Amazon Negative Keywords: Why They’re Important and How to Use Them

Bailey Bezzant

May 13, 2021

Negative keywords play an important role in your Amazon advertising strategy. They can affect how relevant your ad is to the search it shows up for and improve your spending efficiency for a better ACoS. But first, what are they?

Why are negative keywords important?

While a key part of beginning to advertise on Amazon is adding relevant keywords to campaigns, an equally important part is utilizing the negative keywords feature. Negative keywords are targets that allow an advertiser to disqualify selected keywords from being eligible to have ads served on them. Making sure negative keywords are a part of every keyword-based campaign is an optimization that can not only save advertisers a lot of money over time, but also help them drive better conversion.

Negative keywords are just as important as regular keywords because they allow advertisers to directly prohibit ads from showing up on certain keywords that may seem relevant but actually aren’t, making it a lot easier for a brand or advertiser to control exactly where ads serve. As a refresher, there are three different match types on Amazon–exact, phrase, and broad.

Exact match keywords

A keyword added as an exact match will only show up on that specific keyword and nowhere else–adding exact match “diapers for babies with sensitive skin” will mean only customers searching for that full string will see the ad. In this exact match example, the advertised product will not show up under the customer search for “baby diapers,” even though it seems so similar to the full string.

Phrase match keywords

Phrase match means as long as the keyword is contained somewhere in the phrase searched, the ad could show up. For example, if the targeting term for the ad “baby diapers” is added as phrase match, it could show up under “baby diapers,” “extra small baby diapers,” or “baby diapers for infants,” but not for “diapers for baby.”

Broad match keywords

But broad match would allow that to happen. As long as the words contained in the targeting term are also included in the customer search term, the ad has the potential to serve, no matter the order of the words. Adding “baby diapers” as a broad match could mean the ad serves on “baby diapers,” “diapers for newborn baby,” and “lightweight baby diapers.” Broad match is helpful in casting a wide net for searches, because let’s face it, it would be impossible to think of every possible combination someone could search when looking for baby diapers.

Negative keywords

This is where negative keywords come in handy: if a supplement brand with an adult-formulated iron supplement product were advertising on the keyword “iron” as a broad match (meaning as long as the word iron is contained in the customer search term, it could show up) in an attempt to target customers and search terms they hadn’t thought of yet, the product ad could also accidentally show up in places like “cast iron skillet,” or “iron supplement for newborns.”

People searching for “cast iron skillet” aren’t as likely to click on an iron supplement ad, because they don’t have the same search intent. But if you are only broadly looking for iron keywords, your ad may show up and you may still see higher-than-normal impressions numbers that aren’t actually relevant to your brand. By accidentally targeting “iron supplement for newborns,” there will most likely be ad spend wasted on consumers clicking on the supplements ad and quickly realizing the product isn’t formulated for newborns, their specific need. By making those two terms negative keywords as exact match, the advertiser can ensure their adult iron supplement ads are more targeted while still discovering new keywords from the original “iron” term, such as serving on “iron supplement for men” or “high quality iron vitamin” without sacrificing spend where it is not necessary.

How to use negative keywords on Amazon

There are many ways to effectively use negative keywords. First, an advertiser may choose to create multiple different campaigns where some campaigns target brand-related keywords and others target non-brand-related keywords. This way the brand can defend their presence and keep others from advertising on their own name and still separately bring in new customers who may not have heard of the brand before. For example, an advertiser for Crayola crayons may want to advertise on both “Crayola” and “good quality crayons” knowing they are targeting two different audiences.

There’s good reason to separate them at the campaign or ad group level to help track if customers are coming from branded or non-branded keywords. In this case, Crayola may create two separate “branded” and “non-branded” campaigns using the same products but different keywords depending on who they’re targeting–people who are already aware of the brand or potentially returning customers (using branded keywords containing “Crayola”) and shoppers who may not know or expected to search for the brand, i.e. potentially new customers (using non-branded or generic keywords like “crayons”).

