search, sem, search engine marketing, negative keywords, digital marketing, digital advertising, online advertising, online marketing, Google

Search advertising is one of the greatest ways to drive relevant traffic to your website. However, there are so many times where I see accounts that were previously running and their bounce rate was over 80% or the account has a click-through-rate below 3%. One of the easiest ways to improve search performance is to include a negative keyword list. These are all the terms across an account that you don’t want your ads to show up for.

When making this list I remember that search engines are a research tool. When choosing terms to add to this negative list I think of how someone would be researching and what terms I would never want my advertiser’s ads to show up for.



One of the first is location. User’s do a lot of local searches so if you don’t serve people in particular states, cities, etc. it is best to block them. For instance, if you were a local business in New York City you would want to block queries for those searching the words “new jersey”, “pennsylvania”, “connecticut” and more.


Related Services


Another popular group of keywords to block are related services. For instance, I do digital marketing and digital advertising. However, if someone was looking for direct mail marketing I do not provide that service. Therefore, I would want to block queries such as “email”, “mail”, and “print”.

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