Create negative keywords in AdWords


    I know that hiring a company or individual to manage your PPC isn’t always an available option for some companies. So even if you don’t hire me as your pay per click ads manager here is the one thing you must do if nothing else. Create negative keywords for your AdWords or adCenter campaigns/adgroups. I know some of the readers of this just said “What the heck? I don’t know what a negative keyword is let alone how to fricken create one/some.”  Well, this boils and ghouls, is the reason for this post, I will give a step by step tutorial on how to do this using the AdWords interface.

   The first thing you are going to do is log into your AdWords account. Once you are logged into your account you are going to navigate to the “Campaigns” tab on the green navigation bar see below.

this screen shows all my active campaigns in this account

 Now from this screen you can either select a specific campaign by clicking on the name of the campaign or you can look at all keywords across all campaigns. For the sake of this tutorial I will be going with the latter. From the all campaigns screen press the “Keywords” tab. This will show all search network keywords across all campaigns. see below

this screen shows all my active keywords in this account

Once you are showing all they keywords in the account you will select all by ticking the top check-box next to the keyword column. If you choose to only select a few keywords just tick the check-box next to the individual keyword. After all keywords are selected press the “keyword details” drop down then press “All”. see below

this screen shows how to select all keywords and the keyword details drop down

After pressing “All” you come to the search term page. This page shows you what search queries users have typed into Google that have triggered an ad click. If you don’t see any keywords or anything you might need to adjust the date range. If this is the first time doing this just choose “All Time” at the end of the drop down. Once your date range set and you see keywords you will need to go down the list and select keywords that you find to be wasted money or irrelevant for your products/services.  After you have selected all the poopy keywords you need to make them negative keywords. This will ensure your ads won’t get triggered by these exact phrases again. see below

set date range, select keywords, add as negatives

The last step is to check over the keywords and to choose them as adgroup level or campaign level negative keywords then hit save. I usually leave it set to Ad group level, unless it is something like “Free backrubs” that would be irrelevant for your entire account. see below

look over your keywords and press save.

You might get an error if the search term is longer than a 10 word phrase so keep that in mind. After your initial creation of negative keywords you will most likely have to click to the next page and create a ton more negatives. Your search term pages will start to look a little bloody with all the “Excluded” boxes. But just think that is less money your account will be bleeding from now on.


Good Luck,

Warren J