By separating their placement, they can add “Crayola” as a negative keyword on the non-branded campaign to ensure that only new customers or people searching for more generic terms are clicking on their ad. Without this negative keywords, if someone searched “good quality Crayola crayons,” the ad may serve in the non-branded campaign or ad group and the purchase may unintentionally be attributed to a new customer sale estimation when in reality, the customer searched Crayola by name and are most likely not a new customer. By making sure “Crayola” is negative at the exact and phrase level, the advertiser will only see sales from people who were not already searching for the brand.

Second, negative keywords make it easy to optimize and take full advantage of automatic campaigns. Because automatic campaigns on Amazon can serve on any term, it is important to monitor these and make sure they’re not wasting ad spend on irrelevant keywords. If an automatic ad for a car dash camera ends up serving on customer search terms like “security camera,” you can use negative keywords to make sure those close-to-relevant keywords are not served on as part of your automatic campaign optimization routine. Using the negative keyword feature makes certain that automatic campaigns are only looking for keywords relevant to your product and only spend money bidding on those relevant keywords.

Where to find negative keywords on Amazon

While some obvious exclusions may come to mind immediately, there are likely far more that are less obvious. To find some of the best negative keywords, use the Search Term Report Amazon provides. Using this report on a regular cadence allows advertisers to gain better insight into what customers are actually searching for to find their ads and can also give a birds-eye view into customer search terms that are not converting. Pulling this report is especially important for any advertiser using phrase or broad match on any keyword, along with those who have enabled automatic campaigns. Because so many potentially irrelevant keywords can end up being served on through those targeting options, it’s important to check reports like the Search Term Report to find those non-converting, or irrelevant, keywords that are taking spend. You can then make the choice to negate them from being served on at all via the negative keywords feature.

Adding negative keywords can not only save advertisers and brands on cost, but also ensure every click is more meaningful and conversion-driven by guaranteeing that anything irrelevant is excluded. For those looking for an alternative to only using exact match keywords (thus missing out on potential new keyword discovery with phrase and broad match or automatic campaigns), negative keywords provide an avenue for both efficiency and discovery over time.

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Sept 6, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/02/amazon-introduces-new-service-to-help-solve-supply-chain-challenges/) Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/30/amazon-web-services-launches-region-in-uae/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360](https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2022/09/01/alibabas-lazada-to-take-on-amazon-zalando-in-europe-push/) Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance](https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinduoduo-launch-international-e-commerce-034129263.html) Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/alibaba-launches-super-september-b2b-sales-event/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times](https://www.ft.com/content/483451db-9221-4ca4-83a6-b4ddc6bfcfbb) [Read more on the Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/aug/31/klarna-losses-more-than-triple-as-consumer-spending-slows) One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/09/01/snap-to-lay-off-20-of-its-workforce-and-wind-down-a-number-of-projects/)
Aug 30, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC](https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/24/amazon-is-shutting-down-amazon-care-telehealth-service.html) Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/24/peloton-strikes-deal-to-sell-fitness-equipment-on-amazon/) --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve](https://themalaysianreserve.com/2022/08/25/around-60-malaysians-are-buying-from-local-sellers-on-shopee/) Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard](https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/flipkart-s-social-commerce-platform-shopsy-hits-100-million-users-1220828006851.html) Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts](https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2022/meta-joins-amazon-walmart-indian-ecommerce-market/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](https://ecommercenews.eu/ecommerce-in-spain-was-worth-e57-7-billion-in-2021/)
Aug 23, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/11/amazon-plans-to-add-mental-health-support-to-primary-care-service/) GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian](https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/09/gmb-calls-for-15-an-hour-minimum-pay-at-amazon-warehouses-in-uk) Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/17/amazon-third-party-sellers-have-received-their-first-ever-holiday-fee-hike/) Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/08/21/amazon-pauses-uk-grocery-shop-roll-out-following-disappointing/) --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire](https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2022/08/18/shopee-surpasses-alibaba-in-international-sales-amazon-searches-for-entertainment-exec/) H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/16/hm-returns-to-alibabas-tmall-platform-16-months-after-xinjiang-controversy/) Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry](https://www.theindustry.fashion/klarna-launches-new-feature-allowing-uk-consumers-to-view-full-online-order-history/) --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2022/08/09/online-marketplaces-responsible-for-280-billion-business-turnover-in-uk/)