If you are using Google Ads, you absolutely need negative keywords. It's like non-negotiable!
We’ve found that negative keywords are often the difference between a profitable campaign, and an excellent way to waste money. Fast. Some would even argue negative keywords are more important than the ‘standard’ keywords you will have used when you set up your Google Ads campaigns.
Any keyword relating to property generally won't be cheap. Take a few minutes to understand negative keywords and update your Google Ads account to give you a more targeted and more profitable marketing channel in less than 15 minutes.
What is a negative keyword?
According to Google, a negative keyword is:
‘A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. Your ads aren’t shown to anyone who is searching for that phrase.’
Negative keywords offer an opportunity to strategically restrict your PPC advertisements, so they only reach your best potential audience. And that’s the point of negative keywords: by adding in a negative keyword you are telling the Google system to NOT show an advert when the negative keyword is used in the search.
The wonder of negative keywords comes in a few different ways. Not restricted to, but the main advantages include:
- Improved click-through rate (CTR)
- Create more relevant ad groups (Improving quality score)
- Save money (reason enough to do use negative keywords)
How do I get started?
So, how do you get started with negative keywords? Well, in short: you can use our list.
Over the 10+ years we have spent managing PPC campaigns we have built up a comprehensive negative keyword list. The list has saved our clients significant amounts of wasted Google Ads, and Bing, budget.
The list can be used across all B2B PPC campaigns, not just property. We work with mostly property, finance and insurance companies, and the negative keyword list has been compiled over years of experience in those sectors, however, the list does apply to all industries.
There's no such thing as a complete list and should be used as a starting point. Tailor the list and add any related term that you don’t want your add to show for.
We’ve split the negative keywords into specific categories based on the intention of your Google Ads campaigns. Pick and choose from the lists below:
Avoid ‘Job’ Related Keywords
If your negative keywords are left untamed, or you don’t have any at all, you can you can expect lots of employment related keywords for your particular services if you are bidding on brand.
human resource manager
looking for work
Avoid ‘Research’ Related Keywords
For many small businesses, you absolutely would want potential customers and clients to research your offering, however, not at the expense of a depleted Google Ads budget. There are much cheaper ways to do this. Push researchers to other channels.
Avoid ‘Education’ Related Keywords
Education related negative keywords won’t apply to all service companies, but we always see wild and wonderful key phrases that appear in a new client’s search query report. Better to be safe than sorry on this one.
Avoid ‘Low Quality’ Related Keywords
Premium brands don’t want their products appearing for low quality ‘cheap’ keywords. If you don’t consider yourself a premium brand and are happy to compete in the ‘race to the bottom’, then you may actively want to appear for such keywords.
Avoid ‘Software/Technology’ Related Keywords
Any proptech, fintech, or insurtech brands may want to use this list. It’s quite an ambiguous list that you should continue to grow and make specific to your business.
Avoid ‘Competitor Bidding’ Related Keywords
If you have a big budget to play with then bidding on competitor keywords can work: just expect conversions which cost more than bidding on commercial terms. You absolutely need to add the keywords below to avoid competitor searches that are too advanced or too specific to capitalise on. Drop these right into your 'competitor' campaign.
terms of business
Adding Negative Keywords
There are just 2 things left to consider before you add your negative keywords.
What level do I add the negative keyword?
Negative keywords can be added at the account level (meaning that negative keywords would be stopped across your Google account). This may work for most advertisers. If you don’t want your ads to appear for any recruitment related queries, such as ‘Example Ltd careers’ you’d be wise to add negative keyword at the account level. If you did want to recruit via Google Ads it would make much more sense to add the negative keywords to all campaigns, apart from the recruitment campaign.
For most businesses, having one negative keyword list in your shared library will suffice.
What match type do I use to add negative keywords.
Match type for negative keywords is slightly more complicated. Google offer a definitive understanding of match types and how to use the targeting. You don’t want too far the other way and stop relevant searches from showing because the match type you have used is too strict.
The match type you use is specific to your business and your services, your strategy and your budget. Think about all of these variables combine to select how you exclude a potential search query.
Adding negative keywords at account level should be done via the shared library, as highlighted below. Now you’re all set. If you would like any help or advice on how to do this please give us a call. We can even talk you through the exact process off adding negative keywords to your Google Ads account.
You can now expect a better click through rate, improved quality score, and a budget put to better use!