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Negative Keywords Explained

Negative keywords are one of the most important aspects of running a successful AdWords campaign. Adding a negative keyword to your Campaign or AdGroup means that your ads won’t appear for search queries where that search term has been used.

EG if you use the negative keyword free trial, it means your ad isn’t going to get displayed if the search query uses both of these words, but still can if only one term is used or a variation of the both. For instance, if someone searched free test or one-day trial your ad can still get displayed, if they searched for free one-day trial your ad won’t show.

Your negative keywords help to filter out any unwanted traffic, in the process they make your ads a lot more targeted which is in turn going to increase your ROI, decrease your CPC and also make sure you are paying to display your ads in front of the most relevant and targeted audiences.

Some advertisers are wary when it comes to using Negative keywords as they are afraid of reducing their traffic. If your goal is simply to increase traffic, then negative keywords probably won’t help you. If you are looking to obtain qualified leads to your site, then negative keywords will be of use.

So why would you use negative keywords and not just exact matched keywords? This is simple, using only exact match keywords means that your ads reach will be limited. Though broad matched and phrase matched keywords can bring you unwanted traffic, they can also allow you to take advantage of variations of your keywords that you may not have anticipated (About 20% of all search queries have never been searched for before), so having only exact matched keywords means you are going to miss out on a lot of available traffic.

Ideally you want to use a combination of broad, phrase, exact and negative keywords, that way you cast the widest possible net while filtering out potential traffic that you know won’t convert.