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Negative Keywords: The Definitive Guide

Negative Keywords: The Definitive Guide

Negative Keywords: The Definitive Guide

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Many advertisers waste cash on inefficient Google Ads campaigns.

Amongst the largest finances wasters are campaigns triggering searchers queries that don’t seem to be related.

These wasted clicks pressure up the overall value and make it so much more difficult to get profitability.

The just right information is that you’ll be able to simply repair this factor through the usage of detrimental key phrases in Google Ads.

What are detrimental key phrases?

Negative key phrases save you your commercials from appearing up for particular seek queries.

Here’s a handy guide a rough instance.

Your retailer sells furnishings, and your bid for the key phrase “console”. While a few of your searchers’ queries are associated with desk consoles, you spot that your commercials have proven for phrases like “PlayStation 4 console” or “Xbox One console”.

As you don’t promote such merchandise, appearing your advert for those queries drains your finances.

So, to mend this drawback, you upload “playstation 4 console” and “xbox one console” as detrimental key phrases.

These two detrimental key phrases will forestall Google from appearing your furnishings commercials when other folks seek for online game consoles.

The advantages of the usage of detrimental key phrases

As this situation presentations, the principle good thing about detrimental key phrases is they prevent cash.

But there are a couple of further advantages:

  • Increase click-through price (CTR): display for extra related seek queries
  • Improve high quality ranking: higher CTR ends up in a better high quality ranking which ends up in a decrease CPC
  • Increase conversion price: get upper high quality guests in your web site

How to search out your detrimental key phrases

Now that you recognize what detrimental key phrases are and why you should utilize them, it’s time to search out those you must upload in your marketing campaign and advert teams.

The method we’ll in finding those key phrases is to head very vast to start with. We’ll use a host of various gear to search out possible detrimental key phrases. I love to offload them right into a spreadsheet to check and type them after.

I’ve put in combination a worksheet you’ll be able to use to observe alongside.

The means of discovering detrimental key phrases is so much like key phrase analysis.

Google Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is a useful gizmo to search out key phrases you wish to have to bid on, you’ll be able to additionally use it to find detrimental fits.

You can in finding it within your Google Ads account:

google ads keyword planner

Let’s say you might have an ecommerce retailer the place you promote cell chargers. So, you kind “charger” into the quest bar.

google ads keyword planner to find negative keywords

As you’ll be able to see within the symbol above, there is just one key phrase which may be related for our smartphone trade. The others are associated with vehicles or soccer.

This is excellent because it lets in you to make a choice the ones related key phrases and upload them in your spreadsheet.

Search Terms Report

google ads search terms report

If you’re operating Google Ads campaigns (Search or Shopping), the Google Search Terms Report will display you the entire seek queries for which your commercials have gave the impression.

I generally take on this record through sorting on Impressions.

Then I scroll during the listing and search for deficient acting key phrases. These ceaselessly may have a large number of impressions, a low CTR, or a top value

Google seek

find negative keywords using google search

This may well be the most straightforward instrument of all, a handy guide a rough Google seek will expose key phrases, merchandise, and ideas and you could now not have thought of.

The above seek for “bike”, presentations effects for motorcycle excursions, motorcycle repairs apparatus, a desk bound health motorcycle, and a bike-sharing device.

So as you undergo those pages, you’ll come across a host of items that don’t observe to what you are promoting. Add all of them in your detrimental key phrase spreadsheet.

Other key phrase analysis gear


Find negative keywords with Soovle
Soovle key phrase instrument

You can use a third-party instrument like Soovle to find much more detrimental fits. I admit it seems to be a little dated however remains to be very helpful. This loose instrument will display you fashionable seek queries to your key phrase on other web pages, reminiscent of Google, YouTube, Amazon, and Wikipedia.

If you hover over the icons on the backside of the quest bar, you’ll see the effects for each and every web site. Go via them, and search for the entire phrases that don’t seem to be related to what you are promoting.

I particularly just like the Amazon one, since maximum key phrases there has industrial intent.


Find negative keyword matches with SEMrush

SEMrush supplies a large number of the information that Google Keyword Tool used to supply.

It has a large number of suggestions for similar key phrases, supreme to find extra negatives.

You too can take a look on the key phrases of your competition, and uncover new applicants that method.

Here is an instance of our teardown of Glossier’s promoting:

competitor search queries for glossier.com

Just from that listing, we will already see a couple of searches for competitor merchandise slipping via. These are supreme applicants so as to add in your possible detrimental key phrase listing.

