Five Steps for Adding Negatives to New AdWords Accounts

By Paige Payne | Dec 1, 2009
More Articles by Paige


When creating any new account or campaign in AdWords, using Google’s keyword tool to compile a list of potential keywords, often times many of the keywords generated by Google are not relevant to your initial keyword or search term of interest.  Furthermore, some of these unrelated but similarly worded keywords can carry significant search traffic.

More often than not when you see these irrelevant search terms and phrases you skip over them and only focus on the relevant.   The thought process behind this is that you want to manage costs by advertising on only keywords which you feel are relevant.  The problem with this approach is that specifically for broad match keywords, your ads will probably show for all these undesirable search queries even if you are not actively bidding on them.

A simple way to go about combating these effects, improve account performance, and reduce costs is to add negative keywords.

Five steps for adding negatives to new accounts or campaigns:

1) Establish a comprehensive list of relevant keywords

2) Organize these keywords into your desired campaign and ad group structure

3) Rerun these keywords in the Keyword tool at the ad group level searching for additional keywords

4) Export all results and comb through the keywords one last time

5) Pull all of the unrelated similarly worded keywords into a separate list to be added as negatives at the appropriate account level.

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