Negative Keywords to Start an AdWords Campaign

If you’re managing your own AdWords campaign, here’s a tip that will save you a lot of money on wasted clicks. As soon as you create your campaign, add a set of negative keywords at campaign level. Start with the most commonly searched keywords that could end up in combination with your targeted keywords, such as “job” or “image”. For example if you’re selling cars, you would want to avoid paying for clicks for those people who are looking for jobs in the automotive industry or for those who are looking for car pictures.

Here’s a list you could start with and add to:

  • free
  • cheap
  • nude
  • naked
  • sex
  • porn
  • porno
  • torrent
  • torrents
  • youtube
  • craigslist
  • ebay

Add these if don’t want to waste money on people looking for employment:

  • hire
  • hiring
  • employment
  • employer
  • employers
  • job
  • jobs
  • occupation
  • occupations
  • career
  • careers
  • occupation
  • occupations
  • full time
  • part time
  • work
  • resume
  • resumes
  • salary
  • salaries
  • pay
  • intern
  • recruiter
  • recruiters
  • recruitment
  • resume
  • resumes

If your services are not education related, add these as well:

  • training
  • learn
  • class
  • classes
  • school
  • schools
  • college
  • university
  • tutorial
  • tutorials
  • course
  • courses
  • textbook
  • textbooks
  • book
  • books

If you’re not renting or hiring out anything:

  • rent
  • rental
  • rentals
  • lease
  • for rent
  • hire

If on the other hand your business in in rentals, you would replace these with “buy, purchase, buy online, for sale, etc”

Here are some others to consider as negatives:

  • review
  • reviews
  • rating
  • ratings
  • opinion
  • opinions
  • article
  • articles
  • information
  • info
  • pics
  • picture
  • pictures
  • photo
  • photos
  • how to
  • how do i

Doing this will save you heaps on unwanted clicks.

Bonus Tip:

Once you’ve done that and added all the common generic terms as negatives, try using Google’s auto-complete search feature to search for your main target keyword and see what suggestions come up – add all the wrong ones to your negative keywords!

Regularly checking and adding negative keywords to our clients’ campaigns is a major part of our optimisation work.