PPC can be an expensive hobby and you’re determined that your PPC campaign will become a valuable marketing channel rather than a resented, money-burning pastime.

In order to make the most of your PPC investment, you are going to have to make use of both common sense and data to constantly tailor your ads.

You want to hone in on specific buyer personas which, as a byproduct (or whichever way round you want to view it), rid your campaign of wasted clicks.

What are negative keywords?

One of the steps in creating your adverts is to assign the types of search terms that you want your adverts to appear for. Hopefully you have been specific about your keywords, focusing on user intent and relevance.

As you would imagine, negative keywords are almost the complete opposite of your target keywords. They help you give guidelines to Google, dictating the types of search terms for which you do not want to appear.

Adding negative keywords to your Google Adwords campaign

Before we get into researching, there are a couple of ways you can add negative keywords to your Google Adwords account.

Add your campaign or ad group specific negatives at the individual level. For broader, cover-all type, negative keywords add them at the account level with a shared list.

How can you research negative keywords?

Option 1: Search term reports

Reviewing the search term report is probably the most common way of finding new negative keywords. Schedule in a task to run through the search term report and add in any negatives you find.

When adding the negatives, be aware of the match types you’re using. Match types are just as useful with negative keywords as they are for regular keywords.

If you spot a phrase that’s irrelevant adding through the interface will add as an exact match.

Option 2: Google Keyword Planner

The keyword planner is the go-to when it comes to finding the right keywords. However, It can also be a great tool for finding those keywords which you don’t want to show for!

Enter your website or topic within the keyword planner and Google will provide a list of all the linked terms. This can be a great way of finding the hidden gem negative keywords.

Option 3: Google suggested searches

You can learn a lot about what people search for by simply entering some of your main keywords into Google and reviewing the suggested searches.

This tends to show the most commonly entered terms based on the keywords you enter. Combine this with a Google Chrome extension like KeywordsEverywhere and you can even get traffic estimates.

Short conclusion

Negative keywords are a fantastic money-saving tool for AdWords advertisers. However, you don’t have to rely on search term reports to find those keywords.

Do some research on your own, to weed out money-wasters before they cost you.