Optimization Best Practices: Negative Keywords

Friday, August 6, 2010 | 10:52 AM

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Negative keywords play a significant role in your campaign’s success. Adding negative keywords to your ad groups or campaign means that your ads won’t show for searches containing that term. In other words, negative keywords filter out unwanted impressions to help you reach the most relevant audience. For example, an organization targeting women may want to use the negative keyword -shoes, which tells the AdWords system not to show their ad for any search containing the term ‘shoes’.

The process to add negative keywords to your ad group is just like adding any other keyword. The only difference is that you put a negative sign (-) before the keyword. Adding a negative keyword at the ad group level means that the term will only affect the ads in the ad group. You can also add negative keywords at the campaign level, where they will apply to all ads in all ad groups in that campaign.

It’s easy to identify negative keywords for your account! Use the Keyword Tool and Search Query Performance report to find potential negative keywords for your ad groups. Using these tools to add negative keywords on a regular basis is recommended to ensure you don’t accrue unwanted clicks and, with a limited budget and a maximum CPC of $1, negative keywords will ensure you effectively utilize your budget.

For more information on optimizing your campaign check back for our monthly tips and refer to the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Janelle Kuhlman, Google Grants Team