Negative keywords are keywords you add in your campaigns to block irrelevant searches. They look like regular keywords that people use to search for products or services, but the reality is they are not relevant.
An example of a negative keyword would be the word ‘free’ if you offer a paid software service. People looking for ‘free’ may not fit your target profile unless you offer a free trial version.
Another example negative word is ‘job’ for a business that offers plumbing services. People searching for plumbing jobs would not fit the right target market profile.
Negative keywords can be added at any time. They can be added when you first setup your account and campaigns. And they can be added as you manage your campaigns to make them more effective.
It’s important to add some when you are just getting started. That will save you a lot of money from wasted clicks. You can use a keyword research tool such as the Keyword Planner tool in Google Ads To find negatives.
This is a free tool and is available in your account. As you conduct keyword research and build your list, you will also look out for negative keywords to add to the list.
If you have been running campaigns for some time, you can find negative keywords in your search terms report. This report is available in your keywords tab and reveals the actual searches that your ads received.
You will find that some search terms are not relevant so you will need to block them. And you can add them here directly to your campaigns and ad groups.
You can also create negative lists in the Tools > Shared Library section in your account
The advantage of creating lists is that you can apply them to multiple campaigns and that saves you a lot of time because you don’t have to add them individually to each account.