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How To Use Negative Matches In Amazon PPC Advertising

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What Is a Negative Keyword?

In Amazon PPC advertising campaigns, negative keywords are the words that are shown to be having a negative impact on your campaigns. They are words and phrases which are being shown to searchers as relevant to your product, but which are actually not resulting in sales, but are costing you in clicks.

Using negative keywords in Amazon PPC campaigns helps to refine and improve the performance of your campaigns, by having the unprofitable terms as negative matches. Negative words act as a filter which prevents ads from showing for that negative word or phrase.

This means that those terms will not be shown to searchers, and so will not be draining your budget by having searchers click on non relevant terms.

So it is important to identify the positive keywords that produce sales for your ad campaigns, and it is just as important to identify the keywords which are draining your budget by being shown to searchers and which are misleading them into clicking but not buying.

So the facility which allows you to take out these ‘negative’ words from your campaigns gives you the opportunity to become much more efficient with your advertising budget.

How Do We Identify These Negative Keywords?

You can use the Amazon search term report to identify those keywords. Negative words will be those which receive significant volume, but have a low conversion rate. This means that these terms are getting clicked on but searchers are not buying.

So these terms will be draining your budget, by getting clicks but not sales, because these terms are not well related enough to your product.

Here are some of the reasons why you need to use Negative search terms:

To Exclude Weaker Search Terms

By using negative terms it can have a positive effect on your ad campaigns by reducing ad spend. Terms identified as weak terms can be entered as a negative match.

You might be selling household paint brushes, but you are appearing in results for artist paint brushes so you could add ‘artist paint brushes’ as a negative exact match which means that if anyone searches for artist paint brushes then your household paint brush will not appear.

To Refine Your Audience Targeting

You might identify some terms that you do not want associated with your brand. There may be certain competitor brands which you do not want to have associated with your products, so you can add that term as a negative word.

You might be selling baby bibs, but you do not want your product to show for terms such as baby blankets, so you could negative exact match the phrase ’baby blankets’

Should I Use Exact Or Phrase Match?

What is the difference between negative exact and negative phrase match?

Most negative terms will be used in exact match which means that you do not want your ad to appear for the exact search term word which you have made negative.

However you can also use a negative phrase match too,if there is a complete longer phrase that you do not want to appear for.

Negative Phrase Match – eliminates the search term phrase used, in any order that it is placed in the query by an Amazon customer.

Example  You enter the phrase ‘artist paint brushes’ as a negative phrase match type. So if a shopper types in ‘best artist paint brushes’ your ad won’t show because ‘artist paint brushes’ appears as a phrase match in the shopper’s search.

Negative Exact Match – eliminates the exact term in the order they are used. If a shopper uses any other terms in the search, the ad will still appear.

Example – You enter the term ‘artist paint brushes’ as an exact match type. So if a shopper types in ‘best artist paint brushes’ your ad will still appear because a negative exact match will only exclude the exact term.

New Product Launch?

If you are just starting out on your PPC campaigns with a new product, then I would recommend not to use negative matches for a while until you have some data to evidence and support your decision.

Using negative matches too soon might reduce your visibility, before you have any meaningful data to support your decisions.

Before adding negative keywords you should fully consider all the implications of doing so, and make sure that the term you use as a negative really is a term that you do not want to appear for in your advertising.

So use negative words wisely and you really can reduce your ad spend and therefore improve your overall PPC advertising results.

Finally I now use a software called PPC Entourage. This is an amazing tool which totally automates the process of PPC optimisation, which I highly recommend. There is a free trial for you to give it a try.

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