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TPE #9: The simple 3-step process to add negatives to pMax

Sep 19, 2022

Read time: 4 minutes

 

The best way to keep control over your Google Ads campaigns is by adding negative keywords. Unfortunately, you can’t manually add them to Performance Max campaigns.

 

Or at least that’s what Google wants you to think. You may have heard that there are basically two options to add negative keywords to your pMax campaigns:

 

1.Ask your Google rep.

but what if you don’t have a Google rep?! And also: it’s a big pain to email your rep every time you want to add a little negative keyword.

 

2. Use account-level negatives

That’s nice, but once added, they will be applied to every campaign in your account. This functionality is useless if you want to add a negative keyword to a specific pMax campaign, but not other campaigns in your account

 

Well… There is another way. It’s a simple 3-step process.

 

A quick shoutout to Geert Groot (one of our Performance Max Mastery students) for pointing this out. If you want more tips on how to set up, optimize and scale pMax campaigns, feel free to join us here).

 

Let’s dive into this process and how you can use it to add negative keywords to Performance Max from within the Google Ads interface - without a Google rep.

 

The simple 3-step process to add negatives to pMax campaigns - without a Google rep

Step 1: create a negative keyword list specifically for Performance Max

Step 2: contact Google support and ask them to apply it to your campaigns

Step 3: add negative keywords whenever you want inside the Google Ads interface

 

Let’s take a closer look at every step in the process.

 

Step 1: create a negative keyword list specifically for Performance Max

This is super simple. Just create a new negative keyword list specifically for pMax, add 1 or more negative keywords and hit save. Unfortunately, you can’t add the list to Performance Max campaigns yourself (your campaigns won’t show up if you search for them). That’s when you proceed to step 2 and reach out to Google support.

 

 

Step 2: contact Google support and ask them to apply it to your campaigns

Since you can’t add the list to your pMax campaigns manually, you need to reach out to Google support. Note: don’t ask your Google rep, just email ‘regular’ support.

Tell them you want to add your new negative keyword list(s) to your pMax campaigns. They will ask you the specific campaign names, negative keyword lists and a one-time permission to make changes to your account.

Just provide them with the information you need. After that, just wait until they’ve added your negative keyword lists to your campaigns.

You should now see that the negative keyword list has been added to your pMax campaign(s):


 

Step 3: add negative keywords whenever you want inside the Google Ads interface

That’s basically it! Now you can just add new negative keywords to your existing lists whenever necessary. And the best thing: you don’t need to reach out to your rep/support for every little negative keyword you want to add.

 

Don’t forget to ask support to add your negative keyword lists whenever you create a new pMax campaign (whenever relevant, of course).

 

Quick note on negatives and Performance Max campaigns:

Beware that adding too many negatives could potentially harm performance. So use them wisely.

 

So that’s it, you can now add negative keywords inside of the Google Ads interface

 

That was super easy, right?

 

TLDR recap:

Follow this simple, 3-step process to manually add negative keywords to your pMax campaigns inside the Google Ads interface:

 

Step 1: create a negative keyword list specifically for Performance Max

Step 2: contact Google support and ask them to apply it to your campaigns

Step 3: add negative keywords whenever you want inside the Google Ads interface

 

Good luck, have fun adding negatives and thanks for reading The PPC Edge!

 

See you next week.

 

Bob & Miles

 


Thanks for reading, see you again next week.

 

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1. Learn how to set up, optimize and scale Performance Max campaigns here (125+ students).

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