Negative Keywords help you save time and money by eliminating irrelevant impressions and clicks, which subsequently increases CTR and conversion rate. Negative keywords improve targeting by preventing your adverts showing to irrelevant searches.
Using the Adwords Search Terms Report “can” be the most common way of finding negative keywords. This search terms report shows the actual searches typed into Google by people who have clicked on your adverts and been to your website.
While this is an essential exercise, creating a negative keyword list before you start advertising can save money from the outset. We have created this list of negative keywords below. These are some of the most popular negative keyword used, or most frequently used best negatives & common negatives.
(* It is essential to include both singular and plural negative keywords). Also, it is important to note that a single word negative will block any search term that contains that word is part of the query. **NB- Every industry is different, so although these are popular negative keywords- you will need to go through each category and keyword to ensure that they are in fact irrelevant 100% of the time. For tips in using Negative Keywords, see our blog post negative keyword tips.
Negative Keywords List & Categories of Negatives
The negative keyword list is grouped into categories- each of which should be checked to ensure these are in fact irrelevant to your industry.
Training & Certification, Education & Schools, Jobs & Careers, Informational/Blog, Websites, Legal, DIY, Medical & Health, Product Materials, Software, Locations, Used/Free, and Advertising & Media. Some words can actually go in more than one category as their context and therefore meaning varies.
Training & Certification
For many industries, all of these keywords can be negative. If you provide training services, then training naturally would not be negative- but some others might.
Education & Schools
Schools and education negatives are similar to the training negative keywords. Unless you are a school or college, or provide formal training- then these are good negative keywords to use.
Jobs & Employment
These are perhaps the best negative keywords to use for most industries. Stop job seekers clicking on your adverts can be a big saver.
Blog & Informational Search Terms
These words are usually associated with informational search terms. The search intent is to grow awareness and answer a question. These are good keywords to target organically with a blog. For paid advertising, it is often best to block informational searches- and focus on transactional searches which have more commercial intent or/and later in the buying funnel.
If you are selling services, then most of these keywords are irrelevant and good negative keywords. If you sell products, then the websites may also be irrelevant. However in this instance, it is better to check the actual search terms report in Adwords, to make sure they are not performing well before adding to the negative keyword list.
Unless you are actually selling legal related services or products, these should be good for you. Certainly for most industries.
Photos & Images
Like blog/question keywords, these are very informational- and typically best to block within Adwords- unless you explicitly provide these services or products.
Unless you offer these type of products or services- add them to the negative keyword list.
do it yourself
Health & Medical
If you sell services product materials can be good negatives. Also if you sell products manufactured from certain materials, other materials can be blocked as negatives.
Unless you sell software, these negatives will be useful to most advertisers.
Adwords allows targeting with IP address. However sometimes people within the target location will actually search for your services in another location. If you only sell to one city, then the other main cities in your country can be used as negative keywords.
Used & & Free
Advertising & Media
Negative Keyword List Setup Instructions
Once a negative keyword list is created, attach to all the search campaigns that will use this. See our article Negative Keywords Tips for Adwords on how to build negative keyword lists.
It is good practice to run a keyword diagnostic on the positive keywords after updating negative keywords. This will identify if any negatives are conflicting with positive keywords.