Are you an Amazon seller and want to optimize your advertising campaigns and increase your ROI?

One of the most important strategies to master is using negative keywords on Amazon. In this guide, we look at what negative keywords are on Amazon, how to find them and what tools can help you streamline your Amazon advertising efforts.

What are negative keywords on Amazon?
Negative keyword is one of the essential types of Amazon keywords for preparing your PPC campaigns.
They are search terms or phrases for which you do not want your ads to appear. When you add negative keywords to your Amazon PPC campaigns, you are actually telling Amazon not to display your ads when someone searches for those specific terms. This allows you to refine your ad targeting and ensure that your products are only shown to the most relevant audience.

How do negative keywords work?

Improve Amazon Ad Relevancy.
By excluding certain keywords that are not relevant to your product or target audience, you can ensure that your ads are only shown to people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
For example, let's say you sell high-end sunglasses. Without using negative keywords, your ads might be displayed for searches related to cheap sunglasses.
By adding negative keywords such as "cheap" and "discount," you can prevent your ads from being displayed to users looking for low-cost options. This allows you to focus your ad efforts on a more targeted audience willing to pay a premium price for quality products.

Reduce wasted ad spend.
When your ads are displayed for irrelevant search terms or search terms with low conversion rates, it leads to low click-through rates, but also eats up your budget without generating sales.
Let's take the "expensive sunglasses" example again. Some Amazon users search for cheap sunglasses and click on your ads. After they quickly realize that this is not the product they are looking for, they close your product page. This actually increases your CPC because users who are not interested in buying your product click on your ads.

Improve overall PPC performance
As we mentioned above, by removing irrelevant traffic and targeting a highly targeted audience, your ads are more likely to get a higher click-through rate (CTR) and higher conversion rates.
Moreover, by reducing wasted ad spend on irrelevant clicks, you can allocate those resources to other keywords with better performance that can further increase the success of your campaign.

How do you find negative keywords on Amazon?
Discovering effective negative keywords is essential for improving your ad performance. Here are some methods to find negative keywords on Amazon:

Expand negative keyword lists with Amazon Keyword Reports
By analyzing keyword reports, you can understand the specific search terms that drive your users to click. You can also find irrelevant or low-performing search terms and turn them into negative keywords.
To access your keyword reports in Amazon Seller Central or Advertising Console, navigate to the "Advertising" or "Campaign Manager" section. Search for the specific ad campaign you want to analyze and select the corresponding report option. Don't forget to track your negative keywords for search trends and customer behavior.

navigate to the "Advertising" or "Campaign Manager" section in the Amazon search terms report
Here we have also provided a step-by-step guide on how to use search term report to scale your Amazon PPC campaigns.

Conduct thorough competitive analysis
Visit your competitors' product pages, pay attention to their sponsored ads and review customer reviews about their products. You might find some keywords that are frequently mentioned but are not relevant to the products you offer.
For example, if you sell high-quality sunglasses and you see competitors repeatedly using terms like "cheap sunglasses" or "low-quality sunglasses," that's a good indication that adding such terms as negative keywords can help prevent your ads from appearing in irrelevant searches. By using your competitors' insights, you can refine your negative keyword strategy.

A/B Testing Analysis
Start by creating a list of potential negative keywords based on your product, target audience and market research. Then divide the keywords into different groups.
For example, one group may focus on price-related terms (e.g., "cheap," "discounted"), while another group may focus on low-quality descriptions (e.g., "fake," "counterfeit"). By segmenting your negative keyword lists, you can analyze their impact more effectively.
Implement these variations gradually and monitor their effects on your ad performance metrics such as CTR, conversion rates and CPC. By carefully A/B testing keywords on Amazon, you can refine your approach over time. Remember that no two campaigns are the same, so what works for others may not work for you.

Use the Amazon Negative Keywords Tool
Is there an automated tool available that can streamline the time-consuming task of identifying irrelevant keywords and adding them to a negative keywords list? m19 is an automated PPC software that helps Amazon marketers with negative keywords. It can pinpoint poorly performing keywords and easily eliminates the need for manual analysis of search term reports. m19 automatically detects and flags negative keywords for you, for example.

m19 board blacklist negative keywords
And you can blacklist the keywords you want at the group level or at the campaign level. For example, you can blacklist or add a seed keyword in a specific ASIN. And the negative keyword will only work for this ASIN.

m19 board blacklist negative seed keywords
A Pro Tip:
m19 takes a different approach from the conventional approach where marketers usually place poorly performing keywords in the negative keyword list because of their low conversion or click rate.
In m19, we advocate bidding specifically for these poorly performing keywords, whether they are search terms or product pages. We do not want to completely eliminate traffic from these keywords. Because poor performance or low probability of conversion provides valuable information, just as strong performance does. It means that low performance gives just as much information as good performance.

Different Negative keywords match types on Amazon
In Amazon Advertising, you have two main options for matching negative keywords: negative phrase vs negative exact match on amazon.

Negative Phrase Match.
Ads are not displayed if the search query contains the entire negative keyword phrase, even if there are additional words before or after it. For example, if you add "fast delivery" as a negative phrase, your ad will not be displayed for searches like "fast delivery options" or "fast delivery.

Negative Exact Match‍
Ads will not be displayed for the exact search term specified as a negative keyword, with no variations allowed. For example, if you add "overnight shipping" as a negative exact match, your ad will not appear for "overnight shipping," but it can still appear for "fast overnight shipping." Choose the type of match that best suits your campaign goals and keyword strategy.

Follow our article to learn more about these match types: Amazon Keyword Guide 2023: Optimize for your PPC campaigns.

How to Remove Negative Keywords on Amazon
If you find that certain negative keywords are no longer relevant or if you want to adjust your targeting, you can easily remove them from your campaigns. Simply go to your Amazon Advertising account and navigate to the settings for negative keywords for your specific campaign. Here you can add or remove negative keywords for your listing:
1: Log into Amazon Seller Central: Log into your account and go to the "Advertising" tab.
2: Navigate to Campaign Management: In the "Advertising" section, click on "Campaign Management."
3: Select campaign: Search and select the campaign in which you added the negative keywords you want to remove.
4: Negative keywords tab: Find and click on the "Negative keywords" tab in the campaign dashboard.
5: Select and Remove: Find the negative keywords you want to remove. There should be check boxes next to each negative keyword. Check these boxes for the keywords you want to remove and then click the "Archive" button.

Add negative keywords on Amazon


Remove negative keywords on Amazon

In Amazon PPC campaigns, the inclusion and removal of negative keywords is extremely important. This crucial action can yield several benefits, including cost savings, increased visibility, greater reach and assurance that your ads are reaching the intended audience.