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October 25th, 2019 / Google Ads

Google Ads Tips- Keywords & Negative Search Terms

If you are running a Google Ads campaign, you are most likely aware that you bid on a range of keywords related to your business. But sometimes there are keywords that you end up paying too much for and are not necessarily relevant enough for your business.

First of all, here is a break down of the different types of keywords you can bid on.

Broad Match- Is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned. Ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations. As an example, if the keyword is 'women's hats', someone searching for 'buy ladies hats' might also see your ad.

Broad Match Modifier- Similar to broad match, but ads will only show if searches include the words designated with a plus sign (+women's hats ) or the close variations of them.

Phrase Match- This match type requires a particular phrase to be searched and it cannot be reordered in any way. Even words in the middle of the phrase will not trigger the ad. Words designated with quotation marks are the phrase match type. An example would be "women's hats".

Exact Match- This match type is the most specific as the words searched must match exactly or be close variations of that term. Variations include searches for keywords with the same meaning, reordering of the words and misspellings are allowed as long as it doesn't change the meaning. Exact match types are designated with brackets. An example is [women's hats] and this could also be triggered by a search of 'hats for women' because the meaning doesn't change.

Now we know the match types, here is a scenario. Say you are a Fuel Removal service and you drain fuel from customers vehicles that have accidentally filled up with the wrong fuel. You would potentially bidding on keywords such as 'Wrong fuel in car' to trigger your ads.

But sometimes your keywords may trigger irrelevant search terms in the search terms report. This can often cause some of your campaign budget to be wasted, because you are paying for clicks that weren't actually relevant enough. These are known as negative keywords.

Search terms in Google Ads

Quick Tip- Search term reports can be found by clicking into your campaign, then into the selected ad group and this is where you will find your keywords and the search terms tab along the top.

By going into the search terms report, you may discover a number of irrelevant keywords that are triggering your ads. For example, as a fuel removal service you wouldn't want the keyword 'Local fuel prices' to be triggering your ad. This would be an ideal keyword to add to a Negative Keyword List.

If you don't have any Negative Keyword Lists already created, you can do this by following the steps below.

First off, in your Google Ads Account- go to Tools & Settings & then Negative Keyword Lists.

Tools & settings

Then hit the plus button to create a new list.

Negative keyword list

Give the list a name and then add any negative keywords you may have already identified.

Negative keywords

Finally, select the negative keyword list and apply it to the campaign you wish to associate the negative keywords with. This will prevent your ads showing for the exact match keywords you have decided are irrelevant.

Apply to campaigns

By doing this you are able to prevent costly negative keywords draining your campaign budget.

Keywords are an important part of Google Ads management and so is the actual positioning of your ads.

Did you know? Google have now removed the average position metric and replaced it with a variety of different metrics.

Why not read our post about Google Removing Average Position?