SEMrush is a useful gizmo, but it surely isn’t loose. It means that you can get right of entry to to a restricted quantity of news, supreme when you don’t want a large number of knowledge, or need to take a look at if its one thing for you.


Another instrument I’d like to say is Ahrefs . It’s very similar to SEMrush however had so much fewer PPC options. (When it involves search engine optimization I in reality like Ahrefs significantly better)

But that makes it nonetheless very usable for our activity handy, do key phrase analysis to search out possible detrimental key phrases.

Like SEMrush, Ahrefs may be a subscription-based instrument. It doesn’t have a loose plan.

Evaluating “bad keywords”

By now your spreadsheet must be beautiful full of quite a lot of possible detrimental key phrases, time to judge them!

All the key phrases on your listing can also be decreased to four teams of detrimental key phrases. I generally will undergo my listing of key phrases and create a column for each and every crew, that can make the paintings in what follows more straightforward.

sorting negative keywords
Sort your detrimental key phrases with our worksheet

Irrelevant phrases

The very first thing I do is put the entire utterly beside the point ones in one column. These are those that harm the efficiency of your commercials and drain your finances. They are generally the perfect to identify and exclude.


You are promoting telephone chargers, and the quest time period is dodge charger

You’re promoting robotic garden mowers and anyone is in search of “robot lawn mower diy”.

Competitor phrases

The 2nd crew is composed of competitor phrases. While it’s tempting to start with to turn commercials for those queries (when you promote the similar merchandise), they generally aren’t very efficient.

Especially you probably have a brand new or lesser-known retailer.

If you’re hesitant about with the exception of them and feature precise knowledge on them from your personal campaigns, analyze the fee and earnings of those particular seek queries. Maybe some competition are winning whilst others aren’t.


You promote automotive portions and somebody searches for “amazon bull bar”. Should you exclude Amazon?

Products now not bought

This crew is very similar to the competitor’s seek phrases. But as a substitute of searches for a real retailer, those are searches for merchandise you don’t promote (but).

Most other folks in search of a emblem have already made up their minds, so it’s going to be onerous to persuade them to shop for the logo you’re promoting as a substitute.

CTRs and high quality rankings additionally gained’t be stellar when you’re now not in reality the usage of the quest time period on your advert.

Knowing that those seek queries are taking place is usually a form of marketplace analysis.

I’ve a shopper to whom I record those seek queries. He makes use of it to spot developments out there or new sizzling manufacturers to promote or glance into.

So you’ll be able to exclude them, or leverage them like within the instance above.

Very generic phrases

The fourth and ultimate crew accommodates the key phrases which are maximum tough to judge.

These key phrases are those you’d LOVE to turn for organically (aka totally free): they convey in a ton of site visitors this is on the lookout for what you’re promoting.

The query you’ll want to solution on this segment is whether or not you wish to have to pay for them.

Having those key phrases on your marketing campaign include top prices (extra clicks), low CTR, and conversion charges.

Which seek queries you exclude can be distinctive from retailer to retailer. But when you’re already hurting for profitability, it’s perfect to exclude those.

But it’s additionally simple to be too competitive on this space. Google Ads doesn’t all the time paintings very easy. Some searches don’t herald gross sales without delay however do introduce a large number of possible consumers to the shop.

So including too many detrimental key phrases may just starve your campaigns from the oxygen you wish to have to transform guests later within the funnel.

This is a tough steadiness that turns into much more essential as you scale your campaigns.


Your retailer is promoting garden mowers and the quest time period is “lawn mowers”.

If you in finding it tough to exclude such reputedly treasured seek queries, the following segment is for you.

The Grey Zone Search Query Checklist

This tick list will assist you to to come to a decision what to do with the key phrases you’re hesitant to exclude.

Should they keep, or must you upload them as detrimental key phrases?

I’ve integrated explanations to all inquiries to lead them to transparent:

  1. Does this seek question have a low industrial intent?

If a seek question has a low industrial intent, it implies that searchers don’t seem to be but able to shop for your product.

  1. Does this seek question have a CTR that’s under common?

A below-average CTR implies that your searchers are precipitated through your advert, however they aren’t clicking it (as ceaselessly as you prefer). If you’re operating a Google Search Ads marketing campaign, imagine developing a brand new advert crew with a extra related advert for the quest time period.

