To get the most out of your paid advertising efforts, it’s vital that you discover and bid on your most profitable keywords. They are the heart and soul of your paid ads, ad groups, and landing pages. Using the right keywords will help get your ad in front of people who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. That said, it’s equally as important to add a few negative keywords into the mix.
In essence, negative keywords prevent your ads from showing to people who are NOT interested in the solutions you’re providing. This can potentially save you a ton of money! After all, you won’t be paying for clicks that will never result in a purchase. Still, the vast majority of advertisers aren’t utilizing this feature to its full potential, if at all.
As a result, they end up overpaying for their paid advertising campaigns. In the event that the costs outweigh the ROI, most of them simply stop advertising on search networks altogether.
But, here’s the thing… You can avoid these pitfalls and cut down on your ad spend by leveraging negative keywords.
So, let’s see what negative keywords are, how you can implement them in your campaigns, and use them to enhance your paid advertising efforts.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
What Exactly Are Negative Keywords?
Negative keywords, as the name suggests, are the polar opposite of standard keywords. If you’re leveraging negative keywords, you’re ensuring that, when someone types in that specific word or phrase, your ads will not be shown to them.
In other words, they allow you to completely eliminate certain search queries. For instance, if you’ve noticed that a certain keyword is under-performing, you can easily exclude it from your list. You always want to refine your keywords to maximize relevance and get the highest possible ROI.
Negative keywords are an indispensable tool in that regard. They allow you to ensure your ads only reach your ideal clients.
Similarly to the keywords you’re bidding on, you can assign negative keywords at the account, campaign, or ad group level.
They also come in multiple flavors – broad, phrase, and exact. Essentially, you can choose to exclude an exact keyword, a phrase, or a broad selection of similar words & phrases.
Now, in order to leverage the full potential of negative keywords, it’s vital that you comprehend how these different match types work in practice. So, let’s take a look…
Negative Keywords Match Types
Like I mentioned, with the broad match, the negative keyword you select is matched to different variations of the word/phrase.
Now, there’s one thing you need to be aware of here. Broad match will exclude all queries containing the chosen negative keyword.
However, if it’s a phrase containing 2 or more words, queries that do not contain both will still see the ad.
For example, let’s say you choose the negative keyword “make money online”.
All phrases containing this keyword will be removed – even if the words don’t appear in the same order.
However, if someone types “make money on the internet” or “build an online business”, the add will still go through.
In other words, queries containing only a part of the negative keyword will still see your ads.
Negative phrase match only excludes the exact phrase you specify.
If a query contains the chosen phrase, regardless of the other words it may include, it will be negated.
Hence, you won’t be paying for any queries which contain the negative phrase.
That said, other search queries will go through without a problem, even if they contain a part of the specified phrase.
You would only use exact match when targeting very specific queries.
In other words, your ads won’t show only in the event that someone types the exact same keywords you added to your AdWords account.
If it contains any extra words, or mixes up the order, the exact match won’t negate that query.
One thing to keep in mind here is that Display Network and YouTube TrueView campaigns automatically consider all negative keywords as an exact match.
So, you might want to include several iterations of the same keyword.
Here’s an example to better illustrate the nuances between these 3 match types:
That said, regardless of which network you choose to run your paid campaigns on, it pays to remember that including too many negative keywords can have a detrimental effect on your ability to reach the target audience.
However, having a carefully crafted list can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands of advertising dollars.
The Benefits Of Including Negative Keywords
There are plenty of benefits to adding negative keywords to your campaigns.
Here are just the few biggest ones, to help illustrate just how powerful asset negative keywords can be:
Higher Click-Through Rate – Negative keywords, like I said, ensure that your ads aren’t shown to people who have no interest in your offers. If your ads only appear in relevant queries, the percentage of people who click them will be much greater.
Create More Relevant Ad Groups – Weeding out irrelevant keywords helps boost the relevance of your ad groups. This way, you’ll be able to craft closely related ad groups which convey your message through a group of relevant keywords.
Save A Ton Of Money – This is probably the biggest benefit. You simply won’t be wasting money on useless clicks. How great is that? You can also add negative keywords which will prevent your ads bidding against each other. Two birds with one… negative keyword!
