Negative Match Keywords

Negative match is a keyword targeting option in Google Ads that allows you to exclude your ads from being shown to users who search for certain terms / keywords that you specify. 

How Does Negative Match Work

When you add a negative keyword to your campaign, Google will not show your ad to anyone who searches for that term. 

For example, let’s say you’re selling winter coats and you don’t want your ad to show up when people search for “summer dresses”. You would simply add the keyword “summer” as a negative match to your campaign. 

You can also add negative phrases and broad match keywords as well. Phrases and broad match keywords will have a similar effect as single keywords, but they will also exclude your ad from being shown for any close variations of the phrase or broad match keyword that you specify. 

Examples of Negative Match

Negative keywords can be added at the campaign or ad group level. When adding negative keywords to your campaign, keep in mind that they will exclude your ads from all ad groups and keywords within that campaign. 

Conversely, when adding negative keywords to an ad group, know that they will only exclude your ads from that particular ad group. This can be useful if you have multiple ad groups with slightly different focus areas. 

Some examples of negative keywords include:

  • Summer (will exclude your ads from searches like “summer dresses” or “summer vacation”)
  • Free (will exclude your ads from searches like “free shipping” or “free download”)
  • Cheap (will exclude your ads from searches like “cheap laptops” or “cheap tickets”)

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When to Use Negative Match

Negative match is a helpful tool for making sure that your ads are only being shown to users who are interested in what you’re selling. 

By excluding certain keywords, you can avoid wasting money on clicks from people who are not likely to convert. This will help you to improve your click-through rate (CTR) and quality score, which will ultimately lower your costs and increase your ROI. 

Negative match can also be used to exclude certain locations, languages, or devices that you don’t want your ads to show up on. 

For example, if you only sell products to people in the United States, you would use negative match to exclude all other countries. Or, if you only want your ad to show up on English-language searches, you would use negative match to exclude all other languages. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some best practices for using negative keywords?

Some best practices for using negative keywords include:

  • Doing keyword research to identify which terms you want to exclude
  • Adding negative keywords at the ad group or campaign level, depending on your needs
  • Reviewing your negative keywords regularly to make sure they’re still relevant

How often should I review my negative keywords?

You should review your negative keywords on a regular basis to make sure they’re still relevant and effective. This is especially important if you’re in a dynamic industry where things are constantly changing. 

What is the difference between a negative keyword and a broad match keyword?

The main difference between a negative keyword and a broad match keyword is that a negative keyword will exclude your ad from being shown for any close variations of the term that you specify. A broad match keyword, on the other hand, will allow your ad to be shown for close variations of the term as well as other related terms. 

Can I add negative keywords at the ad group level?

Yes, you can add negative keywords at the ad group level. This can be helpful if you have multiple ad groups with slightly different focus areas. 

How do I add a negative keyword to my campaign?

To add a negative keyword to your campaign, simply go to the “Keywords” tab and click on the “Negative Keywords” button. From there, you can add your negative keywords one at a time or in bulk.