Common Issues with Negative Keywords on AdWords

Adding negative keywords is an important step in maximizing the cost-effectiveness of your AdWords campaigns. Doing so ensures that your money isn’t being wasted on search terms that are irrelevant to your business. However, if you’re running an extensive campaign with multiple ad groups, problems often arise with negative keywords. This especially applies to campaigns using negative keyword lists, which can create confusion – particularly when negative keywords are removed at the campaign or ad group level.

Removed Negative Keywords Are Still Preventing Ads From Appearing

If you run an AdWords campaign for a landscaping company that previously didn’t do stone wall installations, you probably added negative keywords that prevented your ads from appearing on stone wall related searches. But if one day, this company did begin installing stone walls, you would need to remove stone wall installations from your campaign negative keywords.

It would probably be a good call then to even add a ‘Stone Wall Installation’ ad group. However, your ads may not be appearing – even if you removed ‘stone wall installation’ from your campaign negative keywords. The reason for this is that if you remove a negative keyword from an ad group or campaign level, they may still be in a negative keyword list, which isn’t visible at first glance. To view, click ‘lists’ instead of ‘keywords’, which will then bring you to the negative keywords lists. From there, you’ll be able to effectively remove any negative keywords.

Negative Keywords Are Hurting My Broad Match Keywords

If you run a medical clinic that specializes in pediatrics, adding ‘specialists’ as a negative keyword makes a ton of sense, considering common medical-related searches often include terms such as ‘Ears, Nose, Throat, Specialists’ or ‘Spine Specialists’. However, you want your ads to appear for searches similar to ‘Pediatrics Specialists’. The solution for this is to keep specialist as a negative keyword but to then add ‘pediatrics specialists’ and other similarly worded ads as exact match keywords. The way to do this is to include brackets around all the keywords that include specialists that you’ve added.


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