During these uncharted times it’s important for all businesses to keep track of and reduce costs where possible; without impacting their performance and growth. One of the quickest ways you can cut costs and wasted spend from your marketing budget, is to avoid paid search wastage and apply a Universal Negative Keyword List to your PPC ad campaigns.
Universal Negative Keyword List
In larger Google Ads accounts and search campaigns it is worth setting up a universal negative keyword list; that you want to be applied across the entire account or at least several campaigns and ad groups.
Negative keyword lists in Google Ads are a great way to cut wasted ad spend fast; by negating search terms and keywords that you know will never convert for your shopping campaigns. This is also a quick way of how to copy negative keywords from one campaign to another.
Common Google Ads Negative Keywords
Depending on your industry, you will recognise that there are probably specific negative keywords and terms that simply don’t convert for you. This is most often seen with eCommerce sites trying to fend off people researching a product and those actually wanting to buy. Understanding user intent is a vital part of fine tuning your PPC ads and search optimising.
You will also find that with many eCommerce ad campaigns, there are keywords and search terms that never result in a sale; regardless of what you are selling and which industry or vertical you are in. Read on to find out what our research has shown these Common Google Ads Negative Keywords to be.
“Free” Google Ads Paid Search Wastage
To put it quite simply… if you are selling something, why do you want to give it away for free and pay for an ad to do that. There may be times when your marketing budget allows for a loss leader or you have a special promotion on. However, I doubt that is relevant for many businesses right now and indeed would be beyond the scope of this post about how to Avoid Wasted Ad Spend.
Let’s keep it simple and include Free in our list of Google Ads Negative Keywords.
Staff As Google Paid Search Wastage
If you are targeting your own company name in your PPC campaigns (and you probably should be), then you will also want to add common staff forenames to PPC negative keywords for the same campaign and ad groups. Highlighted by this recent tweet by @wilreynolds and backed up by one of the big Fish(kin).
Diagrams, Instructions, Manuals & Guides
If you are looking for people to convert through buying your product, you may not want to attract people that are just searching for info about a particular product. This will be dictated by your marketing style and campaign objectives; so may well differ subject to that.
This is most often an issue with PPC campaigns for electrical and technology retailers; as people hunt down the ‘how to’ answers they need. Other words to consider here are things like stats, reviews and tutorials.
Five Ws & How – Paid Search Wastage
Each of these questions should have a factual answer and none of these questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. So they are unlikely to be highly converting phrases for an eCommerce website and should probably be added as negative keywords.
Top Tip: Be sure to check for any converting phrases that fall into this category before negating them entirely.
Competitors & Their Products
This can go either way and does really depend on your individual business and marketing strategy. It also depends on your competitors and how similar their products are to your. Think long and hard about targeting or negating these terms, historic data from your ad campaigns is highly likely to give you your answer. A/B testing and experiments with Google Ads can be a great way to clarify things.
Can You Fix It?🛠️Paid Search Wastage
If you don’t offer any sort of repair service alongside your product range; then you should definitely negate words like repair, fix and engineer.
Avoid DIYers In Paid Search Wastage
You may have most of these covered with a ‘how’ or ‘how to’ negative keyword, although it may well be worth adding a couple more eCommerce Negative Keywords such as create, make, homemade and other variations on that theme.
Your PPC Product’s Heritage
Many products, ranges and product types can have an interesting history to them. If you don’t want to attract people looking for that kind of information and not actually wanting to by your product; here you would be looking to filter out words like history, antique, heritage, vintage and past.
75 Common PPC Negative Keywords
Here are some really effective keywords for cutting out the wheat from the chaff in various sectors of your PPC ads.
Avoiding Job Seekers
Reference Based Negative Keywords
- what are
- what is
We Don’t Need No Education
Bargain Hunter Negative Keywords
- close out
- close outs
- odd lots
Specific Materials Negative Keywords
- stainless steel
More Google Ads Tips & Advice
Remember, the Google Ads Negative Keywords list above is not comprehensive and not all examples given will be relevant to all retailers. Study your PPC data to see what is converting, before you decide to add any of these suggestions to your universal Negative Keyword list. Swing on over to our other post to find out more about PPC Strategy.
Did you spot the double negative musical reference? Let me know in the comments below if you did.
PPC Company Sussex
If you are looking for help with optimising your PPC advertising and Google Ads campaigns, then look no further. As a certified Google Partner with Search Specialisation, we couldn’t be better suited to help you; with getting the most from your ROI and cutting out your Paid Search Wastage.
Founder and strategic mind behind White Rabbit. Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, focused on serving clients with a creative and ethical business model. Digital philanthropist giving time to support charitable groups, projects and organisations; that revolve around the arts, wildlife conservation, local community and heritage crafts.