34 Phrases to Add to Your Negative Keywords List
One of the most common mistakes we see business owners and marketers make while running search campaigns is to use broad match, broad match modified, or phrase match keywords without a negative keywords list. These keyword match types can often trigger ads on queries that are clearly not related to your products or services.
As a result of this, many business owners and marketers might decide to use only exact match queries. This ensures your budget isn’t wasted on irrelevant searches, but you might also be missing out on a good opportunity to drive conversions through long tail keywords.
Campaigns that use broad match keywords generally have a lower cost-per-click (CPC), lower cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), and are more scalable than exact match campaigns.
What Are Broad Match Keywords?
Broad match keywords allow Google to show your ads on queries that their AI sees as related or similar to the keyword you’ve specified.
They’re annotated in the Google UI as plain text. In contrast, notice how some of the keywords in the image above have brackets around them. These are called [exact match keywords]. You might also find yourself using “phrase match” (annotated in the Google UI with quotations marks) or +broad +match +modified keywords (annotated with + signs).
Keywords vs Search Terms
When you set up your search campaigns, you specified to Google what keywords to bid on. You probably used some combination of exact match, phrase match, broad match modified, and broad match keywords to do this.
Those keywords you specified are reported in the Google UI on the “Search Keywords.” But the queries that actually triggered your ad might be very different than what you think.
The “Search Terms” report in Google Ads shows you exactly what queries users typed in that triggered your ad to show. Notice how the search terms on the left don’t exactly match the keywords specified in the ad group name.
We specified a broad match keyword, marijuana shirts, and Google triggered that ad on a query for “weed clothing.”
In that case, broad match is working as intended. But take the second row of this report. Our specified keyword, new jersey shirts, triggered an ad on the query “new jersey design.” That was $1.26 that was wasted for us, because that query probably wasn’t even about t shirts. It could have been about graphic design. Or they might have been looking for an interior designer/architect.
These are the scenarios that you can protect yourself from by using negative keyword lists.
What is a Negative Keyword List?
A negative keyword list acts as a line of defense against Google or Microsoft wasting your ad budget on queries that won’t help drive revenue for your business.
Some of the benefits of using negative keyword lists include:
- Prevent your campaigns from competing with each other
- Prevent your ads from triggering on unrelated searches
- Increase your ability to use broad match keywords without wasting money
- Decrease your customer acquisition costs
- “Trim the fat” from your ad campaigns
Where Do You Specify Negative Keywords?
Negative keyword lists are known as a shared asset, meaning you can use them across multiple campaigns. Custom audiences and ad extensions are also considered shared assets.
To add or edit a negative keyword list, you’ll need to navigate to the Tools & Setting menu and click on “Negative Keyword Lists” under the “Shared Library” tab.
Words & Phrases to Add to Your Negative Keyword List
Every business is different, so it’d be impossible to put together a list that would work well for every type of business. With that said, use the following list with caution.
Note: Do not blindly copy and paste this list into your account. This list is purely meant to give you ideas. Make sure that any keywords you’re adding to your negatives list aren’t included in any of your recent conversion-producing queries.
- near me
- low cost
- second hand
- how to
- what is
- home depot
- air bnb
What are your favorite words or phrases to add into a negative keywords list? Did we miss any? Was this post helpful? Let us know on Twitter.