Negative Keywords: All You Need to Know (Google & Microsoft Ads)

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Hey all!

In this video, I wanted to share with you what negative keywords are, why you would want to use them, and how to set them up inside of any of your advertising platforms, in this case using Google AdWords.

Here is my Google ads playlist and specifically the conversion tracking video:

This is important but not necessary for your ads to run – however in order to determine what negative keywords to add, it would be very helpful to have conversions in place so that you can determine what clicks result in conversions and are high-quality, and what keywords should be added as negative since they are not adding any conversions.

Basically, negative keywords are just the opposite of keywords – typing in the negative keywords into the search bar will cause your ad NOT to appear.

You may be wondering why this could be useful since the goal of advertising is to SHOW our ads.

Well, reason is, if you have phrase or broad match types for your keywords, chances are you are getting some completely irrelevant clicks. It would alright except for the fact that you are PAYING for these irrelevant clicks.

So in order to increase our profits, we need to remove clicks that are worthless and increase clicks that bring value, right? Well, the way we do that is by adding negative keywords.

They work exactly the same as regular keywords in terms of match types – so you can have exact, phrase, and broad match types for negative keywords as well.

To illustrate, let’s start with the exact negative match type. If you type in [monkeys] as the negative keyword (exactly like this, with the square brackets), then anyone typing in ‘monkeys’ EXACTLY in this way will NOT see your ad. Makes sense, right? Any mispellings, variations of the word, plural forms and so on will STILL show your ad – so make sure you add all these variations in if you want your ad to not show for any of them.

Let’s move over to the phrase negative match type. This one would probably be much more relevant for you in your business. Let’s say you type in “monkeys” (just like this, with the quotation marks) as a negative keyword. In this case, as long as the WORD ‘monkeys’ is ANYWHERE in the search term that people type into the search bar, your ad will NOT show. We can stress this match type further by giving an example with a 2-word negative phrase match type.

So if your negative phrase match type is “monkeys here”, these 2 words MUST be present in that same order somewhere in the search query in order for your ads to show up.

Last but not least, the broad negative match type works just like the broad match modifier type, so it is more similar to the phrase negative match type than the actual broad – if you type in monkeys (exactly like this without any other additions), then as long as word “monkeys” is anywhere at all in the search query, your ad will NOT show. So as you can see this kind of works like a phrase match type, just that now the order of the words doesn’t matter, so if you have a 2-word negative match type keyword, as long as any of those words are anywhere in the search query, the ad will not show. This is the opposite of a phrase negative match type, where the words must show up exactly in that same order somewhere in the search query for the ads to not show.

Knowing now what negative keywords are, you can see the value of adding them to your account, especially if you are getting tons of useless clicks. Make sure to take a look at the ‘dimensions’ tab and select ‘search terms’ to be able to see what people are typing in to see your ad – remember, the goal is to minimize useless clicks to your site so you don’t pay for them.

That’s it!

If you want to take a killer Bing ads course, check out Kody’s “Bing Ads Advanced Training” – it covers everything you need to know about making money with Bing ads as you look behind his shoulder. Take the course here:

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