What Are Amazon Negative Keywords?

Jul 28, 2022

amazon ppc negative keywords, amazon negative keywords, amazon ppc

Negative keywords are a crucial part of PPC advertising on Amazon. They help you dispense with the traffic irrelevant to what your product is. Although critical to the success of your PPC campaigns, negative keywords are painfully challenging to find and set up. Therefore, this article will help you become more knowledgeable about this demanding endeavor and learn how to use negative keywords properly on Amazon.

Table of Content

  1. What Are Amazon PPC Negative Keywords?
  2. Types of negative keywords on Amazon
  3. Why use negative keywords?
    • Higher click-through rate(CTR)
    • Improved CVR
    • Avoiding internal competition
    • Better product ranking
    • Lowered ad spending
  4. How and where to find negative keywords for Amazon PPC campaigns?
    • Low-CTR non-converters
    • High-click non-converters
    • High-spend low-converters
  5. How to add and remove negative keywords in Amazon PPC?
  6. Conclusion

What are Amazon Negative Keywords?

Many people think that the keywords added to their campaigns will show up in searches as is. That, however, includes the risk of attracting irrelevant traffic lowering your conversion rate(CVR) and, as a result, damaging your future success. Given that, you might wish to find specific keywords to be excluded from your targeting. 

But what are negative keywords and how to use them in your Amazon PPC campaign?

A negative keyword means you don’t want your ads to be shown for that particular keyword. The reasons as to why may vary, though they usually revolve around the keyword’s relevance. It can misrepresent your product or become irrelevant within a specific timeframe. One way or another, adding negative keywords to your PPC campaigns cuts unnecessary ad spending. 

Here are some examples of negative keywords within an Amazon PPC campaign. For example, say you are selling car chargers. In this category, your negative keywords will be “portable phone charger” and its derivatives since it represents an entirely different product. In another case, suppose you sell car chargers for iPhones. Make sure the product you’re selling is compatible with the iPhone model present in the keywords. This will ensure your product finds the most relevant audience, searching for your type of product.  

Types of negative keywords on Amazon

As opposed to keywords proper, there are only two types of negative keywords. Those are an exact match and phrase match. In this case, their functions copy that of match types of keywords proper. 

When using the negative exact match type, you “ban” search terms that match exactly with your keyword with due respect to misspelled words or their plural form. Extra words added to the search term will create a new keyword, allowing your ads to be shown. 

When using the negative phrase match type, you exclude a phrase in that particular order with due respect to misspelled words or their plural form from the list of search terms where your ads can appear. Parts of the phrase in the search term form an entirely new keyword, so your ads can appear in such queries.

Why use negative keywords?

Now that you discovered what negative keywords are, let’s answer the question, “why use them at all?” It all comes down to the issue of keyword relevance. The primary purpose of the negative keywords in Amazon PPC is to focus your targeting only on relevant keywords. Furthermore, you limit unnecessary spending on irrelevant ads and enhance the performance of your remaining ads by utilizing negative keywords in your Amazon ads. 

There are, of course, many more advantages of using negative keywords. Let’s review them below.

Higher click-through rate (CTR)

CTR is one of the essential metrics in Amazon PPC. Therefore, using negative keywords means new opportunities to improve your CTR. That is done by removing the inherently irrelevant categories of buyers allowing you to stand out from the rest of the sellers. Higher CTR subsequently improves your ranking, sparing you from the joy of editing your own listings to achieve the same result.

Improved CVR

If there were kings or queens among Amazon PPC metrics, CVR would be one of them. It is without a doubt the single most important metric you should take care of. You don’t want your keywords to be too vague, as it may bring irrelevant traffic. You don’t want your keywords to be too specific either since Amazon’s algorithms may limit the amount of traffic your listings receive, damaging overall rankings. The best bet is to use keywords that are both relevant and understandable to your customers. 

In this regard, negative keywords are marvel workers. As they cut irrelevant traffic, only the right people surge to your listings, naturally improving your CVR.

Avoiding internal competition

It is no secret that internal competition ruins your campaign’s performance. It’s most prevalent when a multitude of Amazon PPC campaigns is managed through a single channel. Adding negative keywords alleviates this issue because your campaigns will, from that point, target only a particular audience, considerably boosting your ranking. 

Better product ranking

Amazon’s internal ranking system determines the proportion of traffic redistributed among the listings. CTR and CVR, among other things, affect the ranking significantly. Since adding negative keywords boosts both, it also passively improves the ranking of your listings which in turn further positively influences the performance of your Amazon business.

Lowered ad spending 

Although Amazon has numerous ways of reducing ad spending, we think that negative keywords are the easiest. They deter irrelevant clicks from your ads and allow you to target a specific audience. The higher the conversion due to such deterrence, the less budget you waste. Proper usage of limited resources is at the core of economics. Master that, and you will dramatically increase the chance of your future success.

How and where to find negative keywords for Amazon PPC campaigns?

It is relatively simple to discover which ads or keywords hamper the performance of your campaigns. We’ve explained it in our Help Center article. Moreover, there is a plethora of Amazon PPC management software and negative keyword tools that can assist you. In times of digitalization, it’s somewhat suboptimal to refrain from using the software present on the market. However, if you wish to find negative keyword candidates manually, there are three things to look out for.

Low-CTR non-converters

Suppose you have little traffic coming to your listings, and your CVR isn’t below average; that’s where you start looking for low-CTR non-converting keywords. These are the keywords that don’t improve your sales which usually serves as an indicator of their irrelevance, hence, warranting the change in their status to negative keywords (whether temporarily or permanently).

High-click non-converters

High CTR non-converting keywords are your worst enemy. They sort of deceive you into thinking that they’re performing well when in fact, they certainly aren’t. Given that the average CVR on Amazon is around 10%, you must always be mindful of the high-frequency and thus high-CTR keywords that don’t convert well. Such keywords drag your campaigns down, and you should consider putting them into the negative category. 

High-spend low-converters

This particular category is rather challenging to narrow down, as it’s highly subjective. However, almost all high-cost keywords that don’t bring enough conversions should be considered possible candidates. Putting subpar high-cost keywords on a stop will help you limit your expenditures so that you can spend the money elsewhere. 

How to add and remove negative keywords in Amazon PPC?

You can add or remove negative keywords via Amazon Seller Central. Here’s a brief rundown of how to do that.

Firstly, find the “Campaign Manager” in the “Advertising” tab. Secondly, choose the campaign/ad group to which you want to add negative keywords. Next, click on the “Negative Targeting” followed by “Negative Keywords”. Then, pick the match type between the negative exact and negative phrase. Finally, add or remove the negative keywords of your choice and click “Save”. Congratulations! Now you know how to add or remove negative keywords in Amazon PPC.


Negative keywords are paramount in fully comprehending the full scope of your Amazon business. Nowadays, every Joe wants to sell their products on Amazon, driving the competition up. Therefore, if you want a prosperous Amazon business, using negative keywords is a must. Otherwise, you risk being left with a non-profitable or even bankrupt venture in which you’ve sunk a lot of time, effort and money.

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