How to Use WordStream's New Free Negative Keyword Tool

August 17, 2016

Yesterday Larry announced the release of our new Free Negative Keyword Tool and talked a little about the importance of using negative keywords if you want to maximize your PPC budget. Today, I'd like to walk you through the functionality of the tool in a little more detail.

As Larry mentioned, negative keyword discovery is critical for keeping PPC costs under control. Because they ensure that your ad doesn't match against irrelevant queries, they reduce wasteful ad spend, increase click-through rates, and improve Quality Score—all of which contribute to lower costs for PPC and better returns.

The great thing about our new negative keyword tool is that it's a proactive way to indentify negative keyword candidates, so you can preemptively curtail worthless ad clicks, instead of finding them after they've already done damage.

Let's take a look at how this works. Go to the Free Negative Keyword Tool and enter the term or keyword that you're currently researching. Let's say you're creating a PPC campaign for a computer accessories and supplies store, and right now you're working on the mouse ad group. Enter "mouse" into the search box to get your negative keyword suggestions.

Free Negative Keyword Tool

Right away you'll see that not all the keywords are relevant to your computer business. Obviously, if you're going to use the broad match option on the keyword "mouse," you'll want to filter out queries about Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. To set a term as negative, simply click "no" and it will be moved to the negative keyword list in the right-hand pane.

Set Negative Keywords

Often, when you set a term as negative, the tool will suggest additional, related negative keyword candidates based on that action. To set "club" and "clubhouse" as negatives along with "mickey," just select "Yes" and click "Apply." All three terms will be added to your negative keyword list.

Related Negative Keywords

Work through the list, continuing to set irrelevant terms (such as "trap" and "mighty") as negative. When you see suggestions that are relevant to your campaign, click "yes" to set those as positive keywords. This means they won't show up on your negative keyword list.

You can also set the match type for each negative keyword right within the tool. Use the drop-down menu next to each keyword to select a match type. If you're setting the match type for the keyword "mouse trap":

  • Broad match means that any search queries containing the words "mouse" and "trap" will be filtered out.
  • Phrase match means that any queries containing the phrase "mouse trap" ( with the words in that order) will be filtered out.
  • Exact match means that only the exact query "mouse trap" will be filtered out.

Once you're done designating keywords, you can enter your email address to get the full list of negative keywords sent to your inbox.

There are some additional features that you'll only have access to if you sign up for a free trial of WordStream for PPC. Those features include:

  • Unlimited Use – You are limited to finding negatives for 10 keywords per session unless you sign up for a free trial.
  • Upload to AdWords – With a free trial of WordStream, you can sync up the negative keyword tool and your Google AdWords account to upload lists directly to AdWords.
  • Exclude Converting Terms– The free trial also connects the tool to your Web analytics, so you can exclude keywords that have resulted in conversions on your site.
  • Load Terms from Search Query Reports– You also have the option of including negative keyword contenders from your search query reports in AdWords.

With or without the free trial, we think you'll find that the Free Negative Keyword Tool is a really easy and efficient way to find negative keywords to use in your PPC campaigns. Give it a spin!

Still have questions about the Free Negative Keyword Tool? Check out our frequently asked questions page.

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.

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