this case, a broad match will perfectly suit your requirements as it will remove all the search queries related to that particular word.
  • Short Tail Keywords: These keywords contain three or less than three words. Here phrase match type best suited, as it will largely cover search terms that mention the phrase. Using broad match could block a large number of search terms, so play safe with phrase match type.
  • Long Tail Keywords: These are phrases with a low search volume and the number of search terms with low volume are larger in number. Spending on these low volume keywords will not help you drive the traction you wish for. Such keywords have a one-in-a-million chance of becoming a winner. It is preferable to use broad match or broad match modifier match type for these keywords. This could make it easier for you to approach the search phrases.

We’ve offered our thoughts based on our own experiences with it. However, no one can declare with certainty that a specific match type is the best for negative keywords. What it depends on, reiterating it again, is the range of terms that you intend to block.

Is there any other best practice that we missed mentioning here? Let us know in the comments below.

An Important Note: Our Negative Keywords Tool is Free for accounts with ad spend less than $10,000 per month. Save 10-20% of your search ad spend for free.

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