Building a negative keywords list is extremely important if you want to reduce the PPC (Pay-per-Click) cost of your real estate Google Ads campaigns.
Negative keywords list helps you avoid irrelevant clicks on your ads. And since you are paying for clicks in a PPC campaign, you definitely won’t want to get clicks from irrelevant searches. As a real estate PPC agency, we have managed a lot of campaigns for real estate professionals including Realtors and real estate investors and prepared negative keyword lists that we add to ad groups before we go live with a campaign so that our clients can save money from the get-go.
In this guide, I am gong to explain what a negative keywords list is, why they are important and how to identify negative keywords for a real estate campaign.
What are negative keyword lists?
When you start running a Google Ads campaign, you will get a report on all the search terms that are triggering your ads. When you go through the list of search terms, you will find that your ads are being triggered by search terms which are not relevant to the objective of your advertising campaign.
Using negative keywords, you can tell Google that you don’t want to receive clicks from search terms that contain specific words or phrases. These words are called negative keywords.
Let’s say for example, you are a luxury real estate agent in Miami, FL. You sell high-end homes.
You are running a Google Ads campaign targeting keyword – ‘homes for sale in Miami FL’. Let’s assume you are using broad match type keyword targeting (If you don’t know what keyword match type is, I strongly recommend that you read my detailed guide on keyword match types).
After running the ad for a few days, you go through the search term report and find that you are getting a lot of clicks from search terms such as:
- Cheap homes for sale in Miami
- Mobile homes for sale in Miami
- Homes under $200,000 in Miami
- For-sale by owner homes in Miami
Depending on the search volume for your target keywords, you may get hundreds of clicks from these types of search terms. You will end up wasting a lot of money because you don’t want to target buyers who are looking for cheap or mobile homes or FSBO properties.
In order to stop getting clicks from these search terms, you can mark words or phrases such as ‘cheap’, ‘mobile homes’, ‘for sale by owner’, and ‘FSBO’ as negative keywords.
You can create a list of these keywords and add the list to all the campaigns you are currently running or will do in the future. This list is called Negative Keywords List.
How to find negative keywords before starting a campaign
The easiest way to find negative keywords is to go through Search Term report.
You can find the list of search terms that are triggering your ads by going to ‘Keywords’ > ‘Search Terms’ on the left side of your Google Ads dashboard as shown in the screen shot below:
While you can easily create a negative keyword lists after you have received a substantial number of clicks from your campaigns, a better approach is to identify negative keywords before you start advertising. It will help you save money.
Google’s free Keyword Planner tool can help you find negative keywords.
In my guide on real estate keyword research, I explained how to use this great tool. Be sure to go through the guide.
Let’s say for example, you are targeting keyword – ‘what’s my home worth’. You run this keyword through Keyword Planner tool and get suggestions about related searches. You will come across searches such as ‘what will be my home worth in 20 years’ as shown in the screenshot below.
Now if you are on a shoe-string budget and want to run a highly targeted campaign, you may want to avoid getting clicks from this keyword because this keyword indicates low commercial intent. You can add this keyword to your negative keywords lists.
How to add negative keywords in real estate Google Ads
You can add negative keywords individually by going to Keywords > Negative Keywords. Click the ‘+’ sign.
You can also add negative keywords from the Search Term report directly.
Select the search terms you want to mark as negative keywords and click ‘Add as a Negative Keyword’ link.
Alternatively, you can create a list of negative keywords, save the list and add it at the campaign level. The campaign won’t receive clicks from search terms triggered by words or phrases marked as negative keywords.
You can check out this detailed Google guide to learn more about negative keywords.
Preparing and adding a negative keyword list is necessary for getting a better conversion rate and click-through rate (CRT) from your real estate Google Ads.
Many real estate agents and investors skip this important step while setting up Google Ads campaigns and it costs them a lot of money in the long run.
Let me know in comments if you have any questions about negative keyword lists.