What is Negative Keyword Targeting on Amazon?
Written by: Ryan Flannagan

Are you struggling with Amazon keyword research? Is your Amazon product not ranking as well as it should be?

If yes, then you need to know all about Amazon negative keyword targeting and how it can help to boost your next Amazon advertising campaign.

Although it may sound like something that you want to avoid when it comes to promoting your products on Amazon, despite the name, negative keyword targeting has the ability to transform your marketing efforts and significantly reduce the amount you need to spend on advertising.


Read on to discover everything you need to know about negative keyword targeting on Amazon. Plus, how you can use Amazon negative keywords to maximum effect.

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What is Negative Keyword Targeting?

Negative keywords are the words or phrases that stop your Amazon ads from appearing on an Amazon Search Engine Result Page (SERP) if those terms are used in the customer’s search query.

In simpler terms, negative keywords tell Amazon when they should not be showcasing your ad on their site.

For example, let’s say you sell wooden furniture and you bid on the keyword “furniture.” Without a negative keyword, your ad could appear for someone searching for metal or plastic furniture. Not only would this be irrelevant to the searcher and they would click away from your product listing, but you would still be charged for this click.

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Why are Negative Keywords Important?

While positive keywords, also known as normal keywords, are an important part of every Amazon advertising campaign, so are negative ones. In fact, by adding negative keywords, you can avoid hundreds, if not thousands of clicks, that are:

  • Irrelevant
  • Unprofitable
  • Result in low click-through-rates (CTR)

This can result in wasted ad spend, increased advertising cost for Amazon sellers, lower product rankings, and keyword cannibalization.

What are the Different Types of Negative Keywords?

When selecting normal or positive keywords, you have three types to choose from: broad match keyword, phrase match keyword, and exact match keyword. However, when it comes to negative keywords in Amazon, there are only two: phrase and exact.

Learn more about these two types of negative keywords below:

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Negative Phase Match Keyword

This type of negative keyword works to prevent your ad from appearing in Amazon search queries that contain the selected combination of words in an exact sequence with allowance for plurals and minor misspellings.

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Negative Exact Match Keyword

This type of negative keyword must match the keyword exactly for Amazon to prevent it from appearing. Again, with the allowance for plurals and minor misspellings. It is worth noting that you can only use up to 10 words for a negative exact match keyword or phrase.

How to Find Negative Keywords on Amazon?

There are several ways that you can find negative keywords on Amazon. These are as follows:

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Low CTR Non-Converters

If you are not getting enough traffic to your Amazon product listings, then this could be due to low CTR non-converting keywords. These are keywords that are not helping to drive sales and are typically caused by ad irrelevancy.

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High Click Non-Converters

High click non-converters, on the other hand, are keywords that have lots of clicks but a lack of conversions. If you notice a keyword that boasts a lot of clicks but few conversions, this indicates that there may be a problem with either ad relevance or audience targeting.

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High Spend Low Converters

If you are spending a lot of money on what appears to be a strong keyword, but it is not resulting in sufficient conversions, then you might want to consider using this as a negative keyword for your next campaign to see what effect it has or at the very least, limiting its exposure.

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Use a Marketing Agency

If you are struggling to find negative keywords or you are worried about selecting the wrong ones and this having a detrimental effect on your future campaigns, then why not hire an Amazon marketing agency to do all the leg work for you?

The beauty of using a professional Amazon marketing agency is that they will have a wealth of experience in helping Amazon sellers maximize sales and will have all the latest tools and techniques at their disposal.

How to Use Negative Keywords in Amazon

Now you know what negative keywords are and why they are important, the next step is to learn how to incorporate them into your next Amazon advertising campaign.

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Audience Targeting

Audience targeting is an important part of any advertising campaign and helps to ensure your ads are put in front of the right searchers.

When it comes to audience targeting on Amazon, negative keywords can be used to effectively refine your target audience and eliminate any unnecessary eyeballs from your campaigns.

With positive keywords, broad match terms are used too frequently, which can result in wasted clicks, as mentioned above. However, when you add negative keywords, this allows you to maximize your keyword relevance.

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Automatic Campaigns

When you create an automatic campaign on Amazon, there are several processes that you miss out on, including bid optimization and cannibal word prevention. However, when you manually add negative keywords in manual campaigns, you give Amazon a better chance at discovering new, relevant keywords by blocking out irrelevant ones.


Amazon negative keyword targeting should be a key part of your next Amazon advertising campaign. With the ability to help you manage your advertising budget more effectively and minimize wasted ad spend, negative keywords are a must for an Amazon seller that wants to outshine their competitors and drive sales without having to up your advertising spend.

Whether you choose to find negative keywords on your own or you turn to a professional Amazon marketing agency to do it for you, once you start implementing negative keyword targeting, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

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Ryan Flannagan
Ryan Flannagan

Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed, CNBC, and Modern Retail.

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