Improve Your Conversions – Similarly as with the click-through rates, by showing your ads only to relevant people, you’re limiting the amount of keywords you know won’t convert well. For instance, you can include negative keywords containing a competitor’s name, or those you’re positive won’t result in a purchase.
How Do You Add Negative Keywords?
Obviously, you first need to log into your AdWords account.
Then, navigate to the “Keywords” tab on account, campaign, or ad group level.
Then, simply click the “Negative Keywords” tab on the top of your screen.
If you haven’t used negative keywords before, you’ll see the following screen:
Simply click the “+” sign to add negative keywords to a campaign or an add group.
Here, you can simply type in the negative keywords you’d like to add. There’s also an option to save them as a list for future use, or import an existing list.
Once you’ve typed in the desired negative words, and selected the campaign or ad group you’d like to add them to, simply hit “Save”.
The AdWords Interface will then redirect you back to the “Negative Keywords” tab.
Here, make sure to check the box next to the keyword(s) you want to add:
That’s it, you’re good to go!
Advanced (Negative) Search Query Mining
If you’re only bidding on broad match keywords,while ignoring the data from the search queries, you’re likely wasting valuable money.
If you don’t manage your negative keywords together with new opportunities, you’re bound overlook some rather expensive search queries that may very well hinder your ability to attract the right prospects and convert them into paid customers.
Now that you know how to add negative keyword to your AdWords account, let’s take a closer look at which search queries you should actually eliminate.
But first, it’s important that you fully comprehend the difference between a keyword and a search query.
Keywords, in the essence, are simply assumptions. You’re basically hedging on certain words and phrases your target audience might use to find yours or similar products and services with the help of search engines.
The search queries is what they actually type in the search engines to do so. And as you already know, this will likely differ from one person to another.
That said, a relevant keyword will potentially match thousands of different queries.
This is amazing for discover new, long-tail keywords. They’re super-valuable, because they’re undoubtedly relevant for your business, and are lower in volume – meaning not a lot of people bid on them, so the cost is significantly lower.
That’s why it pays to dig through different search queries containing a specific keyword. You’ll be able to uncover new, cost-effective keywords with the potential to bring in tons of new leads and customers.
Creating a list of negative keywords and going through thousands of search queries is a time-consuming process.
However, it’s extremely important if you want to efficiently promote your offers through paid advertising.
It helps ensure that every dollar spent leads to an opportunity to grab a new buyer.
And, it allows you to discover new opportunities that will help you maximize the results of your paid advertising efforts.
Adding the right negative words helps streamline your ads and ensures they’re shown only to people who are genuinely interested.
This way, you’ll be able to convey your message to your ideal target audience.
And, your advertising dollars will go towards impressions and clicks that are extremely likely to result in qualified leads, and eventually – sales.
So, are negative keywords worth your time?
The process of adding them might be tedious…
But, it’s also necessary if you want the best possible results out of your paid advertising campaigns!
I hope you enjoyed learning about negative keywords, and that this post helps you maximize your paid advertising ROI.
If you have any comments, questions, or feedback, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below.
Also, don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media. They deserve to know this too!
Are you looking to learn more about paid advertising?
What if I told you I was willing to share my proven 3-step formula that can generate 500-1000 red-hot leads for your business every month?
Then click here to gain instant access to Traffic Mastery Intensive, and learn how you can take your business to 6 figures and beyond!
About The Author
Your Millionaire Mentor
Shaqir Hussyin is the founder and CEO of WealthAcademy.com & Funnels.com. Nicknamed the “Backpack Millionaire”, he’s invested $350,000 into his own education and training. Whilst traveling to 100+ countries, Shaqir has built over 10+ million dollar brands and attracted over 500,000+ subscribers.
His signature program is now available:Max Income System; 14 Simple Steps To Making Your First Income Online
Shaqir is also a highly sought-after speaker and direct response “Sales Funnels” global leader. Shaqir’s work has impacted over 100,000 businesses in 65 different countries. Connect with Shaqir on Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn & FB Group.