Why Are Negative Keywords Important?

When using PPC, the general idea is to bid on keywords that relate to the products or services you want to advertise. So when a user on Google searches the terms you have as keywords in your account, your ad will appear. But what about negative keywords? Surely as negatives they wont be that important will they? My answer is, yep, they sure are! And here is why.

The inevitable thing about keywords is that your ads will end up showing for searches that aren’t related to what it is you are advertising. Since it costs money every time your ad gets a click, why run the risk of wasting money  by your ads showing in the wrong place with zero consumer need or desire for your product? What can be done to prevent this? That is where the negatives come in. These so called negative keywords are the type of keywords you add into your account that you definitely do not want your ads to show for. Finding the negatives and excluding them from your account is a step in the right direction for your success.


Where to find them?

Sometimes the terms you don’t want to show for can seem obvious, I mean, if you’re running a diet product the last place you want your ad to be seen is around the fast food aisle right? Other times it will be up to you to do a little bit of research. What better way to start keyword research other that your best friend Google? Not only does the keyword planner helps you to determine keywords you might want to add to your account, you can also benefit from it by finding searches that you don’t want to show for. By putting keywords into the keyword planner you can see the different search terms that are being searched which are related to your keyword. 

The other great way to find negatives to add to your account is to use the Search Query Report so you can see first hand the actual search terms people are searching for to give you a much better insight into the terms you don’t want your product to show for.


How Do I Exclude Them?

Finding the negatives is the easy part and once you have them you have to decide how you want to exclude them altogether. Once choice is to consider the match type you want to exclude as. So if you want to exclude just one term completely, you can exclude it as exact match. Then if you want to exclude a term only in certain context you can exclude it as phrase match.But if you want to exclude a certain term in any context with any combinations of words, the broad match is the match type for you. Even though you can create broad match negatives, it is probably best that you keep your negatives short and tight. You don’t want to contradict the whole point of this exercise by repelling potential traffic due to the broad connections associated with it.

The other choice you have is to exclude the keyword at either ad group or campaign level, or by using a negative keyword list. This would mean that if you exclude the keywords from ad group or campaign level, they would only be excluded from certain ad groups and campaigns whereas if you were to use a negative keyword list then the keywords would be excluded from the whole account and would never trigger your ad to show ever.

So there you have it, a little taste of why negative keywords are important and how you can use them to benefit your PPC account performance. They can end up costing you time and money if not managed properly so now you have a better understanding you can get cracking with those negatives and they will in turn, have a positive effect on your campaign.

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