Common Negative Keywords Mistakes to Avoid

7 Common Negative Keyword Mistakes To Avoid

Positive keyword research may be time-consuming and challenging, but the success of your ad campaign depends on your efforts. You’ll want the best keywords for a higher PPC click-through rate and an effective cost per click–you won’t want to pay for a lot of clicks from consumers with no interest in your product line. Hence, the need for negative keywords.

But, adding negative keywords to your campaign complicates matters more, especially considering how these two affect one another.

Negative keywords (those words that will suppress your ad when included in a search query) are the foundation of search advertising because they help define the scope and performance of your budget. They, too, will require a significant amount of time and effort in research, and you’ll need a thorough understanding of how they work. Any misunderstandings or missing bits of information can result in squandered budget dollars you could’ve spent on positive keywords.

So, given the importance of including the best positive and negative keywords for a successful PPC ad campaign, let’s look at the most common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when using negative keywords.

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Table of Contents

Top 7 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Negative Keywords

1. Ignoring Negative Keywords Altogether 

Some advertisers prefer not to use negative keywords in their PPC campaigns. But, by ignoring this tool, they will receive many non-relevant clicks and exhaust their budget.

A simple solution is to include a comprehensive list of negative keywords in the appropriate place in your campaigns.

2. Unfamiliar with How Negative Keyword Matches Work

Keywords and Google Ads can be tricky. People use a wide range of terms in their search queries, so it’s easy to get lost once you get into the details.

Many search queries are partial and can produce similar results as your negative keywords. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean your ad will not be displayed as planned. Your negative keyword or group may not be specific enough to suppress the ad. If you aren’t paying enough attention to the details, your ad will show, but with poor results.

So, how do you deal with this issue? Learn about negative keyword matches and how to use them correctly. There are three types of negative keyword matches:

  • Negative exact
  • Negative phrase
  • Negative broad

Negative exact means that if the search query matches the negative keyword exactly, the ad will not appear.

A negative phrase indicates that the ad will not appear if the query search contains the exact negative keyword phrase. However, it must be word for word.

Negative broad means the ad will never appear if the search query includes the negative keyword in any order. Please keep in mind that this does not include misspellings or synonyms.

3. Adding Negative Keywords at the Wrong Level

Although adding negative keywords to your campaign is essential, you must first create a well-thought-out negative keyword strategy for adding negative keywords to your campaigns and ad groups.

It is important to note that there are negative keywords at the campaign and ad group levels. Brands and advertisers frequently lose track of these levels and place negative keywords incorrectly, causing problems.

Adding Negative Keywords at the wrong level

For example, let’s say you own an online store selling kitchen appliances and want to run a campaign for “Refrigerators.” Assume you do not provide doorstep service or extended warranty, so negative keywords such as “doorstep,” “warranty,” “extra guarantee,” and so on would be appropriate to include at the campaign level.

But suppose you have “LG,” “Whirlpool,” and “BPL” ad groups in your “Refrigerator” campaign. So, for “LG,” you’d like to add “Whirlpool” and “BPL” as negative keywords to your ad group level so that those looking for a Whirlpool appliance do not click on your LG ad. You simply need to ensure that you do not end up creating duplicates of your negative keyword throughout your account.

What’s the solution? First, categorize your search terms as irrelevant, relevant, or most relevant. The most relevant keywords are the ones that are most likely to convert.

Any word or phrase that is too broad or irrelevant to you should be blocked out or eliminated. Then, decide whether this negative keyword should be applied to the entire campaign or just the ad group level.

If the keywords apply to all campaigns, add them as “campaign negatives”; if they only apply to one ad group, add them as “ad group negatives.”

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4. Poor Negative Keyword List Management

Adding negative keywords becomes exhausting when we have multiple campaigns to manage. We make mistakes if there is too much we need to oversee personally. A negative keywords list makes it easy to share negative keywords between campaigns. It is a good place to put all the keywords you want to avoid.

Negative keyword lists can and should be extensive. However, this raises a new issue. When using keywords, you may lose track of which keywords are relevant for your current account, campaign, or ad group.

Some lists may contain a dozen negatives, while others may contain hundreds. Of course, not all lists will be the same, but large disparities will cause problems.

The solution to this problem is conducting methodical and thorough keyword research and building lists for different account levels.

5. Ignoring Negative Keywords Can Conflict With Bidded Keywords

If you manage an account with multiple campaigns, you may fail to notice that a negative keyword you added conflicts with a positive one. And it means that your negative keyword will prevent an ad from appearing for a keyword on which you are bidding.

Fortunately, Google has provided the Negative Keyword Conflict Report, which allows you to deal with this issue effectively.

All you have to do is fill out the sheet with the necessary information 

  • Your account
  • Keywords
  • Level
  • Campaign
  • Blocked keywords 

After you’ve entered all of your keywords and information, go to “tools” and then “script editor.”

After that, copy the Google-provided script and paste it into the editor. Before running the script, enter your email address and the URL of your spreadsheet.

That’s all – you’re done!

6. Not Updating Negative Keywords

If you believe that adding negative keywords once will be sufficient, you are mistaken. As your ads begin to appear on search engines, your audience reach expands, as does the data from search queries.

Luckily, Google does not set a limit on the number of negative keywords that can be used, and you can include up to 5,000 keywords in your list for each campaign. Furthermore, if your campaigns are related to similar keywords, you can apply those keywords to all of them.

As a result, monitoring the terms becomes even more important in order to find prospect keywords while filtering out irrelevant searches.

7. Ignoring Google Updates on Ads

Google keeps on coming up with new updates. It has made numerous recent changes to keyword matching, such as close variants and exact matches. 

Ignoring Google Updated on Ads
Ignoring Google Updated on Ads

There is more noise than ever when considering the increasing number of unique queries. To optimize your ad campaigns to Google’s latest needs, you must keep up with recent Google updates.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common mistakes to avoid while using negative keywords?

1. Ignoring Negative Keywords Altogether
2. Unfamiliar with How Negative Keywords matches work
3. Adding Negative keywords at the Wrong level
4. Poor negative keywords list management
5. Ignoring Negative keywords can conflict with Bidded keywords
6. Not updating negative keywords
7. Ignoring google updated on Ads

Name the three types of negative keyword matches

1. Negative exact
2. Negative phrase
3. Negative broad

How do you ignore google updates on Ads?

To optimize your ad campaigns to Google's latest needs, you must keep up with recent Google updates.

Take Away

The goal of negative keywords is to reduce the number of meaningless clicks that cost you money. And at the same time, your ads will only appear for consumers interested in your product or service. These two factors will contribute to a higher ROI on your advertising campaigns.

Creating a list of negative keywords is indeed a time-consuming and labor-intensive process. It is always worth considering using PPC experts and existing tools to get the job done right.

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