A Starter Pack of Negative Keywords for your Google Ads or Bing Ads Campaign

Want a more effective Google Adwords or Bing Ads Campaign? Add these negative keywords to eliminate bogus searches and get more value from your marketing dollars.

Pay-per-click advertising has gotten more and more expensive as the masses have discovered the deep funnel benefits of reaching an audience who is actively searching for their products or services. With skyrocketing costs, every penny counts when optimizing your pay-per-click campaigns. You can’t afford to waste clicks on irrelevant traffic that is unlikely to take action or convert.

When we take over Google Ads or Bing Ads advertising accounts created by website owners or even other agencies, one of the first things we do is check for negative keywords. Typically, we won’t find any negative keywords at all and this is a huge swing and miss for these advertisers. Most people are familiar with keywords but many don’t even know negative keywords exist. When setting up a pay-per-click campaign, you can provide keywords you want people to search for when your ad is shown. These are commonly known as keywords, something everyone thinks about when adding a campaign. Negative keywords are the opposite. Negative keywords are keywords you DON’T want included in a user’s search phrase when your ad is shown. Having the right mix of negative keywords is nearly as important as having the right list of keywords because they allow advertisers to eliminate a lot of that irrelevant traffic. For example, you may be an attorney and you want to advertise for a phrase like ‘attorney in Seattle’ but if you add that phrase as a keyword, depending on your matchtype, you may also be showing for things like ‘attorney jobs in Seattle’ or ‘free attorney in Seattle’ and a variety of other terms that aren’t going to help you get the right types of leads. That is where negative keywords are a true lifesaver. They allow you to help control these search terms by providing a list of words you have no interest in ranking for so that when people make these searches, your ad doesn’t show up and you don’t end up paying for traffic that won’t lead to new business! This allows your budget to be deployed far more effectively and only on search terms that are relevant to the products or services you provide.

At Zipline, we create a lot of Google Ads and Bing Ads campaigns. To streamline the process, we have assembled a lengthy list of common negative keywords that will help get a new pay-per-click advertising account off the ground and on the right foot.

We have broken these into several groups and we made them easy to copy/paste into your campaign. When you are migrating these over, please take some time to look at the negative keywords to make sure they are indeed relevant for your application. Not every one of these is going to be a good negative keyword for every business, but they are a great starting place to help eliminate unwanted traffic and save you some serious money.

Negative Keyword Related to Education

training
learn
classes
class
school
schools
colleges
college
university
universities
books
book
tutorial
tutorials
video
videos
textbooks
textbook
guide
guides
become
program
programs
institute
institutes

Negative Keyword Covering Images

pictures
picture
pic
pics
photo
photos
images
image
diagram
diagrams

Negative Keyword Targeting Intent

How to
How do
How does
What to
What do
What does
Where to
Where do
Where does
directions
sample
samples
sampler
sampling
map
maps
blog
blogs
example
examples
forum
forums
craft
crafts
diy
homemade
handmade
make
specs
rental
rentals
repair
repairs

Negative Keyword Covering Popular Platforms

craigslist
facebook
ebay
instagram
etsy
youtube
torrent
Udemy

Negative Keyword Covering Pricing, Sales, and Discounting

free
cost
price
pricing
affordable
no charge
cost
bargain
bargains
blowout
blowouts
cheap
cheapest
clearance
clearances
close outs
closeout
deals
deal
discount
discounts
liquidation
overstock
promo
promo codes
promotional
rebate
rebates
bargain 
sale
sales
special
inexpensive
lowest
warehouse
outlet
freemium
freeware
open source

Negative Keywords Targeting Conferences and Resources

journal
journals
magazine
magazines
club
clubs
conference
conferences
council
councils
newsletter
newsletter
resource
resources
seminar
seminars
statistics
stats
statistic
workshop
workshops
association
associations

Negative Keywords to Eliminate Research and Document Related Searches

review
reviews
rating
ratings
opinion
opinions
article
articles
information
info
manual
manuals
instruction
instructions
guide
guides
opinion
opinions
article
articles
study
Studies
documentation
documents
document

REMEMBER! Not all of these will apply to all businesses. Also, remember this is not an exhaustive list. You will want to review and edit these items to align with your products, services, and industry, but this is a great place to start for any business. If you begin your campaign with a collection of these words, you’re going to save a lot of money and get good results much, much faster.

One more important note is that Google only applies negative keywords to the first 10 words in a query. So very long queries still may break through. There isn’t much you can do about this but it is important you’re aware.
Details: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453972

Author:

Ryan Stemkoski

Principal / Interactive Director

Ryan is a Creative Technologist at Zipline Interactive. He has over 15 years of experience planning, designing, developing, deploying, and marketing websites and mobile applications for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
More Articles
Ryan is a Creative Technologist at Zipline Interactive. He has over 15 years of experience planning, designing, developing, deploying, and marketing websites and mobile applications for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
More Articles

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