Are you spending most of your budget on keywords that are getting a lot of impressions/clicks but not having conversions at all? Having a high click-through rate (CTR) may look good to you but having a high conversion rate is much better. Say goodbye to high-cost keywords and say hello to more conversions! This article will show you several ways on how to generate negative keywords.
But before anything else, let me tell you what negative keywords are.
What are negative keywords?
These can be the name of a competitor or words or phrases that are either too broad or highly irrelevant to your ad. Let’s say you are offering therapy and counseling sessions but as you go through your search term list, “depression quiz,” “depression symptoms” and “does therapy help with anxiety” appear. These kinds of search terms should be added to your negative keywords because these are low-intent keywords that only consume your daily budget.
What are low-intent keywords?
These are phrases that are used either for navigational or informational purposes. It is considered low intent because the chances or likelihood of that person who used that search term to purchase your product or avail of your services is low.
Why consider using negative keywords
Knowing how to implement negative keywords to your google ads account is beneficial especially if you are tight on budget. If used properly, it will block the traffic that is irrelevant to what you are aiming for. Leading to more conversions, reaching out only to those who show a high intention of purchasing your product or availing your services, and also, saving you a lot of money. Aside from that, it helps improve your Return on ads spend (ROAS).
So, when do we use negative keywords?
When you notice that the keyword is getting a lot of impressions but is not relevant to what you are offering, leading to a 0% conversion rate.
Here’s a scenario:
Let’s say, you own a clothing store for women. Since you are only selling clothes for women, you want to add “clothing store for men” and “clothing store for babies” to your negative keyword list because you are not selling these kinds of clothes. You might get a lot of impressions because your ad may show up, but the chances of these terms converting are very low. It’s just a waste of money if your ad shows up every time these search terms are used. By that, you need to add “clothing store for men” and “clothing store for babies” to your negative keyword list.
Negative Keyword Match types
Just like the regular keywords, negative keywords also have three types: Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact match.
Here’s how and when to use it:
In Negative Broad Match, your ad will not show when this keyword is used no matter what order of word is used. In this kind of negative match type, the order of the words doesn’t matter. As long as the word or phrase you added in the negative keyword list matches the search term used, any similar searches will be blocked.
For example, the Negative Broad Match Keyword is “LED lights.”
When someone searches for:
Led lights – it will not show your ad
Solar led lights- it will not show your ad
Led bulb- it might show your ad
Led light strips- it will not show your ad
Green light- it might show your ad
Omni led lights- it will not show your ad
While in Negative Phrase Match – your ad will be blocked from showing up as long as the search term used is based on the order you have included within those quotation marks. Keep in mind that there are still chances that your ad might show up if someone searches for a different order of your keyword because it only blocks the order of words you indicated.
For example, the Negative Phrase Match Keyword is “LED lights.”
When someone searches for:
Led lights- your ad will not appear
Solar led lights- your ad will not appear
Led bulb- your ad might appear
Led light strips- your ad might appear
Green light- your ad might appear
Omni led lights- your ad will not appear
Lastly, the Exact match. Using this kind of negative keyword when used correctly, will block your ad from showing up if someone uses the exact word or phrase you indicated inside the brackets. When you use this kind of negative match type, keep in mind that you are only blocking a limited number of terms because in this case, the order of words matters. However, it might show up if someone puts additional words before, in between, and after your keyword.
For example, the Negative Exact Match Keyword keyword is [LED lights]
When someone searches for:
Led lights – your ad will not appear
Solar led lights – your ad might appear
Led bulb – your ad might appear
Led light strips – your ad might appear
Green light- your ad might appear
Omni led lights- your ad might appear
Need help in using negative keywords?
Now that you have an idea of what negative keywords are, I’ll show you several ways on how to find negative keywords.
Here’s how to find negative keywords using your google ads account:
Using search terms
On the left panel of your google ads account, go to” keywords.” When you see a drop-down menu, click “search terms.”
It will show you a list of words or phrases that people use to trigger your ad from being shown. From that list, select the search terms that you think are irrelevant to the product or services that you are offering by checking the box beside it.
Note: Before adding these search terms to your negative keywords, make sure to conduct research to see if it is really not related to yours. This way, you won’t block search terms that may be irrelevant to yours.
You can also set a filter while looking at the search terms. This will make the task a lot easier for you as it sorts the search terms based on the filter you chose.
For example, you want to look at the search terms based on the number of interactions. Google ads will sort it out for you based on either from highest to lowest number of interactions to your ad or vice versa.
You can even customize the date depending on the date you want to see the search term results by clicking “custom.” Then, select the start and end date of the search terms you want to look at. After that, click “apply.” And it will show you the search results based on the time frame you have chosen.
From there, you can start choosing which to add as your keyword or to your negative keyword list.
Once you’re done selecting the search terms, click “add as a negative keyword.”
It’ll lead you to this page. Click add as a negative keyword to “negative keyword list.” Then, click “save.”
What if I don’t have a negative keyword list?
Don’t worry! Here’s how to create one:
First, on the left panel of Google Ads, go to “keywords” and click “negative keywords.”
Then, click the “+” button.
After that, click “add negative keywords or create new list” since it’s the first time the account is going to have a negative keyword list.
Then, select a campaign you want the list to be applied. Followed by pasting the negative keywords that you have gathered based on the three steps I have mentioned earlier. Once you’re done, click “save.”
Need help in creating your negative keyword list?
Using Keyword planner
Click the “Tools & settings” icon.
Under the planning section, select “keyword planner.”
Click “discover new keywords.”
Then it’ll show you a list of keywords based on their relevance to the keyword you entered. With the use of a keyword planner, you can see the search volume and along with the competition of a specific keyword. This will give you an idea of what keyword should be used depending on several factors.
It will be a lot easier to categorize the negative keywords that you have gathered through Google Sheets or Excel.
Using google suggestions
Just type in the keyword you are going for and it will show the results of the phrases that go along with your keyword.
For example, the keyword I am going for is depression therapy. Auto-fill suggestions will give you an idea of potential search terms that if unrelated, you can add to your negative keyword list like “depression thoughts,” “depression thesis,” and “depression thought catalog.”
From there, you can create a list and add it to your negative keywords.
Want to know more about negative keywords? Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Using Negative Keywords
Things to remember
Unlike target keywords that include close variants, negative keywords do not. That’s why you have to include in your negative keyword list, the singular and plural forms of the keyword along with the misspellings that go with it. This way, you can completely block irrelevant traffic. Also, in a negative broad match, only the words indicated will be blocked regardless of the order.
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