It’s a humbling moment when you realize that not everyone has a use for the product you poured your heart and soul into.
That’s right: Not everyone wants an app to remind them of their daily tasks or a food courier that delivers hot meals at a moment’s notice. It’s impossible to make everyone happy all of the time—and that’s OK!
What’s not OK is wasting your resources (like ad money) on an audience that’s not searching for your product. What if there was a way to focus your ad campaign only on interested people?
That’s where negative keywords come in. They help ensure your ads are not seen by irrelevant traffic.
What Are Negative Keywords?
A negative keyword is a word or phrase you’d like to exclude from your campaign. Negative keywords let you efficiently weed out audience members who are not interested in what you have to offer so you can focus on hitting the right leads. When used correctly, they can make online advertising more efficient and profitable.
If you want your “car insurance” ads to appear when that phrase is mentioned in a Google search but not if an individual is looking for “cheap car insurance,” a negative keyword would ensure your ads don’t show up for the latter.
The more specific you can be with your negative keywords, the better. Being specific prevents wasting money on people who will never buy your product or service—no matter how often they see your ads.
Different types of negative keywords: broad, phrase, and exact
There are three types of negative keywords you can use in your Google Ads campaigns: broad, phrase, and exact matches. Let’s use the negative keyword “board games” as an example.
Negative broad match: Your ad will be excluded if the search contains all the negative keywords, even if the words are in a different order. Your ad might still come up if only some terms are included in the search. Broad match is the default setting for all Google Ads accounts.
Negative phrase match: Your ad will not show if the search contains all the negative keywords if they are in the same order. The search can include additional terms, but the negative keyword must appear in the same order to be excluded from the search results.