EDITORIAL: Are Negative Keywords Important for PPC Performance?

Negative Keywords in PPC Campaigns

Negative keywords play a role in PPC efforts just as keywords do. In an article on Search Engine Journal, What Are Keywords & How They Work in PPC published on Feb. 16, 2021, the author takes a look at the different keyword components of a PPC campaign.  Here is an excerpt from the article discussing negative keywords.

“Negative keywords are used to exclude your ads from showing on searches.

Let’s say you’re a plumbing company, then excluding searches for “jobs” or from cities you don’t service will help increase the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.

In the e-commerce space, let’s say you sell marathon running shoes, but not trail running shoes, you can exclude “trail” from triggering your ads.

This is powerful because you’re more or less paying the same for every click the same keyword generates.

This means you can end up paying for clicks that aren’t as relevant for your business as you might have thought.

This is one of the main reasons why beginners can’t get Google Ads to perform.

You may think you have chosen the right keywords, written good ads, and are sending good traffic to a website.

However, behind the keyword, you often find your ads are triggered by search terms that aren’t as relevant as the keyword you added.

You can, and should, work with negative keywords in two capacities:

    • Before launching your campaigns
    • After launching your campaigns

When you’re done finding keywords for your campaign, spend at least half an hour to an hour Googling the keywords to see what pops up. Add any irrelevant terms you can find as negative keywords.”


Here’s our view on Negative Keywords in PPC Campaigns:

Identifying Negative Keywords

Marketers and SEO gurus spend a lot of time searching for the best keywords. This article by Andrew Lolk provides a fantastic overview of keyword usage for pay per click advertising. One makes it even more helpful for businesses getting ready to launch a PPC campaign is that it addresses negative keywords. When you’re trying to stretch your marketing dollars as far as possible, the ‘wrong’ keywords triggering useless clicks will cost you. By identifying these negative keywords, you can refine your ad campaign for better customer targeting.

Identifying negative keywords helps marketers eliminate customers from the mix who are not in the market for their products or services. Without some focus on negative keywords, your ads are likely to trigger more wasteful clicks, and that can derail a campaign quickly. You can prevent wasted clicks by creating a negative keyword list so that your ads more reliably meet your ideal potential customers. 

Discovering negative keywords can be a laborious process. It helps to think of your list as reflective of a process of elimination. For example, if you’re selling ballet flats, you may want to add “dress shoes” to your negative keyword list. Why? Just imagine how many people search for dress shoes–men and women? If you’re selling a specific style, you don’t want customers searching for high heels to wind up seeing your ad because they’re not interested.

After you’ve launched your campaigns, we always suggest constantly reviewing your search terms for other keywords that should be added to your negative keyword lists.

When you partner with Blue Interactive Agency, we not only help clients find the best keywords and keyword phrases for their ad campaigns, but we also address negative keywords in order to improve their click thru rate, develop more relevant ad groups, and, of course, save them money on their digital marketing solutions.