Negative keywords are essential to the profitability of your search advertising campaigns: if there are too few of them, irrelevant queries could cost you big! 

Let's take a look at 5 tips that will prevent you from wasting your advertising investment.

First, a brief definition: What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are irrelevant terms that should be excluded from your campaign to prevent ads from appearing when unqualified audiences use them in their search engine queries.

Keyword exclusions can be performed in Exact Match, Exact Phrase or Broad Match, i.e., in the same types as regular keywords. To better understand the different types of keywords, check out this summary table.

5 negative keyword tips for your Google Ads campaigns

1. Do a thorough analysis before launching a Google Ads campaign to avoid spending your money unnecessarily

One of the most important steps when setting up your Google Ads campaigns is the preliminary analysis.

Indeed, if your negative keywords are not carefully selected according to your target audience before launching a digital advertising campaign, you could generate irrelevant traffic (i.e., not interested in your products or services), display your ads unnecessarily (on keywords unrelated to your products or services) or, on the contrary, limit the display of your ads (if relevant keywords have been forgotten).

In summary, your advertising investment could be unnecessarily used for unqualified traffic, or not give you the expected results. Do not forget this complete analysis before going further!

2. Reuse negative keyword lists to save time

There’s no need to do the same work twice: Reuse the lists of keywords put together for your other campaigns, if they are still applicable.

For example, it's likely that if you’re selling new snowmobile clothing and accessories, you won't want to show up on searches that include the keywords "eBay" and "used" for all of your campaigns. Take advantage of the work already done in your account and save time!

3. Analyze your search terms reports

Search terms reports are gold mines of information to optimize your campaigns: take advantage of them! 

Let's imagine that you have purchased the keywords "sell your house", "sell your property" and "sell your residence". By analyzing the search terms reports for your campaigns, you may find that your ad also appears when a user searches with the words “house for sale”. Of course, the intention is contrary to what you're aiming for, so that needs to be addressed!  

Search terms reports allow you to discover new phrases that your potential customers are using, as well as identify and remove irrelevant phrases for your next advertising campaigns, which can save you big.

4. Exclude negative keywords in both exact match and broad match 

We previously talked about the unqualified audiences that negative keywords serve to avoid. However, there’s an additional trick to further reduce the risk of attracting unqualified audiences: negative broad match keywords.

Take the irrelevant keyword “free landscaping plan”. Obviously, the chances are high that we want to sell this service, and not offer it for free. In addition to excluding the complete phrase in its exact form, which allows us to keep track that it has been processed in our report, a good trick would be to exclude the keyword "free" alone in broad match to prevent the ad from appearing on related phrases such as "free outdoor landscaping plan".

In our example, the negative broad match keyword is an additional barrier to customers not really interested in the professional services you offer. A significant ally!

Exact negative keywords excluded in broad match in Google Ads

5. Improve your lists of negative keywords continuously to improve your profitability in Google Ads

Whether by going through search terms reports or by regularly monitoring the progress of your campaigns, it is essential for your profitability that you optimize your campaigns continuously.

Boost your negative keyword lists, track your audiences' interests, validate your ad performance, test new ad variations and landing pages, and most importantly, keep an eye on your conversions. This is the only way for you to constantly improve the profitability of your advertising!

Let's establish your campaign strategy together

Google Ads is a great ally for your search engine marketing. But to really make your investment profitable, you have to think of everything. Let us help you make sure you don't forget anything to achieve your digital business goals!

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