Use negative keywords in paid ads

Business Benefits

Increase the profitability of your Google Ads campaign with less budget.


Research negative keywords by entering your business-related keywords into search engines like DuckDuckGo, Google, and Bing.

You can select the Meaning tab on DuckDuckGo to see definitions of your terms, and cherry-pick obvious terms to use as negatives, such as names of famous people that are irrelevant to your product.

On Google, assess the keyword suggestions and related terms at the bottom of the page.

Open Google Ads, select Keywords > Negative Keywords, click on the reporting icon, and navigate to Shared Library > Negative keyword lists.

Click on the plus icon to add your negative keyword list.

Add your negative keyword list to your campaign by navigating to Keywords > Negative Keywords and choose campaigns.

Split your keywords into separate groups by match type for different ad group:

Keep Broad and Modified Broad match terms together, with Phrase and Exact each in their own groups, and name your Ad Groups with their match types.

Create a filter within the Keywords tab to show only the phrase and exact match keywords.

If you have many different ad groups covering different topics, expand your filter to include terms your ad groups all share, for example, Nike.

Download the CSV file for the phrase and exact keywords.

This step is necessary because we can’t use the copy-paste function of the main Google Ads interface within the negative keyword section.

Copy your phrase and exact keywords from the CSV spreadsheet, go back to your broad match ad group, and add them as negative keywords.

You can also take your exact match terms and set them as negatives in your phrase match ad group, for even greater control. As you add additional exact and phrase match keywords to your groups, go back and add them to your broad match negative list as well.

If you delete or pause exact or phrase terms from your ad groups, you have to take them out of your negative list in your broad match group, if you want to continue to get traffic for those terms.