Thanks to Goran Web for asking a great question on how to employ negative keywords in a PPC campaign. It can be confusing so I’ll try to answer the question as simply as I can.
The idea is to narrow your target audience by using negative keywords as a filter. If, for instance, you sell hats but you only stick to brimmed hats then any type of non-brim hat should be filtered out of your ad optimization efforts so that you reduce the number of non-targeted click-throughs. Therefore, you might use “toboggan” as a negative keyword. But before you establish what your negative keywords are, you first need to establish what your match type keywords are for the campaign you are running.
You may sell all types of brimmed hats, but you may want to run a fedora campaign. Perhaps your line of fedoras is the biggest on the planet, but the one fedora that you can’t seem to keep in stock is the purple velvet fedora. For some reason, the purple velvet fedora seems to sell out quite often and you have to replenish your stock. Yellow velvet, red velvet, white velvet, and black velvet fedoras don’t seem to sell out as often.
Starting out you wouldn’t use any negative keywords associated with fedoras. But let’s say that in the middle of your campaign you run out of purple fedoras. Now you don’t want disappointed shoppers showing up on your landing page costing you money and not being able to deliver on the customer’s expectations. So you need to use the “purple velvet” phrase as a negative keyword under the rubric of “fedora” as a broad match.” You could also use “velvet fedora” as a phrase or exact match type for your campaign and toss in “purple” as the negative keyword to filter out those people who are looking specifically for the purple velvet fedora.
That’s how negative keywords work. You want to leave yourself some room to grab your targeted customer while filtering out those people are looking for something so specific that you can’t meet their need.