  1. Does this seek question have a conversion price that’s under common?
  2. Does this seek question have a price in line with conversion that’s above common?

A below-average conversion price and an above-average value in line with conversion for a seek question are signs that the expectancy of searchers don’t seem to be met when they’ve clicked to your advert. There are many explanation why this occurs (e.g., your touchdown web page isn’t optimized for cell gadgets). So except you’ll be able to work out the rationale, you must exclude them.

If you responded sure to any of the questions above, then you definately must imagine including that individual seek time period as a detrimental key phrase.

How so as to add detrimental key phrases in your campaigns

By this level, you will have reviewed the entire possible

As quickly as you’re ready with comparing the detrimental key phrases on your spreadsheet, you’ll be able to upload them in your campaigns and advert teams.

First, pass to the marketing campaign the place you wish to have so as to add detrimental key phrases. Navigate to the Keywords tab and click on Negative Keywords within the best bar. Click the “+” icon to continue.

Google Ads negative keywords tab

You can make a selection from two choices there: “Add negative keywords or create new list” and “Use negative keyword list.”

adding negative keywords to google ads campaign

The subsequent segment will glance into developing detrimental key phrase lists. Here we’ll center of attention on including negatives to a particular marketing campaign or advert crew.

So why would you upload detrimental key phrases to an advert crew as a substitute of a marketing campaign degree?

Campaign degree detrimental key phrases are key phrases you don’t need to display up for. These are the key phrases we’ve been speaking about on this article.

Ad crew degree detrimental key phrases are to stop a particular advert crew triggering an advert for a seek question. This is extra of a marketing campaign construction factor, like one thing you wish to have to do with unmarried key phrase advert teams.

Now ahead of we get to the sensible aspect, there’s one closing essential element you wish to have to grasp. That are the detrimental key phrase fit varieties.

Negative key phrase fit varieties

Like with common key phrase fit varieties, those extras are modifiers you’ll be able to upload in your key phrases to keep an eye on how restrictive Google handles them.

We are going to appear into all 3 detrimental key phrase fit varieties, beginning with probably the most restrictive possibility.

Negative vast fit

Examples of google ads negative broad match keywords
Image supply: Google

Negative vast fit is the strictest detrimental fit kind.

As you’ll be able to see within the instance above, when you upload the detrimental vast fit ‘running shoes,’ Google will save you your advert from appearing up for this precise word (trainers), the opposite model (footwear operating), but in addition when this precise word is integrated in a key phrase (blue trainers).

However, your commercials will nonetheless display for searchers if their queries include handiest part of your detrimental key phrase (operating or footwear).

Negative word fit

Examples of google ads negative phrase match keywords
Image supply: Google

When you upload a detrimental word fit key phrase, searchers gained’t see your advert if their queries come with the precise key phrase phrases in the similar order.

So, when you upload the detrimental word fit key phrase “running shoes”, your advert gained’t display up for any queries that include this word. But searchers who invert the order of the key phrase (footwear operating) will see your commercial in Google.

Negative word fit is my private favourite because it provides advertisers a high-quality steadiness between keep an eye on and versatility. If you utilize this fit kind proper, you’ll be able to eliminate maximum beside the point key phrases whilst now not hurting the succeed in of your commercials.

Negative word fit has one further receive advantages. You know precisely what you’re with the exception of, not like vast fit the place it is advisable to be with the exception of extra searches than you suppose you might be.

Negative precise fit

Examples of google ads negative exact match keywords
Image supply: Google

Putting your detrimental key phrases in brackets prevents your advert from appearing up for other folks when their queries include the precise word, in the similar order, and with out additional phrases.

As you’ll be able to see within the instance, the detrimental precise fit key phrase [running shoes] gained’t display for searches handiest within the case they Google ‘running shoes’.

If searchers opposite the order of the phrases, upload additional phrases, or use a key phrase that accommodates handiest one of the most two phrases of the word your advert will display.

This fit kind is sensible for key phrases which are very generic. You may need to exclude a particular seek, whilst nonetheless appearing up when other folks seek for similar issues.

If you promote garden mowers, you could need to exclude [lawn mower] so that you’re nonetheless in a position to turn for long-tail searches like “robot lawn mower”.

Example: Adding your detrimental key phrases with fit varieties

Let’s check out how that each one works in follow.

I’m taking through detrimental key phrases spreadsheet, which lists the key phrases with out fit varieties, and can upload them to the campaigns.

