What is negative keyword targeting in Amazon?

Negative keyword targeting is a powerful feature in Amazon Advertising that lets you exclude certain words and phrases from triggering your ads. Negative keyword targeting is one of the best features and a smart technique to save time and money when advertising on Amazon. It enables advertisers to target specific search terms while excluding others, allowing them to only trigger ads on relevant searches. This being said, you can't simply add any negative keyword to your campaign; there are certain rules you need to be aware of before adding any new keyword: If the word is already listed as a positive or negative keyword in another campaign, you won’t be able to add it again as a different type of keyword.

How to add negative keyword(s)

To add new negative keywords, simply go to “Keyword” in your campaign and select “Create new negative keyword.” This will ask you to type in the keyword you want to add as a negative keyword. Remember that you cannot use a negative keyword along with a regular keyword. You can add as many negative keywords to a single campaign as you’d like.

Using Negative Keywords to Avoid Poor Quality Search Volumes

Another great way to use negative keyword targeting is to avoid triggering ads for low-volume terms. If you only have enough budgets to trigger ads on a few terms, you’ll want to select the terms that are most likely to convert and cost the least. Using negative keywords to avoid triggering ads for low-volume terms can help you prioritize more profitable terms and avoid wasting ad dollars on low-volume terms that are unlikely to convert.

Using Negative Keywords to Avoid High CPC (Cost per Click) Searches

You would want to avoid triggering ads for high CPC terms that you simply cannot compete on price with. You can try to outrank these terms, but if they’re already super competitive, ranking at all may be a waste of effort. Using negative keyword targeting to avoid triggering ads for high CPC terms can let you focus on more profitable, relevant terms without needing to get into a price war with other advertisers.

Negative keywords are a great way to optimize your Amazon PPC, to drive in quality traffic, and increase your ROI. They can be used to remove non-converting search terms that drive in a lot of traffic with very poor conversion rates. You can also use negative keywords to remove less relevant terms or keywords that you do not want to associate with your product.

How to Optimize Amazon Negative Keywords?

Before you optimize, you need to analyze and identify the negative keywords. In general, you should identify low-performing keywords and mark them negative. Here is how you can identify the low-performing keywords:

  • Non-converting keywords with a low click-through rate (CTR)

  • Non-converting keywords with high ad spend

  • Non-converting keywords with more clicks.

How are Negative Keywords Different from Regular Keywords on Amazon?

Negative keywords are the opposite of normal keywords. This is why you might see normal keywords referred to as “positive keywords.”

Positive keywords trigger ads to show on a search page, and negative keywords don’t trigger for that page. Negative keywords allow you to narrow your target audience based on their search queries.

Additionally, regular keywords have three different match types: broad, phrase, and exact.

Negative keywords only have two match types: phrase and exact match types

Negative Exact Match – Using this match type will restrict your ad to show for search queries that have the exact phrase or is a close variant of it.

 Close variants ideally include any variation of your keyword such as singular/ plural, misspellings, acronyms, or abbreviations. Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising, don’t include close variants in negative keywords, however, here in Amazon Ads, it is included with the negative keyword that you add to your account.

Negative Phrase Match - A negative phrase match prevents your ad from appearing in search queries that contain the selected set of words in an exact sequence, with allowance for plurals and slight misspellings.

The most important reason to use negative keywords is to reduce your advertising costs by avoiding unnecessary ad spend on irrelevant search terms that could otherwise be spent on keyword or ASIN targets with higher relevancy.

Where can you add negative Amazon keywords?

You can add negative keywords at two levels:

Campaign: When you add negative keywords at the campaign level, you apply that negative keyword to all ad groups within that campaign. This option is great if you want to set a campaign-wide negative Amazon keyword.

Ad group: When you add negative keywords at the ad group level, you apply that negative keyword to the ad group only. This option is only available when using manual keyword targeting.

All other ad groups will remain unaffected.

How to find negative keywords on Amazon

Once your PPC campaign is running for a while, generate reports from the backend which gives detailed information on what keywords are performing and the ones which are not. From the information generated from the reports, you can discover keywords that are a good candidate for becoming negative keywords. Keep in mind, you should run your campaigns for a few weeks before analyzing your performance.

In your campaigns, you’ll want to look for keywords with the following features:

  • Keywords with a high number of clicks but a low number of sales

  • Keywords with a low conversion rate and high cost-per-conversion

  • Keywords with a low CTR and low conversion rate

  • Keywords with a high number of impressions but a low number of clicks

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