Anyone who manages Google Ads campaigns can agree that 75% of the campaign’s performance is based on the keywords used, as well as the negative keyword strategy. You need to learn how to target the right keywords and use the right match types.
However, knowing how to block the right negative keywords using the right match type is very important for the performance of the Google Ads campaign.
Thus, I will list the best and creative ways to find more negative keywords so that you can add them to your campaign’s negative keywords list.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
The Google Ads keyword planner tool is one of the best options for finding negative keywords. While this keyword finder is typically used to discover new keywords that you plan to bid on, it can also be used to identify negative keywords.
Simply type in your desired keyword, and a list of new related keywords and their variations, along with their number of searches and competition will be displayed.
Each time you search for a specific term, you may come across terms that are unrelated to your product or business, so you want to exclude them and add them to your negative keyword list.
While doing your keyword research, you will notice that Google automatically suggests keywords at the bottom of the search engine result page (SERP). These are searches related to your chosen keyword.
There is no coincidence that these terms are listed as Google suggestions. It’s been proven that because they have been searched by people in the past, there is 99% certainty that this will happen again. Use this opportunity to grab the keywords that you think are irrelevant and pop them into your negative keyword list.
The category pages on Wikipedia are other great sources for finding potential negative keywords. Wikipedia is a natural place to look for negatives as it is built on a complex system of interlinking connected terms. A category is aimed at grouping together pages that are on similar subjects.
Search for negative keyword ideas by applying a simple process of going through the following pages in a given category and subcategory.
For example, if you want to get a list of categories for the keyword “pest control”, after typing this keyword in Wikipedia, scroll down the result page and you’ll be able to find a link “Categories: Pest control”. Clicking on the “Pest Control” link will get you to a new webpage with all the categories related to your main keyword. Write down any negative keywords you can find on this page.
After you go through the available categories, go ahead and repeat the process by clicking on the available subcategories.
If your company offers services that are likely to attract Do-It-Yourselfers, then browsing general or niche DIY websites can be very productive. Also, any kind of forums, such as Reddit, can be helpful for finding negative keywords for your Google Ads campaigns.
Including all sorts of abbreviations, as well as acronyms and initialisms, in your negative keyword list, proves to be also useful. Abbreviations.com is a great resource for finding such terms.
It often happens that people make some typing errors when they are searching on Google. Your ads may get displayed for even these misspelled searches whenever they occur. A great way to stop this would be to look for negative keywords that contain spelling mistakes, and you should be adding them to your negative keyword list as well.
Some products or companies might be negatively associated or highly popular for something bad. If your product or service is closely related to such products or companies that are infamous in the media, using their brands or names as negative keywords can be effective.
Tools such as Google Analytics can be used to monitor all sorts of data from your website. For this, you must link your Google Ads and Analytics accounts and you’ll be able to see data from Google Ads reports in Analytics. Thus, click on Acquisition and then, on Search Queries.
Go through the search terms but pay attention especially to those with high traffic and low or no conversions. Add them to your negative keyword list in Google Ads. The keywords that don’t provide conversions are just a waste of money.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is another great way to identify more negative keywords. The data shows information about which keywords your website is organically ranking for in Google, and for which keywords searchers find you in Google.
As you browse through the search queries in the GSC, collect the irrelevant keywords that you’ll spot and include them in your negative keyword list in Google Ads.
Research Your Competitors
Lastly, an effective and creative way to find negative keywords is to also look at the keywords of your competitors, and discover new ideas that way. These keywords will be perfect candidates to include in your potential negative keyword list.
Do competitive research by performing a Google search of your competitor’s keywords. Skim through the results that will get displayed on the first couple of pages on Google as they are relevant to the keyword. Look for keywords that are not transactional and add them to your list.
For competitive research, you might also use tools such as iSpionage, SpyFu, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. Even though these are paid tools, they are superb to do keyword research to find potential negative keywords.
Alternatively, you may use a free version of the Ubersuggest tool to find suggested keywords. This way, by typing your keyword, you can find keywords that may not match your business, and you can then negate them in Google Ads.
Above all, you need to know who your audience is and how your product or service relates, then you may want to start thinking from their point of view to do keyword research and eliminate search terms that are not relevant to what you’re offering.
Hopefully, you will implement these creative ideas that I have provided above.
For additional ideas on finding negative keywords for your Google Ads campaigns, listen to my podcast episode or read my post here.