Google Ads Negative Keyword Lists

When It Comes To Google Ads, It Pays To Be Negative...

I've long been an exponent of using negative keywords in your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, particularly if using Google Ads.

In January 2011, Google announced a big time saver for AdWords users (AdWords became Google Ads in 2018):

Negative Keyword Lists

This is a way of saving generic negative keywords so you can re-use time and time again. A real time saver and encouraging that Google is helping advertisers with one of the most effective ways to improve a Google Ads account.

In case you are fairly new to Google Ads, a negative keyword is a keyword or phrase that you can add to your account to prevent your advert being shown when that keyword forms part of the search query. This can help prevent wasted clicks (budget) and improve your Click-Through-Rate (CTR). They are one of the most valuable resources when looking to improve a Google Ads account.

Be prepared to have multiple lists for ease of management. For instance, you may want to create a list of negative locations for your business. We find keeping single keywords and phrases separate useful too as this can be helpful if ever doing an audit of the negative keywords in your account.

An example:
Let's say you are a firm of solicitors specialising in all things to do with property, e.g., conveyancing, and wish to advertise legal services on Google. Although you would want to appear for searches such as "solicitor near me", you may not want to incur clicks (cost) if someone searched for "employment solicitor near me". In this case, the word 'employment' could be added to a negative keyword list to prevent your advert from showing should any search term include that word.

To access negative keyword lists, in your Google Ads account go to: Tools > Shared Library > Negative keyword lists

If you would like help to get better a return on your investment from your Google advertising, contact us for a professional review.

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