Negative keyword lists have long since been a staple within Google AdWords. With AdCenter’s relatively new UI overhaul Microsoft, too, introduced negative keyword lists to its search UI. This is beneficial for marketers because, outside of controlled match types, negative keywords are your number one opportunity for being proactive in excluding poor impressions/clicks. The negative keyword lists are a great way to exclude “themes” of keywords from all campaigns or a select few. In this post on negative keyword lists for AdWords and AdCenter, I will not dive into a comprehensive list of keywords within our negative keyword lists, but I will provide ideas on “themes” you should consider as well as negative keyword lists that pretty much apply for any paid search campaign.
We’ve scoured databases and parsed content, which is far from inviting for many of these lists to have comprehensive negative lists for AdWords and AdCenter. I will point to sources for you to do the same, but will not provide these lists for download. If you would like the actual negative keyword lists please contact us.
We recommend using a very controlled list of target keywords and not using any broad match. Therefore, many of these lists may be overkill, but they, hopefully, will arm you with some ideas of lists that will help you proactively weed out poor impressions/clicks.
How Negative Keyword Lists Work
Negative keyword lists are a great way to group “themes” of negatives and apply them to all your campaigns without flagging negatives at the campaign and ad group level. Negative keyword lists can be added to individual ad groups, campaigns etc. so the granular customization is still there for you if you’re hesitant thinking these are a blanket account-level approach. Negative keyword lists allow the standard match types such as broad, phrase and exact. Please note that AdCenter does not allow for broad match negatives, so these will need to be phrase.
Negative Keyword Lists for AdWords and AdCenter
There are many negative keyword lists for use in AdWords and AdCenter, which apply to almost any category. However, please review as you may not want to negate these lists within your target. For example, if you’re in the computer software business you will not want a “computer” negative keyword list. The below negative keyword lists for AdWords and AdCenter are those which you should entertain for the majority of search efforts and move forward with those that won’t weed out desirable searches.
Computer Negative Keyword List:
DIY Negative Keyword List:
- “do it yourself”
- “how to”
Education Negative Keyword List:
Games Negative Keyword List:
Gambling Negative Keyword List:
Jobs Negative Keyword List:
Piracy Negative Keyword List:
Prices Negative Keyword List:
Category Targeted Negative Keyword Lists for AdWords and AdCenter
The above lists can be applied to most campaigns with a little customization without worry of collateral damage. The below negative keyword list ideas are some you should entertain in most categories, but these will have to be updated to match category and geographic criteria:
If you’re managing a local business you will want to weed out searches of people in your geo searching for a service/product in another geo. If you need a resource for a comprehensive location database this is a great start.
Non-Applicable Cities Negative Keyword List
Remember to remove all cities you conduct business in as well as any duplicates for these. Also make sure that your name or brand name are not a city name you’re negating.
Non-Applicable States Negative Keyword List
Obviously, remove states you conduct business in.
Non-Applicable Zip Codes Negative Keyword List
This is especially important for property-based keyword searches such as rentals where someone needs to live in a certain zip.
Non-Applicable Counties Negative Keyword List
Again, remove brand terms and peoples names
Many negative lists only apply to certain categories. If your category has a loosely related product line that receives enough attention then you may burn clicks on these categories. It is impossible to cover all of the possibilities here, so I will provide an example of some categories for which you may want to find a database of a like, but not the same, category to negate.
Commercial/Residential Window Tint:
A database of automobile makes and models to negate.
Automobile Window Repair:
A negative keyword list consisting of a database of home/commercial window manufacturers and general home/commercial keywords.
VOIP or Telephony Companies:
A negative list for cell phone manufacturers as well as one for models. Make sure to pull a list of models offered and not negate any.
You’ll want to negate most consumer electronics, especially cell phones, to weed out the variety of searches for replacement chords.
Negative keyword lists can be your best ally in combating irrelevant clicks while still inviting long-tail clicks via phrase-match. These are a few examples to set you on the right path of maximizing negative keyword lists for AdWords and AdCenter (Bing/Yahoo).