Negative keywords are an advertising keyword filter tool offered by advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. It lets you exclude the search terms and phrases for which you don’t want your ads to appear. So, your ads won’t be shown to someone who enters a term or phrase that you’ve marked as negative.

Types of Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are of two types-

1. Campaign Level- The campaign-level negative keywords help you select keywords for which none of your ads will be shown.

2. Ad Group Level- With ad group level negative keywords, you select keywords for which ads won’t appear in a particular ad group.

Benefits of Using Negative Keywords

●Excluding irrelevant traffic and increasing conversions

●Reducing Av. CPC (Average Cost Per Click) and improving ROI (Return-on-Investment)

●Improved CTR (Click-Through-Rate) which positively impacts the quality score (QS) of keywords

●Preventing cross-contamination between ad groups and campaigns

Finding Negative Keywords

Examining user query data is the most popular way of finding negative keywords. You can use the Search Terms Report and Keyword Planner for the same.

Finding Negative Keywords with Search Terms Report

This report lets you view the actual search queries for which your ads were shown to the people. Once you understand the type of queries that trigger your ads, a list of positive and negative keywords can then be created.

Finding negative keywords with Keyword Planner

While the Keyword Planner helps in finding keywords that you can bid on, it can also be used for finding negative keywords. For instance, when you enter a keyword like “shoes”, the tool will present a list of keywords that are related to the term.

The list will also have details like competition and search volume. From this list, you can find keywords that do not apply to your business or a particular ad campaign or ad group.

Adding Negative Keywords to a Google Ads Campaign or Ad Group.

Open your Google Ads account click on the left menu option and select ‘Keywords’ Select the Negative Keywords’ option from this menu click on the ‘+’ button and choose ‘Add negative keywords or create a new list’ You will now be asked to select whether the negative keywords are to be added to an ad group or a campaign. Once you select between the two, you can then start entering the negative keywords. After adding the negative keywords, you can save them to an existing or a new list of keywords. Click ‘Save’ to save the changes.

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