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What Are Negative Keywords? | How To Use Them Effectively

Negative keywords are a powerful tool for your online advertising campaigns. They allow you to eliminate irrelevant or unqualified traffic and improve the performance of your ads. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about negative keywords.

What Are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are words and terms that you tell Google not to show ads for. If a user types in one of your negative keywords, then they will not see an ad from your campaign. Negative keywords help reduce the number of irrelevant clicks your ads receive, which means they can improve your ad’s performance by ensuring it targets only relevant users. Keyword Match Types There are three main keyword match types: Broad, Phrase, and Exact. Broad match is the default setting for all new AdWords campaigns.

Broad Match

When you use broad match, your ad can show on any search query that contains the words in your keyword. For example, if you bid on the keyword “women’s shoes,” then your ad may also show for searches like “buy women’s shoes online,” and even misspellings of this phrase (e.g., “buying women’s shoes online”). A broad match is a good way to ensure that people who are looking for what you offer will find it. But it also means that irrelevant users might see your ad too.

Phrase Match

Phrase match is a more specific type of keyword match. Phrase-matched keywords only show for searches that include the exact words in your keyword exactly as you specified them. For example, if you bid on the keyword “women’s shoes,” then your ad will only show for searches like “buy women’s shoes online,” and not for misspellings or other variations.

The downside of phrase match is that it’s less likely to catch searches for related products or services. For example, if someone searches for “women’s shoes,” then they might also be looking for “men’s dress shoes” or “kids’ sneakers.” But if you only have the word “women’s” in your keyword, then those searches won’t show your ad.

Exact Match

The exact match type is when you add a keyword to your ad and Google only shows your ad to people who have searched for that exact keyword.

How Does Negative Keyword Match Work?

Negative keyword match works by excluding certain terms from your ad groups. When you create a negative keyword, it will be matched against the query to which your ads are showing. If the search query contains the negative keyword, then Google won’t show your ad. This is particularly useful in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising because it allows you to exclude uninterested searchers and focus on people who are more likely to convert.
What Are Negative Keywords? | How To Use Them Effectively - Zounax

Negative keywords are very important

As you can see, negative keywords are very important for your online campaign optimization. To be more specific, they are the key to improving your quality scores and making your campaigns more effective. You need to know how to use them effectively. First of all, it is important that you understand that negative keywords aren’t always necessary for optimization purposes. You should only add them if there is a chance that someone may search for something that could potentially damage the reputation of your business or site. In other words, if it doesn’t serve any major purpose then don’t waste time adding them in!
What are negative keywords? | How to use them effectively - Zounax

Make your campaigns more effective

Negative keyword lists are a great way to save money and avoid wasting time and money on irrelevant clicks. Negative keywords help you to avoid wasting money on irrelevant clicks by helping you identify the phrases that don’t match your target audience, thus allowing you to ignore these people from ever seeing your ads or landing pages.

Let’s say, for example, that we wanted to drive traffic to an ecommerce website that sells women’s clothing but we’ve also noticed that men often click on our ads as well (this happens because men are searching for “women’s clothing” in their searches). As a result of this behavior, we’ve decided not only do we want our ads targeted towards women but also men who are interested in buying women’s clothes (i.e., cross-gender searches).

Separate Campaigns

We could create two separate campaigns: one targeting only female searchers and another targeting both male and female searchers who have made specific purchases within the last 90 days related specifically with buying women’s clothing online. This would ensure that all searches related solely with buying clothes online would be directed towards our first campaign while those who have been shopping already will be directed toward our second campaign where they can easily purchase more products without having their experience interrupted by unrelated advertisements.

The importance of negative keywords

Negative keywords are a powerful tool in your PPC arsenal. They’re the words that you don’t want your ads to show up for, thereby reducing wasted ad spend and increasing the relevancy of your targeting. Negative keywords help you avoid wasting time and money on unqualified clicks because they allow you to focus your campaigns on only those people who have a high probability of converting into customers. They also increase the quality score of your ad groups by reducing ad relevancy mismatches, which brings down CPCs (cost per click) as well as CPA (cost per acquisition) overall.
What Are Negative Keywords? | How To Use Them Effectively - Zounax

Using negative keywords effectively

Negative keywords are an important part of your PPC account and can significantly improve your quality scores. They also help you save money, improve campaign performance and stop wasting time and money on unqualified clicks. Negative keywords are phrases that you don’t want your ad to show up on. For example, if you’re running ads for “organic dog food,” but you don’t want your ads to show up when someone searches for “buy organic dog food cheap,” then you’d add that phrase as a negative keyword. Negative keywords let you stop wasting time and money on unqualified clicks.

If someone is searching for something irrelevant to what your business sells or offers, it’s likely that they aren’t looking for what you offer either. So, why would you pay for those clicks? With negative keywords in place, Google AdWords will only show your ads when people search with relevant terms related to what they’re looking for, and no one else!


Now that you know how to use negative keywords, it’s time to put your knowledge into action! Remember that this is a guide; don’t feel pressured to follow every step here exactly. Instead, think about what kind of content your audience likes and find ways to create more of it while still using negative keywords where appropriate. If anything at all feels confusing, try Googling “negative keyword list template” or something similar so that you can find inspiration elsewhere before making your own list!

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