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How To Find & Use Negative Keywords in Google AdWords

Let’s take a look at how to use the Search Terms report in Google AdWords to identify wasteful keywords that should be added in as Negative Keywords.


Video Transcription

[00:00:06] All right. Negative keywords. This client is a conveyancer. They have campaigns running for all sorts of different search terms and locations that matter to them and they also have a generic campaign running here.

[00:00:17] If you look at the keywords that are triggering the ads, they are very broad, such as conveyancer and conveyancing. So as you can imagine, our ads are currently showing for anyone typing in these search terms. And it can pull out a lot of irrelevant stuff.

[00:00:31] The way you can control your budget and reduce waste is by having a really extensive negative keyword list. Negative keywords will tell Google that you don’t want your ads to show if the search term the user has put in features the negative keyword.

[00:00:47] So what you want to do is jump into the search terms report every few days and look for keywords that shouldn’t be there, and add them to your negative list.

[00:00:56] So to do so, you jump into the campaigns, so on the left here you can see I’ve clicked into generic, I’ve clicked the keywords tab at the top and then I’ve clicked the Search Terms tab and you can see here we have a list of all the keywords that have triggered the ad or been clicked on in the last 7 days.

[00:01:15] So you just want to move through here and look for stuff that shouldn’t be there. So for example, red key conveyancing, red key is a competitor so we don’t want our ad shown there because it is a waste. So just chuck that search term into Notepad and move back through.

[00:01:34] You can see here, this is a question, they’re asking “is subject to finance clause valid”. Typically, if someone is searching a question like that they’re not really close to having their wallet out and getting in touch, they’re more in the research phase and you don’t want to be paying for that traffic so we will set up a negative keyword to prevent that.

[00:01:54] Just looking through here it doesn’t really look like, yeah here, ‘bluestar’, that’s what looks to be another brand. So put that into notepad as well.

[00:02:06] So now let’s add those in as a negative keyword. It’s as easy as clicking over to the negative keywords list and then you can add it in at either the ad group level or the campaign level.

[00:02:16] So this particular campaign only has one ad group, so I’m going to add in the negative keyword here at the campaign level. It’s as simple as hitting that button. And then selecting your keywords and adding them in and adding your keywords into this box is exactly the same as adding them into a search campaign.

[00:02:35] Here, this is adding it in as a broad keyword. If you added it in with your brackets like so, that would be an exact match. If you added it in like that, that would be a phrase much.

[00:02:49] So if you’re not too familiar with what I’m talking about there, just look for my video on the different match types available in AdWords.

[00:02:56] Here, I’m going to set these negative keywords as broad match because I don’t want the ads to show for any search term that uses any of these search terms, no questions and no brands.

[00:03:07] So I’m just going to save that in and now they’re here in the negative list and it will prevent the ads from showing again if someone searches bluestar conveyancing or if they ask a question with the word ‘is’ in it.

[00:03:19] So with negative keywords you need to be expanding your list based on the data you’re seeing in your search term report. In fact, I’d go so far as saying that this keywords tab and the search terms report here is where you should be spending time literally every day if you want to get the most value out of your Adwords campaigns.

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