Posted by & filed under Google Ads Tips, Negative Keywords.

Negative keywords is one of the best ways to cut down on AdWords spend. To ensure that the same is sustained, negative keywords need to be expanded and reviewed occasionally. One of the ways to identify negative keywords is through AdWords Search Term Report. Instead of grilling yourself in doing mental keyword research you can take help from search query report to identify terms you want to bid for and terms that you would prefer excluding.


( The post was updated on 19th September 2019 with latest images as per new Google Ads interface)


What is a Search Term Report?

AdWords lets you review the search terms that users entered before viewing your ad and visiting your website. This report is called the search terms report or search query report. It can help you hone you keywords so that you can reach more relevant audience.


How to access the Search Terms Report?

You can access the search terms report under the keywords tab of your campaign

Step 1: Go to campaigns

Step 2: Click on the Keywords Tab

Step 3: Click on Search Terms

Step 4: Click on ‘Download’ to get the options to download the search term report



Assessing the Search Terms Report

The search terms report needs to be thoroughly reviewed to understand which keywords are irrelevant and which are not. To come up with the best outcome you need to go to each term and analyze if it is non-performing or is irrelevant to your business.

You can add keywords directly from the AdWords account by selecting the search term and adding it to the ad group or campaign from where the ad got triggered. Here are the easy steps that you can follow to add directly from your AdWords account:

Step 1: Select the irrelevant keywords that you wish to add and click on ‘Add as negative keyword’



Step 2: Select where you want to add the negative keyword (campaign/ ad group or to an existing list). Save your settings.


However, there are a couple of things to make a note of:

  1. By default, the search terms are assigned the exact match type. So you have to manually assign the match types if you prefer to use a broad or phrase instead
  2. AdWords selects the ad group and campaign for which the search term triggered the ad. So if you want to add a specific term as negative in any other ad group or campaign you again have to manually do so.

This makes it a pretty tedious task. Going through each search term individually and assigning a specific match type might seem fine for smaller accounts. But with larger accounts where the search term reports generate thousand of such words to be reviewed, it might take days to complete the entire process.

It might then be feasible to download the report and study the data before assigning them a match type. Once done with creating the list of unwanted keywords you can go about assigning them either at campaign or ad group level. To add the negative keywords manually, you can follow the following quick steps:

Step 1: Go to your AdWords account, go to the Keywords tab and click on Negative Keywords


Step 2: Add Negative Keywords either at the campaign level or ad group level and save your settings.


Step 3: Change the match type if required and save the details.


But if you think that is all that you might have to do, here’s a wake-up call, there’s much more left to do.

For instance, if your search term report showed that you were getting clicks for the term job, you might as well add it as a negative keyword. But if you really want to block clicks from people looking for a job, you need to add synonyms such as vacancy, career, employment, etc. as negative keywords too.

To figure out all such related keywords you might think of doing the following:

  1. Brainstorm with your team to identify the related or close variants of the search term
  2. Use the Free Keyword Research Tools or Google’s Keyword Planner to figure out related words
  3. You can try and search for terms directly on Google’s search platform
  4. Use the automation tools for negative keywords discovery

This is a time taking task and marketers must prepare themselves for the monotony as it is an inevitable part of the PPC campaign. If the Search Terms report or keywords/ negative keywords are not analyzed you might end up driving low-quality traffic to your site. And you don’t want to run an unprofitable PPC campaign. Do you?

Identifying negative keywords for large accounts or multiple client accounts can be tedious if done manually. An automated negative keywords discovery tool can save tons of time and effort for the PPC Manager. Not to mention, this will also save the wasted ad spend on AdWords. Give our negative keywords tool a try.

Note: Now, our Negative Keywords Tool is Free for accounts with ad spend less than $10,000 per month. Save 10-20% of your search ad spend for free.


Related Articles:



  1.  Negative Keywords: The Kind of Negativity You DO Need

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