What are Negative Keywords in Google Ads?

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Negative keywords in Google Ads play a vital role in ensuring your campaign targets the right audience without wastage. But what are they, and how can you harness their power? Let’s delve in! 🕵️‍♂️

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What are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are specific search terms you instruct Google to exclude from triggering your ad. In essence, they ensure you don’t pay for irrelevant clicks. For example, if you’re a private marriage therapist offering face-to-face consultations, you wouldn’t want your ad to appear for searches like:

  • NHS marriage therapy
  • Marriage therapy courses
  • Online marriage therapy

Why Worry About Negative Keywords?

You might wonder, “If I didn’t include ‘NHS’ or ‘online’ in my keywords, why should I bother?” The crux lies in Google’s functionality:

  • Close Variations & Synonyms: Even if you’ve only chosen ‘marriage therapy’ as your keyword, Google, in its quest to offer relevance, might also display your ad for related searches, like ‘online marriage therapy’.
  • Search Terms Report: This tool will shed light on which search queries triggered your ads. It’s essential to regularly review this to identify any irrelevant terms and add them as negative keywords.

How to Implement Negative Keywords?

  1. Identify Using Google Keyword Planner: Before initiating your campaign, head to Tools and use the Google Keyword Planner. Enter your primary keyword, and Google will suggest a myriad of related terms. Proactively sift through and earmark any you deem irrelevant.
  2. Adding Negative Keywords: Once identified, you can assign negative keywords at various levels:
    • Ad Group Level: The negative keyword will only affect one particular ad group.
    • Campaign Level: Every ad group within that campaign will be influenced.
    • Shared Negative List: Create a master list of negative keywords, which can then be applied across multiple campaigns or ad groups.

The Ultimate Benefit?

Cost-efficiency! By diligently maintaining your negative keywords list, you’re ensuring you don’t pay for unwanted clicks, bolstering your campaign’s ROI.

Maintenance is Key 🔑

For optimal results, it’s imperative to regularly audit and update your negative keywords list. Aim to review your search terms report weekly, if not daily, depending on your campaign’s scale.


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