Negative Keywords are one of the first things you hear about when talking about Google Ads optimizations. Everyone knows about them, but not everyone can say what exactly are the effects of adding negative keywords to a campaign or account.
What are Negative Keywords?
Negative keywords are specific words or phrases that you can designate to prevent your ads from appearing when certain search terms are used. By adding negative keywords to your Google Ads campaigns, you can refine your targeting and ensure that your ads reach only those individuals who are interested in your offering, and more likely to convert.
What are the effects of adding negative keywords?
Blocking Search Queries
The first effect is, of course, the obvious one. Certain search queries will be blocked and your ads will not show when someone searches for something that is blocked by negative keywords. This is important because as it generally helps, not paying attention when adding negative keywords can also have a negative impact on the account. But, of course, when adding negative keywords you’re after the positive aspects, such as the following:
Increase CTR and Enhance Relevance
The primary purpose of negative keywords is to improve the relevance of your ads. When you exclude certain search terms that are not relevant to your products or services, you will filter out unwanted traffic and focus your resources on attracting qualified leads. For instance, if you sell glasses, adding negative keywords like “beer” “champagne”, or “wine” can help you exclude users searching for similar, but completely irrelevant things. Those people won’t all click on an ad for eyewear, so naturally, those keywords will have a low CTR. Remove them, and you’ll see an uptick in CTR.
Reduce Wasted Spend
Negative keywords allow you to fine-tune your targeting and minimize wasted ad spend. By excluding irrelevant search queries, you will minimize the chance that someone who is not interested in your offer can click the ad and waste your money. As the previous example, If you’re selling glasses, your ad will be completely irrelevant for people looking for wine glasses or beer glasses.
Why would they click on the ad in the first place? By mistake, or maybe they’re curious? This is an obvious example, but many situations are not that simple.
Reduce Irrelevant Clicks
One of the key advantages of negative keywords is their ability to reduce the number of irrelevant clicks on your ads. This goes hand in hand with reducing wasted spend, as irrelevant clicks not only waste your budget but can also negatively impact your ad performance metrics. In fact, all of the effects listed here go hand in hand. Fewer irrelevant clicks lead to higher CTR, you get it.
Improving Ad Rank
Enhancing the relevance of your ads can indirectly contribute to improving your ad rank. When you consistently refine and optimize your campaign with negative keywords, your ads become more targeted and focused. This increased relevance can lead to higher click-through rates (CTR) and improved Quality Scores, which in turn can positively impact your ad rank, allowing you to achieve better visibility and attract more qualified traffic. And a higher Quality Score will even lead to lower CPCs.
As you noticed, having a rigorous negative keyword routine will create a snowball effect and improve the health and performance of your Google Ads account.
But can negative keywords have a negative effect on Google Ads? If you answered yes, you’re correct. Either by overoptimization or a simple mistake, the negative keywords you add might block relevant queries. We’ll explore this in the next article.