6 Ways to Find Negative Keywords in Adwords

When it comes to reducing irrelevant clicks and wasted spend, and generating qualified leads, negative keywords play an important role in Google Adwords.

A negative keyword is a term which does not represent/define your products and services. Hence, it is pointless to show your ads on those terms.

Negative keywords can be added at the account, campaign and ad group level. Moreover, there are be broad negatives, phrase negatives, and exact negatives.

It is highly important to understand the match types and the level (i.e. account, campaign or ad group) a negative keyword is being added at. Otherwise, you may end up restricting your ads from relevant users.

That was a bit about what negative keywords are and how they can be handled. Let’s dive into how to find them while planning and working on your campaigns.

6 Ways to Find Negative Keywords

1. While doing the keyword research:

When you start planning your campaign, write some high-level keywords that define your products/services and put them into Google Keyword Planner to get more ideas.

Let’s take a hypothetical situation. I deal only with office furniture and I entered my core keywords in Keyword Planner and it gave me some suggestions. Have a look at the screenshot below.

negative keyword adwords

I would not want to bid on any keyword related to home or house so I will take a note and add it as a negative keyword while building the campaign.

While choosing the keywords from Keyword Planner, you will come across many irrelevant terms which you should not be targeting, create a list of such keywords and add them in your campaign while setting it up.

2. Use multiple keyword research tools

When it comes to keyword research, it is always better to spend some extra hours to include the best ones and remove the irrelevant ones.

Google Keyword Planner is not the only tool which you should be using to find keywords. There are multiple tools but the ones I love the most are WordStream Keyword Tool, UberSuggest, and Keywordtool.io.

Though these tools don’t provide CPC and competition data (except UberSuggest), our goal is to find negative terms so we should be good.

All the three tools allow you to export all the keywords which you can go through in an excel sheet and find all the possible negative terms.

3). Search terms report

Above two methods help you find negative keywords before adding keywords in your campaign.

However, search terms report help you find negative keywords when the campaign has started getting clicks.

Sitting in the Keywords tab of the Adwords interface, this report shows you all the exact queries on which your ads appeared.

You should be going through this report on a weekly and monthly basis to find out every term which is irrelevant to your business and add it as negative.

This report becomes highly useful when negative keywords were not added when the campaigns were launched.

4. Exclude synonyms, short forms, and related terms

Once you have a list of negative keywords, find all the synonyms, abbreviations and terms related to the negative keywords and add them as negatives.

For example, if I only deal in office furniture, I would add house, home, apartment, etc. as negative in my campaign.

5. Google related searches

Let’s say you only supply office furniture and not manufacture it. Search for office furniture supplier on Google.com and.

I searched for office furniture supplier, scroll down to the bottom and saw some “related searches” to my query. I obviously would not want to bid on manufacturer being a supplier. Have a look at the screenshot.

negative keywords adwords

So while choosing the keywords for your campaigns, perform actual Google searches for keywords to find related keywords and exclude every term that you find irrelevant.

6. “People Also Ask” section in the SERP

When a search is made, Google shows a lot of additional information apart from organic search listings and ads.

One such information is present in the “People Also Ask” section on the results page. This section has some questions related to the search query (keyword). Note that these questions are based on actual searches performed by users.

negative keywords adwords

I searched for solar panel installation and questions in the screenshot appeared in the “People Also Ask” section.

As a company providing solar panel installation, you would not want to show your ads on terms like “average pay”, [how much money does a solar technician make], etc. You should add these terms as negatives in your campaign.


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