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How to up your negative keyword game

We've talked before about the benefits of removing keywords that are hurting your PPC campaigns by adding them 'negative keywords'.

Negative keywords help narrow down your targeting to ensure your ads only show up for relevant searches.

When used correctly negative keywords can help boost the performance of your campaigns by improving the overall relevancy of your ads as they

  • reduce wasted ad spend i.e. costs from irrelevant, unwanted or non-converting clicks;
  • increase click-thru-rate, allowing you to have your ads shown more frequently;
  • improve ACoS (advertising cost of sales) towards profitability.

Note I said when used 'correctly'. This comes down to which match type you use:

 Phrase match: adding this will prevent your ad from showing when the search query contains the same sequence or close variation of your search term;

Exact match: any search term that exactly matches your negative keyword or a close variation of it.

In our agency business, we add search terms that are bleeding ad spend as negative exact match types. 

For any non-relevant single words that show up in our keyword research or appear multiple times in the search term report, we add as negative phrase match types.

For example, if we are selling a "blue widget" and we see that "red widget" appears in multiple search terms and never converts, we would add the single word, 'red', as a negative phrase match.

This extra level of control can massively improve the performance of your ads, but only if implemented properly.

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