"Negative keywords can … refine your keyword list and filter out unwanted traffic for your paid-search campaigns," writes Jill Solomon in an article at MarketingProfs. "Excluding specific words or phrases that aren't relevant to your product or service can help you reach your ideal prospects, reduce your cost per click (CPC), and increase your return on investment."

Solomon notes that weeding out negative keywords can be critically important if you have:

  • A limited budget
  • Low conversion rates
  • Expensive conversion rates
  • Bad brand associations
  • Low-quality scores

She recommends that you begin building your negative keyword list with resources like Google AdWords' Keyword Tool. "[I]dentify negative keywords that are particularly irrelevant to your product or business, including high-trafficked and high CPC keywords," she advises. "One of the most common negative keywords is 'free' because it has such a broad range and scope," she notes.


Just be careful not to exclude too many terms; you don't want to lose your audience altogether!

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