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Everything You Need to Know About Negative Keywords KPI in Google Ads

November 2, 2022
8 min read

You can’t get more than two steps into the world of Google AdWords without stumbling across the Negative keywords KPI. After all, it’s one of the most important metrics you can measure on your advertising campaigns since there are few things more critical to the success or failure of your campaigns than your click-through rate (CTR). Through this blog, we will understand how to get the most out of this metric. This process will be crucial in determining whether or not you’re truly getting your money’s worth out of your ad spend. But what exactly do negative keywords KPI mean?

Negative keywords are crucial parts of any Google Ads campaign. They help you control spending by preventing ads from appearing for irrelevant searches. Without negative keywords, you could waste dollars on clicks that will never convert. If you've ever seen an advertisement for guitars or cat food show up when searching for toys, that's what we are talking about in this article.

Why should we track negative keywords?

Negative keywords are essential for managing your Google Ads campaigns and ensuring that your ads are shown to the right people. By tracking this KPI, you can make sure that you're constantly refining your campaigns to get the best results possible. You can also use negative keywords to filter irrelevant traffic from your account. Finally, when combined with other KPIs like Clicks and Impressions per keyword or ad group, negative keywords provide valuable insights into which terms are not performing well so you can remove them from your account.  That way, you'll have more time and money available to focus on keywords that work well.

How do we track this? To start, go to the campaign settings tab in your AdWords interface. First, Enter e or more words you want to exclude from your ads. Then, the tool will automatically update how many impressions and clicks were affected by adding those words to your campaign's list of negative keywords. It'll also tell you if it found any new search queries.

How to add negative keywords? 

If you want to track your negative keywords KPI in Google Ads, there are a few things you need to do. 

  • First, log into your account and go to the Keywords tab. 
  • Next, click on the Columns drop-down menu and select Performance. This will add several new columns to your keyword table, including Conversions, Conversion Rate, and Cost per Conversion. 
  • Finally, use the filter options at the top of the table to view only keywords that have been marked as negative. 
  • Then, scroll down to the Conversions column and change it from Total to Only show conversions when this keyword has a conversion value. 
  • The next step is essential: select one of the conversion types (like Clicks) and enter 0 into the value field (this will tell Google Ads not to count any conversions). 
  • Now, review your results and see if they match up with what you’re expecting! 

For example, you might find that some of your negative keywords are driving zero conversions but costing a lot of money. That's probably because these keywords may be too broad or specific - or maybe the search terms included in them don't convert well for some reason. On the other hand, you might find that some negative keywords have converted but cost very little money - meaning they're highly profitable and effective. In either case, keep track of these numbers so you can make adjustments accordingly and better optimize your campaigns! 

As always, the best way to improve your negative keywords KPI is by doing research. So spend time understanding why particular words and phrases didn't perform well before adding them to your campaign. It could just be a matter of changing around a word or two!

5 Ways to get more out of Negative Keywords

To improve this KPI, make sure you follow these steps:

1. Keep an eye on your account’s historical performance to identify patterns of when your negative keywords KPI starts to drop.

2. Use broad match-type keywords in your negative keyword lists to ensure that you are covering all relevant variations of a search term.

3. Check your search terms report regularly and add any relevant new terms as negative keywords.

4. Use positive and negative keywords in your ad groups to help you fine-tune your targeting and improve your KPI.

5. Always keep testing! Try different combinations of keywords and negative keywords to see what works best for your account. It may take some time before you start seeing improvements with this strategy, but it can be worth the wait. For example, if you have an extremely competitive niche like digital marketing or finance, you might want to include a few more negatives to exclude less competitive phrases.

When you need to come up with negative keywords by yourself, try using these four tactics:

1) Search online for potential matches

2) Look at competitors' ads

3) Read reviews and feedback online

4) Talk to your target audience about their searches 

5) Track which words bring traffic to your site and look for trends showing which words perform well and which don't. 

These words could potentially make good negative keywords because they're not driving quality traffic to your site. However, it's always essential to monitor changes in your data and adjust accordingly. The above strategies should provide a good starting point for increasing your negative keywords KPI

Remember to stay patient and continuously track how your efforts impact the performance of your account.


From this blog, we conclude that negative keywords can improve your campaign's performance by reducing the number of impressions and clicks on irrelevant search terms. To utilize negative keywords properly, make sure you know the content of your ad text's content before entering any negative keywords. If you do not understand what the content of your ad text is going to be, you should use a negative keyword generator. These tools will show the user some of the most common words or phrases associated with their industry.

There are a few different ways to find out which words or phrases are associated with your industry:

- You can go to Google AdWords Keyword Tool and select Enter as Exact Phrase from the drop-down menu next to Broad Match. Enter your keyword in quotes, followed by '+,' and Negative.

- For example, if I were selling surfboards for beginners and wanted help finding relevant negative keywords for a campaign, I would enter 'surfboard + beginner' into this tool.

It was challenging to find and add negative keywords in the past because they were only available through AdWords Editor. However, in late 2016 Google rolled out new changes making them available directly within the interface, enabling users to easily search and add negative keywords in bulk with auto-complete suggestions. With these changes, it's easier to ensure that your ads don't appear when someone is looking for something else!