How to Add Negative Keywords in Google Ads: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding negative keywords in Google Ads is a great way to make sure your ads reach the right audience and avoid wasting money on irrelevant clicks. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your ad campaigns are more efficient and effective. Here’s how to do it:

How to Add Negative Keywords in Google Ads

Adding negative keywords helps you filter out searches that aren’t relevant to your business. This way, you save on ad spend and increase your return on investment. Let’s dive into the necessary steps to make this happen.

Step 1: Log into your Google Ads account

First, go to the Google Ads homepage and log into your account using your credentials.

Accessing your account is straightforward. Make sure you have your username and password handy. If you don’t have an account yet, you will need to create one before you can proceed.

Step 2: Navigate to the Campaigns tab

Next, click on the "Campaigns" tab on the left-hand menu to see a list of your active campaigns.

This tab will show all your current campaigns. You can select the specific campaign where you want to add negative keywords.

Step 3: Select a campaign and go to Keywords

Click on the campaign you want to modify, then click on the "Keywords" tab.

Under this tab, you’ll find different types of keywords associated with your campaign, including the option to add negative keywords.

Step 4: Click on the Negative Keywords tab

Under the Keywords section, locate and click on the "Negative Keywords" tab.

This tab is dedicated to managing your negative keywords. Here, you can see any existing negative keywords and add new ones.

Step 5: Add your negative keywords

Click on the "+" button to add new negative keywords. Enter the keywords and click "Save."

Make sure to enter one negative keyword per line. Be specific to ensure you filter out only the irrelevant searches without blocking potential customers.

Once you’ve added negative keywords, your ads will no longer appear for those terms. This will help you focus your budget on more relevant searches, potentially improving your ad performance.

Tips for Adding Negative Keywords in Google Ads

  • Start Broad: Begin with broad terms that might bring in irrelevant traffic, then refine as you gather more data.
  • Use the Search Terms Report: This report shows you the actual terms people searched for. Use it to find irrelevant terms to add as negative keywords.
  • Group Negative Keywords: Organize negative keywords by theme or campaign to keep things tidy and manageable.
  • Use Negative Keyword Lists: Create lists that you can apply to multiple campaigns for consistency.
  • Review Regularly: Regularly update your negative keywords based on new data to keep your campaigns optimized.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords are terms that prevent your ads from being shown to people searching for those specific words or phrases.

Why should I use negative keywords?

Using negative keywords helps you avoid paying for clicks from people who are unlikely to become customers, thereby saving your budget for more relevant traffic.

How often should I update my negative keywords?

It’s a good practice to review and update your negative keywords at least once a month or whenever you notice a drop in ad performance.

Can I add negative keywords to multiple campaigns?

Yes, you can create negative keyword lists and apply them to multiple campaigns to maintain consistency across your ads.

What happens if I don’t use negative keywords?

Without negative keywords, your ads might show up for irrelevant searches, leading to wasted ad spend and lower overall campaign performance.


  1. Log into your Google Ads account
  2. Navigate to the Campaigns tab
  3. Select a campaign and go to Keywords
  4. Click on the Negative Keywords tab
  5. Add your negative keywords


Adding negative keywords to your Google Ads campaigns is a must-do strategy for any advertiser looking to maximize their ad budget and improve overall campaign performance. By following the steps outlined above, you can filter out irrelevant searches and focus on attracting the right audience. Not only will this save you money, but it will also increase your chances of converting clicks into customers.

Regularly updating your negative keywords and using tools like the Search Terms Report can provide deeper insights into how your ads are performing. These small but impactful changes can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of your advertising efforts.

So, take the time to set up and manage your negative keywords in Google Ads. Your wallet—and your marketing stats—will thank you!