Have you heard your Marketing Team mention “negative keywords” in your Google Ads campaigns? Don’t be fooled into thinking negative keywords are a NEGATIVE thing. Contrary to their name, negative keywords are an important part of your Google Ads strategy, to help you get the best return on investment for your advertising spend.
What are Google Ads keywords?
Before we discuss negative keywords, let’s define what a Keyword actually is. Keywords or ‘search terms’ in your Google Search Ads account, are literally the wording your target audience type in to find you. Depending on the term and how popular it is, the search volume of the keyword can change quite dramatically.
For Example: If you are looking for SEO companies in Perth, you would jump into your preferred search engine, such as Google and type in “SEO company” like this:
You will then get a list of search results, based on your keyword search, like this:
You will also see your keywords highlighted throughout the search results. The Google algorithm works very hard to present the most accurate search results to users, based on a range of factors including their keywords, location and previous search history.
What are negative keywords in Google Ads?
Negative keywords are used to optimise your Google Ads account. Google Ads is a platform used by businesses where you pay google to be found on their search engine.
Negative keywords are also added into the google ads formula to ensure you are not wasting your budget on being found for keywords that are irrelevant to your business.
How are negative keywords different from other keywords?
What google tends to do is group these keywords with related keywords such as lawn, turf, etc unless you tell Google you don’t want to show your ads for lawn or turf. This is where negative keywords come in handy.
When you are paying to rank for certain keywords, the last thing you want is to pay to be found for products or services you don’t offer.
Case study example: You run a premium artificial grass company and want your Google ads to be seen by people searching for:
- Fake grass
- Artificial grass
- Synthetic grass
What you are careful about is to not be seen by the search that includes low cost, inexpensive or cheap.
Because you will pay for unqualified leads that are searching for fake grass with the following keywords:
- Cheap fake grass
- Inexpensive fake grass
- Low cost fake grass
By adding cheap, inexpensive and low cost into your google ads negative list, your ads stop showing up for those search results.
We have been using White Chalk Road for a few years now and wish we had been using them from the start! They have boosted our online visibility, and have successfully increased our reach, engagement and conversions.
Charmaine Morgan, Owner at Babyroad
Other keywords you should negative if you are selling premium goods and/or services:
deal of the day
deal of the week
Negative keywords to refine your Google Ads campaigns
A lot of small to medium businesses like to figure out and set up google ads on their own, and oftentimes it can be very effective. Negative keywords are the first steps you can take to boost your ROI with your limited google ads budget.
Through our years of experience, we have developed a list of universal negative keywords you can use when developing your own Google Ads negative list to ensure your ads won’t be triggered for irrelevant search queries.
Ready to get started with Google Ads?
With over 20 years in the industry, and a long-term partnership with Google, our team have the technical knowledge and experience to help you receive a strong ROI.
To save you time developing negative keywords for your new or existing campaigns from scratch we have the ultimate list of universal keywords ready.
We have broken the keywords into groups based on intent:
Default negative keywords:
Academics and researchers:
Best to use the following negative keywords if you have no intention of attracting people seeking general information on the topic.
WCR pro tip: go through the following and make sure you take out words that are closely related to your offering i.e: “samples” of products you sell.
Job seekers and recruitment agencies:
Unless you are running ads specifically to hire people. Stay away from job seekers’ search results with the following:
Frequently asked questions about negative keywords
To build a negative keyword list, you need to think of words you don’t want to appear for when customers are searching for your business. A negative keyword list ensures that your not paying for terms that are irrelevant to your business, to save you money and improve the performance of your Google Ads account.
After creating a list of negative keywords you want to exclude from your account, you need to add these in. To add negative keywords in Google Ads, you need to select Keywords > Negative keywords. Then click the pluss to add your negative keyword list and apply it to your chosen Ad Group.
Negative keywords work by ensuring your ads are not triggered by keywords or phrases that are irrelevant to your business. This ensures that you are not paying for keywords that may be irrelevant to your business.