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How To Add Negative Keywords To Your Google Ads Account

Analytics, PPC Blog, Bing AdCenter, PPC Blog, Display Advertising, PPC Blog, Google AdWords 23rd Dec 2020

(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)

Hi, my name is Ellie and I’m a senior paid media executive here at Koozai. Today I’m going to talk to about negative keywords and how to add them onto your Google Ads account. Negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers. This video explains exactly how to add negative keywords and at what levels you can add them. Firstly, I’m going to talk through how to add negative keywords at a specific campaign or ad group level. So to do this, we click into the campaign we’re looking to add negatives into. We go into Keywords along the left-hand side. And click on Negative Keywords. This then shows us the negatives that have been added into this campaign specifically. We can see here we have a list, which is another way of adding negatives, which I will go through later. We’ve also got a specific keyword here and it tells us that we’ve added it to ad group level. So we’re going to add a new keyword, first of all, to this campaign as a whole. An example of this could be if you’re selling clothes, and your campaign is for dresses, let’s say you don’t sell prom dresses, you might want to negate the word prom. So to do this, we click on the blue plus button. We make sure we have this box ticked. Then we choose to add it to campaign level. And because we already clicked into the campaign we want, it has already checked our campaign here. We can then type any negative keywords we want to add into this campaign. This might just be one keyword or you might have a whole list of keywords you want to add to the campaign. If so, you can add them all at once but just make sure you add one keyword per line. Another thing to note is that I’m including the correct symbols around my negative keywords to indicate what match type I want to negate with. So square brackets is negating as an exact match. Quotation marks is negating as phrase match. And if you write the word with no symbols at all, then this will be negated using broad match. So here I’m adding two negative keywords into the campaign. One which is exact match and one which is phrase match. We then click Save. And these will be added to the campaign. We can also add specific ad group keywords only. One example of this could be in our dress campaign from earlier, we might then split the different types of dresses into each ad group. So we might have one ad group for summer dresses, one for evening dresses, one for day dresses, et cetera. But say we do not sell long summer dresses but we do sell long evening dresses and long day dresses. We might then want to negate the word long from the summer dress ad group. So we go, we click the blue plus. Make sure it’s checked. Then this time, we click the dropdown menu and change this to ad group. You can then click here and decide which ad groups you want to add this to. Then the process is the same as before. We just type in what words we want to negate. And I click Save. The other way we can negate keywords is by creating a list and applying this across several campaigns or even across the whole account. To do this, we click up here on Tools & Settings. Then under Shared Library, we click on negative keyword lists, which brings this up. We can then click on the blue plus, which gives us the option to create a new list. We can then name our list. So I’m just going to call mine Generics. We can then add in all the negatives here that we don’t want to show for. This is good when you have a list of searches or products, which you know you never want to show for. So for example, let’s take the clothing example from earlier. Say you do not sell skirts or shorts and you know you never want to show for these products, so you can add these in here. Also, you might not want to pay for people searching for your telephone number or contact details, so again, you can add these in as negative keywords to make sure you never show for them. We then click Save. And it creates the list for us. Now, this is currently just a list sat in our account and not attached to any campaigns, so we need to attach it. To do this, we check the box next to the list and click Apply to campaigns. If we check the box at the top, it adds this to all the campaigns into the whole account. Alternatively, you can select a specific list of campaigns you want to add your negative list to. Once you click Apply, this list will now be added to the relevant campaigns. So here we can see we have four keywords attached to five campaigns.

 

Ellie Spinks

Senior Paid Media Executive

A Latin and Ballroom national champion, it’s safe to say that Ellie knows her way around a dance floor and can throw a few shapes. She spent a month teaching maths to school children in Fiji which we think is pretty cool, but what we’re super excited about is the fact that Ellie is a self-confessed amateur cook and baker. We’re so looking forward to getting our hands on some tasty treats to try - second opinions are always required, right?

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