top of page
  • John Callanta

Maximizing ROI with Negative Keywords in Google Ads.

Updated: Dec 11, 2023



Imagine paying Google $20, $50, or even $150 for one click to your website from a person that has no interest in what you're selling.


You might as well just set money on fire.


In this game of paid search ads, the goal is to give as little money as possible to Google in exchange of acquiring a paying customer. To do this, effective targeting is crucial in running a successful Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign in Google Ads.


Optimizing your targeting ensures your ads reach the most relevant audience and one optimization technique is utilizing negative keywords.


What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords allow you to exclude specific search terms from triggering your ads, maximizing your budget allocation towards valuable clicks.


Below is a step-by-step strategy on how to create and implement negative keywords in your PPC campaign so you stop burning cash for useless traffic.


Step 1: Identify Irrelevant Search Terms


The first step in creating a negative keyword strategy is identifying irrelevant search terms that trigger your ads. Review your search term reports in Google Ads to identify keywords that generate clicks but do not lead to conversions or are unrelated to your products or services.


By identifying these terms, you can prevent your ads from showing to users who are unlikely to convert or have mismatched intent.


Step 2: Expand Your Negative Keyword List


Once you've identified irrelevant search terms, expand your negative keyword list by brainstorming variations and related terms. Think broadly about the keywords you want to exclude. For example, if you offer premium products, negative keywords like "cheap," "free," or "discount" can help you avoid clicks from users seeking lower-priced options. By expanding your negative keyword list, you can further refine your targeting and avoid wasting budget on irrelevant clicks.


Example: You sell enterprise software.


Add keywords related to "small business" or "freelance" software tools to your negative keyword list. This prevents your ads to show to people that can not afford to pay for whatever you're selling.


Step 3: Utilize Match Types


When adding negative keywords, it's important to consider match types to refine your targeting. Broad match negatives (-keyword) will exclude any search term that includes the specified keyword, regardless of the order or additional words.


Example keyword: Free

  • free software tools for small business

  • software tools for small business cheap or free

  • free tools for freelancers


Phrase match negatives ("keyword") will exclude search terms that contain the keyword in the specified order.


Example phrase: small business

  • tools for small business

  • essential software for small business

  • small business software

Ad will show for:

  • tools for small companies

  • essential software for small and medium sized businesses

  • small medium business software


Exact match negatives ([keyword]) will exclude search terms that exactly match the specified keyword. Utilizing match types allows you to fine-tune your negative keyword strategy and control the specific queries that trigger your ads.


Example: small business

  • tools for small business

  • essential software for small business

  • small business software

Ad will show for:

  • tools for small businesses

  • essential software for business small

  • software small medium business


Step 4: Implement Negative Keywords


To implement negative keywords in your PPC campaign, navigate to the "Keywords" tab in Google Ads and select "Negative keywords." Here, you can add your negative keywords at the campaign or ad group level. Starting with campaign-level negative keywords is generally recommended, as it allows you to exclude irrelevant terms across all ad groups.


However, you can further refine your targeting by adding negative keywords at the ad group level. Implementing negative keywords at the appropriate level ensures your ads are not triggered by irrelevant search queries, improving the overall relevance of your campaign.


Step 5: Regularly Review and Update


Maintaining an effective negative keyword list requires regular review and updates. Monitor your search term reports and identify any new irrelevant keywords that may trigger your ads. Additionally, review your campaign performance and analyze the data to identify new negative keyword opportunities. Continuously optimizing your negative keyword list helps improve the quality and relevance of your ad impressions, ensuring your ads are shown to the most valuable audience.


Negative keywords play a vital role in PPC campaigns, enabling you to refine your targeting and allocate your budget towards more relevant clicks. By following this strategy, you can create and implement an effective negative keyword list in your Google Ads campaign. Identify irrelevant search terms, expand your negative keyword list, utilize match types to control your exclusions, implement them in your campaign settings, and regularly review and update your negative keywords. By doing so, you will optimize your campaign's performance, improve your return on investment, and ensure your ads are shown to the most valuable and relevant audience.

Comentarios


bottom of page