How To Use Negative Keywords to Keep Your Google Ads on Point
So you have your Google ads search campaign set up and it’s going well… but you’re showing up for terms you know aren’t going to convert and markets you don’t sell into. What can you do? Add Negative Keywords.
What are Negative Keywords?
In the realm of digital advertising and local SEO optimisation, negative keywords serve as a strategic tool to refine ad visibility and target the most relevant audience. These are specific words or phrases that advertisers can designate to prevent their ads from displaying in search results for particular terms.
Consider a scenario where a local vegetarian restaurant is running Google Ads to boost its online presence. To ensure the ad reaches a targeted audience, the restaurant might opt for “meat” as a negative keyword. This prevents the ad from showing up when users search for terms like “steakhouse,” aligning with the restaurant’s focus on vegetarian offerings and contributing to a more effective local SEO strategy.
Applying the concept to a lawyer’s Google Ads, particularly for local SEO optimisation, involves carefully selecting negative keywords that filter out irrelevant searches. For instance, a lawyer specialising in tax cases might strategically implement negative keywords such as “criminal” or “bankruptcy.” This not only refines the ad targeting but also enhances the local SEO strategy by ensuring the ad is presented to individuals actively seeking tax-related legal services in the specific locality. In essence, the thoughtful use of negative keywords becomes an integral part of a comprehensive approach to local SEO and targeted advertising.
You can use special characters, like &, á, and *, in negative keywords. These are words you don’t want your ad to show up for. Keep in mind that capital letters and special marks, like á, are treated differently. So “sidewalk café” and “sidewalk cafe” would be considered different. Also, & is different from the word “and”. For example, “socks & shoes” is different from “socks and shoes.”
Here are 4 things to focus on when thinking about Negative Keywords:
- Negative keywords help to exclude irrelevant search terms from triggering your ad. This can improve the relevance of your ad and increase the likelihood of conversions.
- Negative keywords can be added at the account level, campaign, ad group, or ad level. This allows you to be specific about which search terms you want to exclude and at what level of granularity.
- Negative keywords can be used to exclude competitors from triggering your ad.
- Negative keywords can be used to exclude certain locations or regions where you do not want your ads to appear.
Here are some of the negative keywords for a client of ours, Little India. There are a few negative keywords here that would apply to all restaurants like art and blogs but some require a little more specific information on the style of food the restaurant provides. Do they have burgers on the menu? if not then this is a good negative keyword to remember. Catering – If the restaurant doesn’t do it then add it as a negative.
Remember, negative keywords are there to help you hone in on what your next potential customer is searching for.