Negative Keywords

June 12, 2020

In this episode of The Pest Control Internet Marketing Podcast, Andy talks about negative keywords for Google Ads campaigns.

He explains that negative keywords should be something you do daily at the beginning of your ads, weekly as it gets better, and monthly when you are well settled. 

He explains the strategy that he uses in his marketing agency, K3 Marketing, and how he does for his clients in the pest control industry:

Look at a certain date range by going to your Google Ads account and sorting by, for example the last 7 days, and then go into the keyword tab and look at search terms. You can modify your columns in the Google Ads platform. The columns that Andy likes to look at are the search term, the keyword associated with that search term, and then the average cost per click for that keyword. 

Also, create a separate Excel document and have three columns namely; the bad search terms, keyword, and negative keyword. Then look through your search terms, for example, ‘mouse controller not working’ which is obviously a bad search term for you. You then place it into your Excel column and look at the keyword that might have triggered that search term. In this case, its ‘mouse control’, which is a great keyword but yielded a bad search term. 

Now you want to think of a keyword you can add to your negative keyword list to ensure that that bad keyword does not pop up again. In the above example, Andy says he would add the keyword ‘controller’ as a negative. In the Excel document, now you have the bad search term (mouse controller not working), the keyword that triggered that (mouse control), and then the negative keyword (controller). 

Now that you have all of this in place, think if there are any variations of your keywords where any of these negative keywords play a part and still be of impact. If the answer is no, then pop them into the negative keyword list. Adding negative keywords should be easy, just add from a campaign level or an ad group level, although Andy suggests the former.

The importance of the Excel document is that sometimes you realize that the middle column (i.e the keyword) is the root of the problem. However, the keyword match type could be an issue as well. You need to play around with the variations to find that sweet spot to ensure that one specific keyword is not yielding tones of search terms, or you can just take it out completely.

Never just click on a search term on Google Ads and add it to negative because Google will add it as a phrase match and only an exact match would be negated. But if you find one word in that phrase that is irrelevant to any of your searches, then you have ensured you won’t get any other bad search terms related to that negative keyword.

Remember to keep refining to get perfect search terms every time this will ensure a return on investment.


Listen to the latest PCIM podcast episode on negative keywords here.


Comments are closed.