The Key To Success in Conquering Negative Keywords

Let’s face it--there are many types of keywords out there and they’re not all the same. Keywords are an essential part of SEO writing in particular and content marketing in general. However, there’s one important part of keywords that other brands ignore: Negative Keywords.


Often, the brand bids on keywords. But what about those keywords that are irrelevant to your product and campaign? By wisely making use of negative keywords on your PPC ad campaigns, it will increase the chances of more returns on your investment. Simply put, you’ll earn smartly through the keywords you need by blocking the keywords you don’t need through a negative keyword list.

Read on and we’ll show how to use a negative keyword to optimize eCommerce marketing strategies and Amazon ad campaigns. We’ll go step-by-step explaining the things you need to do to properly handle negative keywords.


If you've been in eCommerce long enough, you already know what keywords are - these are words or phrases that drive clicks to a specific website or page, based on relevancy.

The way that most Amazon ads work is, you have to bid on them like an auction. Brands bid and compete to get the most profitable keywords. If you get the keyword right and end up with the winning bid, the product will have more chances of coming up on top of the search results - and on Amazon’s first page for your target category.  

The process is pretty much the same if you’re adding keywords on Google AdWords for your individual eCommerce site. You’ll want to end up at the top of Google’s SERPs or Search Engine Results Pages.

What do you do if you know your target consumer but your product or website is showing up in search results with absolutely no relevance to the customer?

Well, either they won’t click, or they’ll click and you’ll lose part of your budget allocated for your keyword. Basically, your ad will be there for no reason.

In comes NEGATIVE KEYWORDS. These are the irrelevant words that you want blocked, so your product page or website won’t search up when they come running. It’s a list of keywords you don’t want in your ad campaigns. One part of an effective targeted ad campaign is as simple as that-- targeting the consumers you do want, and those you don’t.


Negative keywords do three things:

  • They prevent your ad from showing to people searching for websites or services you don’t offer.

  • They show your ads to people who will more likely click them.

  • And they help you save money on wrong keyword clicks so that you have the best quality searches.

Today, we’ll show how to add keywords on the Amazon Marketplace and on Google Adwords, so your brand can tackle both at once. Google and Amazon use different search algorithms, so we’ve laid out schemes for both of them here.


Finding negative keywords on Amazon is easy-- simply pull up the Amazon Search Term Report. Log into your Amazon Seller Central account, then click on Reports at the top of the page, then Advertising Reports. Name it, then select the Reporting Period for however way back you want to go. Click “Create Report,” and voila!


In the Amazon Search Term Report, target the non-performing keywords. These will be your negative keywords. Once you have your list of negative keywords, you can add them to the Sponsored Products Campaign Ad Group on Campaign Manager.

On Campaign Manager, click the name of the desired campaign, then click “Negative Keywords” below the “Campaign” tab. Or you can create a campaign with negative keywords under “Optional: Negative Keywords.” A box will appear where you can copy and paste your list of negative keywords found in the Amazon Search Term Report.


Next, you’ll choose whether you want the terms to be Negative Phrase Match or Negative Exact Match. Negative Phrase Match will exclude the exact phrase and sequence of words. Negative Exact Match will exclude it exactly as you typed it, in that order. Most negative keywords will be exact match.

Click “Add these keywords” then “Done.” There it is: a successfully targeted negative keywords campaign.


For choosing and building a list of negative keywords on Google Adwords, you can use Google Ads Keyword Planner. Search on Google Keyword planner for your keywords, and target the irrelevant keywords that come up on your search.

If your marketing goal is to target fans of your product: Nike Air Jordans. You’ll get a ton of keywords related to Air Jordans, such as Nike backpacks, Jordan release dates, but you’ll also get: where do jordans come from, or jordan from the air (the title of a 2015 movie). Say you don’t want this to come up in your search. Add this to your list of keywords using Keyword Planner.

The simpler way of choosing a negative keyword is simply inputting on the search bar -[minus sign] and the keyword. So you’ll search for -where do jordans come from, or -jordan from the air. There, you’ll find other negative keywords, such as -from the air. Then, you can easily input that negative keyword on your list by clicking Add to Plan.

Another way is using Google search engine to find negative keywords, by inputting your keyword then sorting out the irrelevant words that come after it.

Once you have an optimized negative keyword list, place them in the box in the “Negative Keywords” screen.

After that, you’ll encounter Negative Broad Match, Negative Phrase Match, and Negative Exact Match. These are three lists you can use to measure your negative keyword efficiency. These work roughly the same as the keyword list. Those tabs appear at the top of the page, in blue.


  • Negative Broad Match - the ad won’t show for these keyword terms, even if they’re not in order. Your ad might still show for some of these terms.

  • Negative Phrase Match - the ad won’t show for these terms in this exact order.

  • Negative Exact Match - the ad won’t show for these exact terms but may show for terms in here with other added search terms.

There you have it. A ready-to-go negative keyword campaign on Google Adwords for your eCommerce site.


Negative keywords are important for your brand strategy or your brand marketing goals. They offer a valuable solution for the irrelevant keywords that are simply not needed. These keywords are what you’re not about.

One tip: If you have too many, this reverses your negative keywords into regular keywords. You’ll show up in searches less, obviously.

Adding negative keywords is important, but adding too many will also bog down your campaign. Too many negative keywords will limit the scope of the product search results. So don’t use too many! The number will depend on how many you find and on how simple and complicated your keywords are.

Building a negative keyword list is essential to your Amazon PPC ad campaign and your eCommerce site on Google search. They will benefit from targeted advertising through improved click through rates and more relevant ad groups. The advantages of having a negative keywords list is a better allocation of the brand’s budget, and potentially more revenue later on.

Remember, negative keywords can optimize your marketing SEO keyword strategy, by focusing on the what and what-nots of an ad campaign.

So if you’re ready to use negative keywords or any of the functions necessary to a successful Amazon ad campaign, MarketplaceOps can help you. We are a team of online marketplaces and e-Commerce experts who have been in the industry for many years. We’re willing to help you every step of the way. If you have more questions about our article or if you simply need help in starting or handling your Amazon business, just reach out to us by sending an email or clicking the link here: