Avoiding Wasted Ad Spend: A Comprehensive Guide to Negative Keyword Targeting for Home Contractors 

Kamil Kluziak
28 Apr 2023
4 min read
one male and female person sitting thinking about ad spend

Google Ads is a powerful advertising tool that can help businesses of all sizes reach their target audience, drive traffic to their website, and increase revenue. One of the most important factors in the success of a Google Ads campaign is selecting the right keywords. However, many business owners overlook the importance of negative keywords.

What are Negative Keywords?

Negative keywords are words or phrases that you do not want your ads to show up for. They are used to filter out irrelevant searches and help ensure that your ads are only shown to users who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.

For example, if you're a home repair business, you may want to exclude searches for "DIY" or "how to fix it yourself" as these users are likely not looking for professional services.

The Benefits of Negative Keywords

Using negative keywords in your Google Ads campaigns can provide a number of benefits. Here are a few:

  1. Cost Savings: By excluding irrelevant searches, you can avoid paying for clicks that are unlikely to convert into paying customers. This can help you save money on your advertising budget and improve the overall ROI of your campaign.
  2. Increased Click-Through Rates: By filtering out irrelevant searches, your ads will only appear for users who are more likely to be interested in your services. This can lead to higher click-through rates and a better return on investment.
  3. Improved Relevance: By using negative keywords, you can ensure that your ads are only shown to users who are actively looking for your services. This can help improve the relevance of your ads and increase the chances of conversion.

The Pain Points of Negative Keywords

While negative keywords can be a powerful tool, there are some pain points to consider. Here are a few things to keep in mind when setting up negative keywords:

  1. Time-Consuming: Selecting the right negative keywords can be time-consuming, especially if you have a large list of potential words to exclude. However, the time spent upfront can save you time and money in the long run.
  2. Over-Exclusion: If you're not careful, you may accidentally exclude relevant searches. For example, if you're a contractor service, you may want to exclude searches for "cheap" or "low-cost," but you don't want to exclude searches for "affordable." It's important to carefully consider each negative keyword and its potential impact on your campaign.
  3. Limited Match Types: Unlike regular keywords, negative keywords only have one match type: exact. This means that you can only exclude searches that match your negative keyword exactly, which can lead to some limitations in your campaigns.

Home Repair and Contractor Services: Negative Keywords You Can Use

Here are a few examples of negative keywords that you can start using for your home repair and contractor services business:

  • DIY
  • How to fix it yourself
  • Free
  • Cheap
  • Low-cost
  • Non-professional
  • Unlicensed
  • Reviews
  • Complaints

We know these examples can only get you so far. So we have curated three of our best practices when selecting the right negative keywords for your home contracting service

3-Step Guide on Choosing the Right Negative Keywords

  1. Add negative keywords related to the locations outside of your service area, as these search queries can be triggered even with the location restrictions set up in the campaign settings. 

e.g. If we are targeting north London only, we want to exclude keywords such as Kingston, Westminster, Richmond

  1. Excluding search terms related to the services that are not offered is also important, especially if running phrase-match keywords, as their targeting can go too broad.

e.g. If we are only doing chimney sweeping, but the keywords are also triggering chimney repair or chimney lining keywords, we want to add repair/repairs, lining, liner/liners as negative keywords

  1. Add negative keywords that will prevent the ads from showing to people that are looking for to work

e.g. job/jobs, apprenticeship/apprenticeships, salary, description

By carefully selecting negative keywords that are relevant to your business, you can improve the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns and ensure that your ads are only shown to users who are more likely to convert into paying customers.

In conclusion, negative keywords are an essential tool for any business owner running Google Ads campaigns. With the right selection of negative keywords, you can save money, improve click-through rates, and increase the relevance of your ads. However, it's important to be careful when selecting negative keywords to avoid over-exclusion and ensure that your ads are still showing up for relevant searches.

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