Negative Keywords 101

Posted by Dan Malachowski, Product Marketing Manager (Search and Performance Media)

A negative keyword is a keyword matching option used in paid search to prevent online ads from appearing when a search query contains the negative keyword. For example, if a keyword is body shop, and you add the negative auto, your ad will not appear when a user searches auto body shop.

If an advertiser’s goal is to simply drive traffic, they may not want to use negative keywords. However, if the goal is to seek out qualified leads, negative keywords will help filter out some of the irrelevant traffic.

Negative keywords can have a significant impact on an advertiser’s paid search budget. Irrelevant clicks can drastically drive up CPC and drain budget. The utilization of negative keywords allows advertisers to target qualified consumers, reduce unnecessary costs and increase ROI. Additionally, negative keywords create an ideal user experience.

Finding the right balance between keyword match types is one of the keys to a successful paid search campaign. By managing the exactness of the match through negative keywords, advertisers can effectively select their audience, while getting the most volume possible for a given search query.

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