Negative Keywords 101: What You Need to Know

Negative Keywords 101: What You Need to Know

Are you paying to push traffic to your website? Whether you are running a pay-per-click campaign for your monetized blog, your ecommerce site or something else, you need to know what negative keywords are. More than that, you need to be using them regularly so that your ads get in front of truly targeted traffic.

What Are Negative Keywords?

When you run a pay-per-click ad, such as through Google Ads, you will choose a select group of keywords to target. Many keywords, however, can be associated with different things. Not all of those associations may be relevant to your needs. You understandably do not want to pay for clicks that have little or no use to you. Enter negative keywords.

Consider if you ran an ecommerce site for dog accessories and supplies. Perhaps your online shop sells dog collars, those cute little dog sweaters, toys and more. However, it does not sell treats or food. You want to target searches related to dog accessories and supplies, but you do not want any hits related to treats or food. Through negative keywords, you clearly specify the phrases that you want your campaign ads should not be shown to.

How to Use Negative Keywords

Through your pay-per-click campaign manager, you will be able to see how many impressions and clicks different phrases generated for you. As you review the results of your campaigns every day or two, you may find at least a few keywords that you want to negate from your campaign. If you are using Google Ads, simply click on the “Manage All” button below the list of keywords and their results. You will then see a longer, complete list of all keywords that your ad has been visible for. Simply toggle off any relevant words and phrases.

Keep in mind that you can also add new keywords to an active campaign in most cases. This may be necessary if you realize that your original keyword selection was lacking or if you have negated the majority of the keywords that you originally targeted.

By assigning negative keywords to your campaigns, you will undoubtedly see an initial drop in impressions and perhaps in clicks as well. This can be unnerving to observe. However, remember to keep in mind that it is generally better to have less high-quality traffic than it is to have more low-quality traffic.


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