Here is the column with beside the point phrases:

irrelevant search queries google ads

And this is how I’d upload those to my Search marketing campaign:

google ads negative keywords with match types

You can see that almost all key phrases within the listing were shortened.

That’s as a result of I’m taking a look to exclude the utmost quantity of beside the point seek queries.

I may just upload “rocky balboa apollo creed large poster” as a detrimental key phrase. And that may forestall the ones searches from coming via.

But as a substitute, I’ve added “rocky balboa”. My pondering at the back of that is that it excludes a host of additional searches that may come via differently.

Level up with detrimental key phrase lists

While it’s simple so as to add detrimental key phrases to an advert crew or marketing campaign, one day it will get onerous to regulate.

If you might have more than one campaigns operating, you’ll have so as to add new detrimental key phrases to each and every of your campaigns.

This guide labour provides up rapid and it lets in for errors.

The option to this drawback is detrimental key phrase lists.

Negative key phrase lists can percentage detrimental key phrases between campaigns.

Using detrimental key phrase lists, you might have one position to crew (or evaluate) the entire key phrases you’re with the exception of. This is tremendous handy when you’re monitoring down a key phrase that shouldn’t were excluded.

Also, the usage of detrimental key phrase lists is an important when you find yourself operating more than one Google Shopping campaigns and segmenting them according to the quest queries.

How to create detrimental key phrase lists

Google Ads negative keyword lists

TO get to the Negative key phrase lists menu, click on the “Tools & Settings” icon at the best of the web page, and make a selection “Negative keyword lists” from the dropdown menu.

Click the “+” icon to create a brand new listing. Name your listing, then get able so as to add the entire seek queries that don’t seem to be related to what you are promoting as detrimental key phrases.

Create negative keyword lists in Google Ads

As the general step, make a selection the marketing campaign(s) you wish to have to use the detrimental key phrase listing.

How so as to add your detrimental key phrase listing to a marketing campaign

You too can observe a detrimental key phrase listing while you’re operating on a real marketing campaign.

If you’re within the detrimental key phrases menu and click on the “+” icon, you’ll see the choice to make use of an current detrimental key phrase listing.

Apply a negative keyword list to a campaign in Google Ads

Now make a selection the listing(s) you wish to have to make use of for the marketing campaign, and click on “Save”.

Which detrimental key phrase lists to create

Now that you understand how to create detrimental lists, let’s take a look at a few commonplace detrimental key phrase lists.

Here are the lists that I ceaselessly use:

  • General: listing of beside the point seek queries
  • Competitors: upload major competition
  • Products now not bought: upload competitor manufacturers
  • Generics: very generic seek queries that don’t convert (neatly sufficient)
  • Brands: all manufacturers retailer sells (together with the shop’s personal emblem)
  • Products: all product names

I gained’t observe the entire above lists to all campaigns, but it surely provides me a large number of flexibility to paintings with.

Adding detrimental key phrases from the Search Terms Report

The procedure defined on this article works beautiful neatly when you’re within the means of reviewing your key phrases or beginning once more.

But more often than not, you’ll be sifting via your Search phrases record to spot detrimental key phrase applicants.

Then you’ll be able to upload them instantly from that record. First make a selection the key phrases you wish to have to exclude, then click on “Add as negative keyword” within the best bar:

google ads search terms report negative keyword

Then you’ll have a host of choices:

negative keyword options

You can upload detrimental key phrases to the Ad crew, marketing campaign or a detrimental key phrase listing.

This closing possibility makes it tremendous simple to stay new detrimental key phrases synced between campaigns.

But ahead of you hit Save, we want to evaluate the true key phrase and its fit kind.

By default, Google Ads will upload new detrimental key phrases as a detrimental precise fit. Which way you’re handiest with the exception of searches for that individual seek question.

In this example, I need to exclude all long term seek queries for “cs hammond”, so I’ve modified the key phrase accordingly:

changing negative keyword match type in google ads

🔑 To Using Negative Keywords Effectively

Searching for and including new detrimental key phrases in your campaigns is usually a labor-intensive procedure, but it surely comes with nice advantages and is an very important a part of your optimization regimen.

With the suitable detrimental key phrase technique, your commercials will mirror higher what you must be offering.

Your CTR and conversion charges will build up, which means that your finances will stretch additional, and your ROAS will upward thrust sooner or later.

Bonus: Get our Negative Keywords worksheet which incorporates a template, samples and premade detrimental key phrase lists. Grab it right here!

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