How to Find Negative Google Ads Keywords

September 21, 2018

Negative keywords are important to ensuring that you’re spending your Google Ads budget wisely. You shouldn’t waste clicks, money or time by showing for queries that don’t bring any value to your business. You need to make sure that you have all your negative keywords positioned correctly, so that you can refine your targeting and only drive high quality traffic to your website. With the help of negative keywords, you can create immense value for your campaign by ensuring that you are only showing for queries that are related to your business or offer.

Negative keywords can also help you follow your brand guidelines as Google can sometimes match you with questionable queries. You want to avoid bad PR at all costs, and negative keywords can help ensure that you’re all set from a compliance perspective.

Keyword Auto-Complete

There are many tools online that help you to figure out what the auto-complete of your long-tail query is. This helps you estimate which areas are good for keyword analysis and which areas aren’t.

For Example: If you sell glasses and are buying the term “new glasses”, then you probably don’t want to show ads for a query like ‘repair new glasses’. A negative keyword of “repair” in phrase match would eliminate you from potentially showing up to queries pertaining to ‘repair’.

You may be wasting valuable dollars on queries that don’t truly pertain to your business offer. With the help of these online tools, you can easily find potential queries that you would want to avoid. They could be suffix or prefix oriented, the best way to ensure you don’t show for a specific query is to add it as a phrase match negative keyword.

Statistical analysis of campaign

So, you’ve run your campaign for a few weeks now and are looking for ways to optimize your search campaign. This would be a great time to dig into the search terms report and identify any irrelevant or bad queries you may be showing ads for. You can analyze your whole campaign, or account, and identify any queries that may be driving unusable traffic to your site. Adding these irrelevant or bad queries as a negative keyword to your campaign, or account, will make sure you only show ads for users searching for relevant things.

Other SEM Platforms

Negative keywords are not limited to only Google Ads. Bing and Yahoo! Gemini can also benefit from the proper use of negative keywords. Luckily, the same process can be followed as with Google Ads, evaluating the search term reports and finding irrelevant queries. Those irrelevant queries then can be turned into negative keywords.

When it comes to SEM optimization, we can spend hours and days refining our keywords and bids. Spending some time each week or so looking at the search terms report and introducing new negative keywords to campaigns, or an account overall, will help ensure that our ads are only showing for queries that are of high value.