Master Your Negative Keyword List

I was sitting there trying to juggle work and the live streaming coverage of The Masters online, as I do every year on Thursday and Friday of the Masters. Suddenly, I thought to myself, “I wonder how many searches for “the masters” are done this time of year.  I went to Google Trends to find out.  Nothing that I saw surprised me but what I did see made me start to think about one of the most important things to consider when managing a paid search campaign – Negative Keywords.

I glanced at the “Related Terms” and noticed the keyword “Masters Degree”.

I thought I would check out the “Hot Searches” section to see what was getting a lot of searches today.  Apparently, I’m not the only person interested in The Masters:

I thought I would check out the “Hot Searches” section to see what was getting a lot of searches today.  Apparently, I’m not the only person interested in The Masters:

This brings up an important point that as search marketers, we need to make sure we stay on top of trending searches to make sure we are not spending money on searches that are not relevant to what we are trying to advertise.  One of the biggest reasons that money is wasted in paid search campaigns is because of a lack of negative keywords.

Along with keeping up with search trends and seeing whether or not there is a connection with your campaigns, another great way to build your negative keyword list is to view “All Search Terms” within your Google Adwords account.  This is the way to do this:

  1. Select the Keywords tab
  2. Select the Keyword details dropdown
  3. Choose All

This allows you to learn more about how customers are finding your ad. Here , you’ll see the actual search query that triggered your ad and led to a click. You are shown the query along with whether or not the query has been added as a keyword in one of your campaigns. This report is great for finding keywords to add as negatives, but also finding new opportunities for keywords to add.

Another way to find additional negative keywords or keywords to add to your campaigns is through the Advertising portion of Google Analytics under Matched Search Queries.

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