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What are Negative Keywords?

What are negative keywords? Well, we’ve all heard about keywords and how choosing the right ones can boost your sales. You’d think you’d want your ads to show up in as many searches as possible, right?


Targeting keywords that don’t drive sales just ends up costing money that you could be spending on keywords that are proven to work for your products. Identifying these negative keywords, as they’re called, is key to helping optimize your pay-per-click campaigns.

What are Negative Keywords?

So, what exactly are negative keywords? Let’s consider an example:

Pretend that you sell doll shoes. If someone is searching for shoes, you wouldn’t want to pay to show your products in searches for things like children’s shoes or dress up shoes. These would be considered negative keywords.

The benefit to excluding these kinds of keywords from being targeted, aside from saving the money you’d be wasting on keywords that won’t help drive sales, your products will be delivered only to those customers who are looking for products like what you sell. This helps improve your click-through rate, and in turn will likely boost your sales.

How do I Find Negative Keywords?

Now you may be asking yourself: how do I figure out what my product’s negative keywords are?

First, check out your search term report and look for any place your product is showing that doesn’t make sense for it to be shown. Going back to the doll shoe example, if your product ad is being shown in searches for something like toy car, that would be a keyword you’d want to mark as a negative keyword and in essence blacklist it from targeting.

However, it may not be that easy to identify which keywords should be targeted as negative keywords. You may need to dive a little deeper into the data to see which keywords should be marked as negative. You’ll want to sort by the highest number of impressions, which will show you the most popular search terms. Also sort by the highest ad spend to see which keywords you’re spending the most money on. After you’ve sorted the report, look at each search term’s click-through rate and sales conversion rate. You’re looking for terms with high click-through rates but low sales conversion rates. These are the search terms you’ll likely want to mark as negative keywords. This kind of research should be done every 30 days to stay on top of your negative keywords.

Eliminating Negative Keywords

Within the Sellozo platform, once a keyword has been identified by the platform as a poor performing keyword it is dealt with in a couple of different ways depending on whether it’s ever given you any conversions or not. If the identified keyword has given you a conversion, but the ACoS is extremely high, Sellozo’s platform will remove it from the auto campaign and mark it as a negative keyword within that auto campaign so that it is only being targeted within the manual campaign where bids can be adjusted. Then, the platform takes that keyword and starts a manual campaign with the bid continuing to lower until your target ACoS is reached. On the other hand, if that identified keyword has never produced any conversions, and a significant amount of money has been spent trying to get conversions from that keyword, it will be marked as a negative keyword and no longer targeted.

All of this is done automatically within the Sellozo platform and requires no interaction from the seller. Automating Amazon Sponsored Product ads can help sellers save time and money, with features like negative keyword targeting, so their businesses can grow faster and with less effort on their part. If you are interested in learning more about how Sellozo can help you grow your Amazon business, you can schedule a time to speak with one of our Product Specialists by clicking here or you can get started below.

Try Sellozo!

Sellozo offers a simple, powerful platform that makes it easy to manage and optimize your Amazon Sponsored Product Ads and – thanks to machine-learning – programmatically alters bids to help your ads beat out the competition.

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