What Are Negative Keywords in PPC?

What Are Negative Keywords in PPC?

PPC advertisers are aiming to secure large amounts of relevant, converting traffic to websites right? But, any good pay-per-click marketer needs to know and understand What are negative keywords in PPC and why they’re important.

In this blog, learn what are negative keywords in PPC and join the 65% of small-to-midsized businesses who have a PPC campaign.

What Are Negative Keywords in PPC?

Negative keywords are words that advertisers can use within their PPC campaigns to block ads from showing up on SERPs. This means that you can actively avoid showing up for search terms that are relevant to your ads. It can also help further streamline your ads, and mean that you won’t see unnecessary clicks and conversions – therefore not waste any money. 

Let’s look at an example:

Say your business offers paid content strategy and creation, this may result in your ads showing up for relevant terms like ‘free content creation’ or ‘free content strategy ideas’. The issue here is, any users who stumble across form your website after clicking the ad, and see the service is not free, will be disappointed and eventually leave. 

As advertisers, you will pay each time your ad is clicked on. Advert clicks with no conversions or leads can be damaging and eat away at your budget. By excluding keywords such as ‘free’ Google is signalled to prevent your ad from showing up in search queries containing ‘free’. 

This results in a more financially healthy, streamlined campaign. 

For more on PPC, make sure you download your free guide to working with a PPC agency here.


Types of Negative Keywords

During a PPC campaign, it’s important to realise you can utilise broad match, phrase match or exact match keywords. You can use these exact same terms to describe their mirroring negatives. When you decide to start excluding certain keywords, ensure that you consider synonyms, and misspellings.

types of negative keywords in PPC, What are negative keywords in PPC?

Negative Broad Match

The default type of negative keyword is the negative broad match keyword! Negative broad match keywords will not show up on search engines for searches that include all of your negative keywords. This is also the same when search terms appear in a different order, and your ad could still appear if a search includes some of but not all of your keywords. 

Negative Phrase Match

Negative phrase match keywords are more streamlined than negative ones. A negative phrase match enables your ad to only appear if the search contains the same key terms in the exact same order. 

Negative Exact Match

Negative exact match keywords are the most popular form of keywords, this means that your ads will only be excluded from user searches that include the same exact term, in the same order and don’t have any words attached. 

For more on maximising your keyword strategy, check out this blog from ROAR!


How to Find Negative Keywords


Google Ads Keyword Planner

To find negative keywords, it’s vital to examine data from existing user queries based on how people are already searching, To do this, you can use Google Ads Keyword Planner and Search Terms Report. 

Google Ads Keyword Planner aims to support advertisers in finding keywords to bid on, not completely excluding them. But, it’s also helpful for finding negative keywords. Say you own a makeup and beauty online store, and you search the term ‘mascara’ in Google Ads Keyword Planner. You will then be presented with a variety of keyword searches along with some data on their search volume and competition. 

By sifting through these keywords, you can pick out the search terms that are not relevant to your business. After this, you are free to add them to your list of negative keywords.


Search Terms Report

Similarly, with Search Terms Report, you can create a negative keywords list, The Search Terms Report shows you real-life search queries used by people online that have triggered your ads to appear. Once you fully understand which search queries are firing your ads to appear, you can begin collecting a list of keywords, both positive and negative. 

You can also filter and sort by the results using categories like, impressions, which can pull up a list of the most popular search queries triggering your ads. You can then refine the data to show better CTR, and conversion rates – use this data to better streamline your ad copy. 

By using Search Terms Report you can also see the terms that you may be assuming work well but actually don’t. Investigate the search terms you currently bid for, pay attention to their impressions, CTR and conversion rate and further tailor your ads. 


Why Negative Out Keywords?

By excluding negative keywords from your PPC ads, you are further targeting niche-specific key terms that can maximise traffic to your website and lead to increased conversions. Additionally, you can save a huge chunk of your budget and reinvest this into keywords that are effective. 

Targeting your ads to irrelevant, low-performing and risky keywords can result in a lack of budget, and an increase in traffic but also an increase in bounce rate and the number of users who leave without converting. 

Ensure your PPC campaign is targeted to the right key terms to maximise your performance online.

For the full scoop on PPC, check out our blog on why use PPC advertising?


Improve your PPC campaign and skyrocket your online traffic with ROAR, we offer tailored, data-driven PPC solutions for any business. 


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