What are Negative Keywords and Why are They Important?

Apr 18, 2023 | SEO, Website Services

What are Negative Keywords and Why are They Important?

As a premier web design company in the Greater Sacramento Area, we get questions from all kinds of businesses about the use of keywords in marketing. While positive keywords are nearly always seen as important, and are understood by the majority of the population, negative keywords are often misunderstood, especially in regards to how impactful they can be to a company’s marketing strategy. So what are negative keywords and why are they important to understand?

At Dedicated Designs we want to help all of our clients and community members to understand how negative keywords are just as important as positive keywords in online marketing, and make it a priority to provide the knowledge and tools you need to make them work to your advantage.


What are Negative Keywords? 

Negative keywords are words that your company does not want to appear in a search for. For example, if you are running an athletic gear company, you probably don’t want to show up in the search results of someone looking for a day spa. Negative keywords can be extremely helpful to prevent your ads from appearing online to people who are searching for things that are completely unrelated to the products or services you provide. 

By eliminating irrelevant customers, you actually give your business a boost by taking advantage of every opportunity to reach your optimum target audience and spending your ad campaign budget wisely. You want to avoid wasting money on advertisements that are being shown to people who are not interested in your products or services. One key to success with paid advertising campaigns is deeply understanding your target audience, so that you can maximize your conversions and Click Through Rate (CTR) and increase your Return on Investment (ROI) and customer relevance.


Negative Keywords List of Benefits

Negative keywords can be used to benefit your company in the following ways:

  • Saving your business money on advertising
  • Attracting more users who are relevant to the products and services you offer
  • Increasing your company’s conversion rate
  • Improving CTR
  • Increasing the relevance of your ad group
  • Improving your return on ad spend parentheses (ROI) 


Negative Keyword Examples 

There are three different types of negative keywords: broad match, phrase match, and exact match. 


Broad Match Negative Keyword Examples

The broad match negative keywords give you the power to prevent your ads from appearing in searches that include every word of your keyword phrase in any order. Your ad might still show up for some of the words within the phrase.

For example, if your negative broad match keyword is frosted donuts, you may appear for searches including jelly filled donuts, or frosted cakes, but your advertisement will not appear for searches that are similar to jelly filled donuts or frosted cakes or the actual phrase frosted donuts. It is important to use caution when choosing negative broad match keywords, so that they do not limit your reach. 


Phrase Match Negative Keyword Examples

Negative phrase match keywords prevent your ad from being shown to people who are looking for the exact keyword phrase with any additional phrase that is included either before or after. As an example, if the negative phrase match keyword was frosted chocolate donuts, your advertisement will not show up for searches such as chocolate frosted donut near me or sprinkled chocolate frosted donut, but your ads could still show up for searches such as chocolate frosted desserts or iced donuts.

Negative phrase match keywords are likely one of the safest options to choose since the search query must actually contain the keyword itself within the search phrase. This avoids the risk of keeping your ads hidden from too many searches, while simultaneously narrowing down the target audience that you would like your ad to be seen by. 


Exact Match Negative Keyword Examples

Negative exact match keywords prevent the display of your ad in searches that include the keyword phrase exactly as it is with no additional variation. As an example, if your negative exact match keyword is maple bar donuts, your ads would only be excluded from specific search results of users searching maple bar donuts. If any other, even slight, variation of the phrase maple bar donuts is searched for, your ads might still be shown. 

When you have a larger budget to work with, that means you might find yourself with greater flexibility using exact match terms because they are so specific, but if you are working with a smaller budget, it is usually best to use the more restrictive negative match types like broad match and phrase match, since they can help you avoid showing your ads to the wrong audience and increase your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). 


Why Hire a Professional Marketing Company?

At Dedicated Designs we are experts on the benefits of negative keywords and how to use them, and we understand that it can be overwhelming for companies to try to figure it out themselves. Our trained professionals have spent years perfecting the art of using negative keywords to increase ROAS us and improve the CTR of clients’ websites. We would be happy to talk to you about our online marketing services and explain how we can help you use negative keywords to your advantage to both improve the relevance of your ads and save your business money. 

Contact us directly at (916) 243-5003, or take a look at the many different services we provide on our website. We also offer a quick and easy online form that you can fill out to get in touch with us so that we can help you learn about the variety of ways we can effectively market your company.

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