Amazon Negative Keywords: A Complete Guide

June 26, 2024

In the competitive world of Amazon advertising, every detail matters. And even for seasoned sellers, one often overlooked but crucial aspect of campaign optimisation is the use of negative keywords. As a leading Amazon agency, we've seen firsthand how mastering this technique can dramatically improve ad performance and ROI - but how can you make sure you’re paying attention to it?

Let's dive into the world of Amazon negative keywords and explore how you can leverage them to boost your advertising success.

What Are Amazon Negative Keywords?

Amazon negative keywords are words or phrases that you add to your advertising campaigns to prevent your ads from showing up for certain search queries. Essentially, they tell Amazon's algorithm, "Don't show my ad when someone searches for this term." This helps you refine your targeting and ensure your ads are only displayed to the most relevant audience.

Why Use Negative Keywords on Amazon?

The benefits of using negative keywords are numerous:

Improved Ad Relevance

By filtering out irrelevant searches, your ads are more likely to be shown to shoppers who are genuinely interested in your product.

Cost Efficiency

Negative keywords help prevent wasted ad spend on clicks that are unlikely to convert, allowing you to allocate your budget more effectively.

Higher Click-Through Rates

When your ads appear for more relevant searches, they're more likely to be clicked, improving your overall click-through rate.

Better Quality Score

Amazon rewards advertisers who create relevant, high-performing ads. By using negative keywords to improve your targeting, you can boost your quality score and potentially lower your cost-per-click.

How to Identify Negative Keywords

Identifying effective negative keywords requires a combination of research and analysis. Here are some effective keyword management strategies:

Search Term Reports

Regularly review your Amazon search term reports to identify low-performing keywords that aren't converting or are irrelevant to your product.

Competitor Analysis

Research your competitors' products and identify terms that might be relevant to their offerings but not yours.


Think about terms that might be similar to your product but aren't quite right. For example, if you sell leather shoes, "vegan shoes" might be a good negative keyword.

Customer Feedback

customer feedback concept

Pay attention to customer questions and reviews. They might reveal misconceptions about your product that you can address with negative keywords.

How to Add Negative Keywords to Your Amazon Campaign

Adding negative keywords to your Amazon campaign is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Advertising Console
  2. Select the campaign you want to modify
  3. Click on the "Negative keywords" tab
  4. Choose whether to add negative keywords at the campaign or ad group level
  5. Select the match type (exact or phrase)
  6. Enter your negative keywords, one per line
  7. Click "Add negative keywords"

Best Practices for Using Negative Keywords

Regularly Review and Update Negative Keywords

The market is constantly evolving, and so should your negative keyword list. Set aside time each month to review and refine your list based on new data and market trends.

Balance Between Negative and Positive Keywords

While negative keywords are important, don't neglect your positive keywords. Strive for a balance that maximises your reach while maintaining relevance.

Use Both Negative Exact and Negative Phrase Match Types

Experiment with both match types to find the right combination for your campaigns -exact match offers precision, while phrase match provides broader coverage.

Group Negative Keywords by Campaign

Different campaigns may require different negative keyword strategies. Organise your negative keywords by campaign to maintain clarity and efficiency.

Monitor Campaign Performance and Adjust as Needed

Keep a close eye on how your negative keywords are impacting your campaign performance. Be prepared to make adjustments based on the data you see.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Neglecting Regular Updates

Don't set and forget your negative keyword list. Regular updates are crucial for maintaining effectiveness.

Over-Using Negative Keywords

While negative keywords are valuable, using too many can unnecessarily limit your reach. Strike a balance between precision and visibility.

Ignoring Match Type Variations

Remember that different match types can yield different results. Don't rely solely on one match type for your negative keywords.

Applying Negative Keywords Too Broadly

Be cautious about applying negative keywords at the campaign level if they're only relevant to specific ad groups.

Not Monitoring the Impact

Always track how your negative keywords are affecting your campaign performance. If you see unexpected drops in impressions or clicks, review your negative keyword strategy.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, by carefully selecting and managing your negative keywords, you can ensure your ads reach the right audience, improve your conversion rates, and make the most of your advertising budget.

Remember, effective Amazon advertising is an ongoing process of refinement and optimization. If you're looking for expert guidance in navigating the complexities of Amazon PPC, don't hesitate to speak to our team of specialists for guidance. As a leading Amazon agency, we're here to help you achieve your advertising goals and drive sustainable growth for your business - reach out today and let us help you reach new heights on Amazon!

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