What is a Negative Keyword Match-Type?


Within the world of PPC and Search Advertising, negative keywords allow for users to better-refine their bidding strategies, allowing for bids to occur only on intended and relevant searches as to minimise spend, wastage, and maximise reach to potential customers. Below, we aim to discuss the differences between negative match-types, explaining how they work to target your ads to those most interested.

Negative Broad-Match Keywords

A negative broad-matching keyword can be defined as a keyword that allows for the exclusion of your ads from searches in which every word, in any order, of your keyword is presented. If a keyword is negative broad, then your ad will not be shown to users any time that the entire term is used within a search query. For example, if ‘running shoes’ is your negative search term, your ad will not appear to users searching for phrases such as ‘running shoes sale’ and ‘shoes for running’. When used correctly, this match-type has the capability to filter out a wide range of variations, meaning ads will only be shown to those most likely to be interested in the products and services being offered by your business. However, ads will not be prevented from being shown for variations and synonyms of the word. This means that varying search terms of high similarity will need to be added in as separate keywords as to avoid showing ads to an audience interest in the purchase of something not catered to by your company.
It is also important to note that negative broad-match keywords do not work to restrict ads from showing if users carry out a search that contains words included in, but not all of, your negative keyword. If a search for the term ‘blue shoes’ is carried out, ads will still appear due to ‘shoe’ not being considered a negative keyword when presented alone.

Negative Phrase-Match Keywords

A negative phrase-match keyword allows for the exclusion of your ad under search queries that include the exact keyword phrasing. While searches are able to include additional words, ads will only be prevented from showing for as long as the keyword is included within its original ordering. Negative phrase-match types work similarly to traditional search terms in the sense that the exact phrase will be excluded. A negative keyword can be identified as a phrase-match type when quotation marks are used to surround the phrase. It is important to note that searches carried out for only some of the terms in your phrase will still show your ads to users. For instance, if your negative search term is “wedding caterer” and a search is carried out for a ‘vegetarian caterer’, your ad could still be shown. This also means that, if additional wording is added to the search query, such as ‘wedding party caterer’, your ad could still appear as the phrase specified within your negative keyword has been interrupted.

Negative Exact-Match Keywords

A negative exact-match keyword allows for ads to be excluded from searches for the exact keyword phrase without the addition of any other words to the query. Your ads will still have potential to be shown for searches that include your negative keyword accompanied by other words and phrases. It should be noted that this negative match-type will work to eliminate very little traffic as only searches for the exact terms in the order that they are used will be excluded. As to designate a negative search term as an exact match-type, brackets should be used to surround the keyword. If a user includes any other terms within their search, your ads will still be shown within the search results. For example, if your negative exact-match keyword is [yellow shirt] and a search is completed for ‘yellow shirt deals’, your ad is still likely to appear due to the keyword not matching to the search exactly.

To conclude, the addition of negative keywords into your search engine marketing campaigns can provide an excellent way to target your ads to a more specific and, potentially, relevant audience, eliminating irrelevant traffic from your ads to effect. If you are yet to add negative keywords to your account, and are unsure of where to start, get in touch with our us and our ppc experts to discover what we can do to help you grow your business.

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