Introduction To Negative Keywords – Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC).

In Today’s lesson we are going to focus on Negative Keywords. In PPC & Adwords, Keyword Research is critical and Campaign success can be dependent on whether the right keywords are selected or not. However, where many Advertisers fail and tend to overlook is the ability to utilise Negative Keywords and to see the benefit of these accordingly. For those who are unsure what Negative Keywords are; Negative keywords are keywords which prevent your ads from appearing and potentially receiving clicks from search queries that are not relevant to your product/service within a Pay Per Click Advertising campaign.

For example in the ad below, the user has entered the search term shredding into Google. The user is referring to guitar shredding. However what they find are results for shredding machines and paper shredders. This is because shredding is a term used to refer to a style of guitar playing but also can refer to the action of cutting or destroying documents etc. Therefore the ad is showing up for the searcher but the term is clearly not relevant and therefore the user will not click on the ad. That is why it is important to ad negative keywords. So if I was a company in paper shredding, I would look to ad guitar as a negative keyword which would prevent my ad showing for any search term with guitar in it.



Why use Negative Keywords?

As seen from the example above, Negative Keywords can generate many benefits for an advertiser and can significantly improve results in a Pay Per Click Advertising (ppc) campaign. I was working on a account that had a poor Click Through Rate (CTR) of about 2%. Our goal was to at least double this within the month. Adding a negative keyword list significantly improved the campaign performance and enabled the CTR to grow dramatically. In saying that, adding a negative keyword list was just one element/adjustment of many to the campaign but it was still a proven method of success.

Utilising Negative Keywords will Suppress impressions from irrelevant search queries and reduce unwanted clicks from untargeted users, thus improving conversions, Quality Score and CTR.


Negative Keyword Types:

Google Ad-Words offers the Following Negative Match types:

Negative Broad Matched –Insert a minus sign before a keyword and add it to your ad group or PPC campaign.

Example: -Free Service – Your ads will not appear and will be prevented from showing on any search queries containing the terms Free and Service. Your ads still have the potential to appear for variations of these terms and can show on search queries that only contain one of the terms. For example, the search queries Window Service and Free Windows could trigger your ads, while Free Window Service will not.

Negative “Phrase” Matched – Insert quotation marks.

Example: -”Free Service“

Will prevent your ad from being triggered if the search term Free Service is entered. The search query Free Service Computer Software would not trigger your ads within your Pay Per Click Advertising Campaigns. . However, your ads could show for queries such as Accounting Service Software or Free Accounting Software.


Negative [Exact] Matched – Insert brackets.

Example: – [Free Service]

Negative keyword prevents your ads from showing on the search query Free Service. Search queries such as Free Automobile Service could still trigger your ads.


So today, we gave an Introduction To Negative Keywords within a Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) Campaign. We identified what Negative Keywords are, what are the benefits and the different format types. Next, we will look at Negative Keywords in more detail and we will look at how to generate negative keywords, tools to generate lists and the Adwords-Interface. So remember, when you’re planning a PPC Advertising campaign, don’t forget to look at negative keyword lists and to incorporate these keywords accordingly.






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